Music lovers whose parents are too young to remember the British invasion of the 1960s are flooding Twitter with reactions to the American invasion of 2012.
BBC Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend closed last night after giving 100,000 festival-goers two days of free music, much of it American. Rapper Jay-Z, Saturday’s headline act, appeared alongside other Americans including Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, will.i.am and Jack White. (Sunday’s headliner Rihanna, though no stranger to American audiences, is from Barbados.)
Last summer the area of east London was marred by a series of riots; next month it will host the Olympics. Festival organizers hoped that Hackney Weekend might boost the area’s reputation and morale; attendees were just anxious to hear some American hip-hop.
Times have changed in other ways. London was where the Dixie Chicks declared during a 2003 concert they were ashamed to be from President George W. Bush’s home state of Texas. Jay-Z’s set saw the lowering of a huge American flag behind the stage to close out a sing-along performance of “New York State of Mind.”
Screamed out The National Anthem and Three Lions last night when Jay Z dropped The American Flag in Hackney. #EnglandBelieve
— Bov (@JoshBovill) June 24, 2012
A global Google debate tomorrow promises a more philosophical look at hip-hop and its influence.
— Guardian music (@guardianmusic) June 25, 2012
But in the afterglow of Hackney Weekend, most are focused less on the politics and more on the music.
Hackney, UK. Jay-Z live in the rain, the US flag as the background, @kanyewest on the stage. Best rapper alive can still put on a show.
— orlanka (@orlanka) June 23, 2012