The Bonnaroo SuperJam has become one of the most unique and collaborative sets of music at any festival on the circuit today. Artists from different genres come together for one night only to produce something wonderful, memorable, and timeless.
On Monday, Bonnaroo revealed their plans for what is perhaps their most interesting and eclectic SuperJam yet. Hosted by Bonnaroo veterans Phish, 2019’s Saturday SuperJam will include a rotating cast of hip-hop artists including Cardi B., Childish Gambino, Post Malone, Juice Wrld, Gucci Mane, Lil Dicky, and more. The Phish Hip-Hop SuperJam will also feature a horn section courtesy of The Soul Rebels, an act with plenty of experience backing up high-profile rappers.
“We’re really excited to be hosting the Hip-Hop SuperJam at Bonnaroo this year,” Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio notes in a press release announcing the set. “It may surprise some people because of the kind of music I normally play, but I’m a huge fan of hip-hop music.” Continues Anastasio, “I actually pitched this idea to Nelly once years ago at a party, but he wasn’t really into it. I’m so grateful for all the amazing rappers at Bonnaroo who are helping us realize this vision after all this time. Maybe we can even get Nelly to come and join in even though he’s not on the lineup.”
Although the initial announcement was a bit of a surprise to Phish’s famously persnickety fanbase, it’s noteworthy to look back on Phish’s previous crossovers with popular hip-hop in the past. During Phish’s fan-favorite Portland Meadows show on July 15th, 1998, the band tipped the crowd’s world upside down when they sandwiched Tupac‘s “California Love” inside a monstrous “Tweezer”. In 2004, during the band’s show at KeySpan Park in Coney Island, Brooklyn, they welcomed hometown hero Jay-Z to the stage for performances of Jigga’s “99 Problems” and “Big Pimpin'”.
Phish ft. Jay Z – “99 Problems” / “Big Pimpin'”
Anastasio also flashed his appreciation for contemporary hip-hop last summer on Phish tour. During a second set-opening rendition of “Meatstick” in Raleigh on 8/10/18, Trey busted out his own version of the “Kiki Challenge” that was sweeping the Internet following the release of Drake‘s “In My Feelings”.
As Cardi B notes in the Phish Hip-Hop SuperJam announcement, “So like, deadass, I ain’t never even heard of Phish before I got booked at Bonnaroo. But, you know, when I was first startin’ to rap and stuff, my boy at the studio in the Bronx played me this fresh beat he sampled from this band from like Sweden or Norway or whatever called Kasvot Växt. And I just found out Phish was, like, super influenced by them too or whatever. So I’m like, yo! Homeboys know what’s up! Okurrrrr!”
When asked if he was excited for the SuperJam, Phish bassist Mike Gordon said, “No.”
For more information on Phish’s Bonnaroo Hip-Hop SuperJam, head here.