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Attendees at the 2012 BBC Radio 1 Hackney Weekend in London received surprise appearances all weekend. The fun was kicked off Saturday night, when Jay-Z was joined by Rihanna a whole day before she was slated to perform.
The crowd at the Hackney Marshes went nuts when Rihanna’s easily recognizable voice boomed over the speakers singing her collaborative song with Jay-Z, “Run This Town.” Rihanna was showing off her body in a tight black crop top and black jean shorts that covered the minimum. She also donned a strange skullcap that was made only of black straps and buckles, along with a rather unflattering pair of sunglasses. Guess those spotlights are bright…
Rihanna seemed more than happy to be sharing the spotlight with her mentor, as she shook her haunches, danced, and skipped all over the stage while Jay-Z rapped.
Jay-Z provided a hit-filled line-up Saturday night, performing fan favorites “99 Problems,”“Bonnie & Clyde,” “Girls, Girls, Girls,”and“Empire State of Mind.”An American flag backdrop was displayed for “Empire,” which only Jay-Z could pull off without seeming cheesy. He returned soon after ending his set for an encore rendition of “N—gas in Paris” with Kanye West joining him onstage, much to the delight of the 50,000+ in attendance.
The focus was flipped on Sunday, with the show being all about Rihanna and featuring some highlighted appearances by Jay-Z. The attendance had doubled to 100,000 for the closing night of Hackney.
Rihanna opened with “Only Girl in the World,” and certainly was only girl in the world who would have voluntarily been caught dead in her outfit of a black leather jacket with tacky gold details, a loose tiger print t-shirt, see-through black hotpants, and an even more ridiculous pair of sunglasses than Saturday night.
Despite her attire, Rihanna’s voice was spot on. She treated the crowd to all of her huge hits, including “Rude Boy,”“S&M,”“Hard,”and“Don’t Stop the Music.”
Knowing just how to work the crowd into a frenzy, Rihanna offered them a compliment by saying, “Hackney, you’re crazier than they told me!”
The evening closed out with Rihanna once again singing “Run This Town,” and Jay-Z returned her favor from the night before, making a surprise appearance. He remained on stage to help perform “Talk That Talk” and Rihanna’s break-out song,“Umbrella.” Rihanna ended the night and the overall concert solo with a pretty rendition of “We Found Love.”