It’s called a volume switch, Ohio, and someone in Jay-Z‘s backing band forgot to use it on Monday at a packed rally in Columbus, where Hova was opening up for President Barack Obama on the eve of election day.
“I changed the lyric,” Jay-Z said while setting up an improvised — and uncleared by Secret Service, he joked? — version of “99 Problems” that swapped out “Bitch” with “Mitt.” As you’d expect, Jay stuck to the new lyric but the same couldn’t be said for the backing track, which blasted the unfortunate “bitch”-es during each chorus.
“I got 99 problems but a bitch/Mitt aint one.”
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Gaffes-that-came-too-late-in-the-campaign aside, Jay rocked a brief but energetic set for the flag waiving crowd, playing such favorites as “Run This Town” and “Encore,” during which he swapped out the usual chants of “Hova! Hova!” with “Four More Years!”
Jay’s opening act was Bruce Springsteen, who has become a familiar presence on the campaign trail over the past week. Performing songs including “No Surrender” and “Land of Hope and Dreams,” Springsteen also did his own version of a stump speech and his “campaign theme” for Obama, called “Forward and Away We Go.”
“I kissed your sister then I kiss your mama; Usually this time of the day I’m in my pajamas; Well let’s vote for the man who got Osama; Forward and away we go!”
Springsteen had a sense of humor about the simplistic lyrics, saying, “That is how you can get to where I am today. That kind of songwriting.”
After Obama, sounding hoarse, gave his closing argument stump speech, his rock star friends emerged from behind the scenes for a curtain call. Check out original photos from Billboard here .