Review: Jay-Z’s Incredible Entrance, Obama’s Video, & “Made In America” Music Festival Sunday Schedule

Jay-Z makes and incredible entrance, it was like Sylvester Stallone in Rock of V installments. J was had the place sounding as though he was at a Super Bowl Game. Jay was busy as he bounced up and down on top of the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, mimicking Rocky before he took the stage in front of nearly 50,000. His song “Made In America” played in the background. The show could not have been more electrifying.

Like Sylvester Stallone in Rock of V, has a rag to riches American dream story, and the 42-year-old entertainer – who grew up in the Brooklyn projects and released his debut in 1996 – shared some of that through songs in his 90-minute set Saturday night at the “Budweiser Made In America” festival.

He entered from the back of the stage after running down the steps to perform “Public Service Announcement.” That was followed with the night’s first cameo: A pre-recorded video with President Barack Obama.

Obama urged the crowd to vote this fall. He also said Jay-Z’s story is “what Made In America means” and added that he enjoys listening to the rapper’s music on his iPod.

Jay-Z headlined the first night of the two-day festival he curated, performing hits like “99 Problems,” “Dirt Off Your Shoulder,” “Big Pimpin'” and “Empire State of Mind.” He called it “the first annual Made In America festival.”

The event is the first kind for the entrepreneurial Jay-Z, who is married to superstar Beyonce and owns a music management company, fashion line, nightclub and restaurant; he’s also a co-owner of the Brooklyn Nets.

“Since you were so good to me, Philly, I’m going to be good to you tonight, Philly,” Jay-Z yelled.

Rappers Pusta T and Big Sean hit the stage, and Kanye West followed, receiving an electrifying roar from the crowd. They performed a medley of hits, such as “Mercy,” “Dance” and “Can’t Tell Me Nothing.”

Jay-Z also brought out his former protégés and Philadelphians Freeway, Chris and Neff, as well as Memphis Bleek. Common, 2 Chainz and Swizz Beatz also made appearances.

The scene was colorful and energetic, as thousands of music fans shifted from the three stages on the Benjamin Franklin parkway to watch Skrillex, D’Angelo, Passion Pit, Janelle Monae, Calvin Harris and 10 other acts. Sunday’s line-up includes Pearl Jam, Run DMC, Odd Future and Drake, who was in the crowd Saturday night.

The festival is being film as a documentary and will be directed by Ron Howard. Proceeds from the ticketed event will benefit United Way chapters.

Jay-Z closed the night with West, performing the smash hit “…In Paris.” Then fireworks blasted.
On the Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day weekend 2012 (September 1 and 2), music fans from around the world will descend on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia for the Budweiser Made in America music festival. Jay-Z is headlining, and on day one will be joined by Skrillex, Miike Snow, Calvin Harris, Rick Ross, Meek Mill, and many others. On day two, Pearl Jam is fronting, along with Drake, Chris Cornell, Jill Scott, Run DMC, Odd Future, and plenty more. Tickets are currently on sale for an earlybird price of $135 for both days, but may go up to $150 and $175.

The music will be played outside at Eakins Oval, with a backdrop of the impressive Greek revival facade of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the flag- and tree-lined boulevard of the Parkway. The event offers something for everyone, except for one critical thing: great beer. As headliner, you can be sure Bud is what the festival organizers will be serving, but it would be nearly criminal to come to Philadelphia — America’s Best Beer Drinking City — without sipping on some real beer.

You won’t be able to bring outside drinks into the concert area, but we suggest that you take a few minutes before or after to sample some of the amazing selection of local, American, and even foreign craft brew available in almost every single Philadelphia bar. Seriously, the city gets more varieties of beer distributed than anywhere else on the East Coast, and perhaps anywhere in the world. Here are places to find good beer in the Art Museum, Fairmount, Franklintown, and Logan Circle neighborhoods, right next to the concert. Drink up, and enjoy the show.

Jay Electronica is finally inching closer to dropping his debut album Act II: Patents of Nobility, and on Saturday (September 1) the Roc Nation rapper made a rare public appearance, to perform at Jay-Z’s Made in America festival. Judging by the fact that Jay Elect had to fight his way out of the crowd after the set, it’s clear that his public is still looking out for him, and maybe that’s why he reached out to his Roc Nation boss for a spot on the lineup.

During the final minutes of his performance, the New Orleans native jumped into the crowd to get better acquainted with fans and it took him quite awhile to fight his way out. When he finally emerged, he explained that he actually hit up Jay-Z about performing at the Philadelphia festival. “Actually I sent him an email saying, ‘You didn’t ask me to perform at Made in America,” Elect told MTV News, laughing at his boss’ reply. “He’s like, ‘ Ohh, you still perform? Ha.’ You know. He always has jokes like that. “

Jay Electronica has been largely absent from the spotlight in recent months, making fans question whether or not they would ever see his Roc Nation album materialize, but this performance was part of the process.

“It’s Jay’s festival and it’s Philly at the same time, it’s a good way to get my feet back wet,” he said. “I’ve been missing from the stage for a long time. Its a good way to come back.”

His set for the night included “Abracadabra,” “The Ghost of Christopher Wallace,” “Eternal Sunshine,” and “Exhibit C” which were punctuated by shout outs to Philly, some political commentary and plenty of acapella verses. He thanked Philly for their support when his hometown New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina and in the same breath accused the government of destroying the levees and having a hand in the 9/11 attacks.

However bold his statements were, the crowd still continued to rock with him and they were likely more surprised by the last bombshell he dropped before he hopped off the stage. Although a recent tracklist forAct II showed features from Jay-Z, Kanye West and even his ex Erykah Badu, Elect announced that his next single would feature Chris Brown, and that’s all he would reveal for now.

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