“INNNNNN West Philadelphia born and raised on the playground is where I spent most of my days…” Will Smith’s iconic phrase from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is usually the first thing I think of when Philly comes to mind, but mogul Jay Z is changing that by bringing Budweiser’s Made in America Festival to the streets of Philadelphia. Taking on the ambiance of Woodstock and Lollapalooza the outside event shutdown Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway to host 5 different stages and incorporates Rock and EDM, with the contrasting sounds of Hip Hop, Rap, and R&B. Featuring some of the biggest DJs and artists in the music industry the Made in America Festival appeals to fans of all genres. And, as the curator of this unorthodox music festival, Jay Z is once again proving that he is more than a businessman and instead he’s a business, man! But, the business, man, definitely bamboozled me into going to Made in America.
I’m sure Jay Z knows that most people (especially black folk) don’t like the idea of outside events where you don’t have chairs so you sit on the ground, and deal with dust and allergies, and worst of all porta-potties! But, before those thoughts even come to mind… did y’all see the line-up?? The event included the likes of Jidenna, Meek Mill, Future, J. Cole, Big Sean, Future, Fabolous, The Weekend, and Beyoncé! Without hearing anything else about the event I had received all the hype about the artists performing. By the time I had finished reading through the lineup of artists I hadn’t even fully comprehended that the event was outside, but had clicked purchase on that ticket! Yep, Jay got me with that lineup!
The first performance we made it to was Philly’s own Meek Mill. My friends and I struggled our way toward the stage thinking we could squeeze our way through hundreds of people to the front. After thousands of “Oh, excuse me’s” we wound up trapped in the middle of the crowd. And yep.. I was thinking Jay got me again! Before purchasing my ticket I imagined that I would always have a clear shot of all the artists, but here I was standing shoulder to shoulder with strangers just trying to get a glimpse of Meek. However, I will say that the party from that view was lit and once Meek Milly brought out Nicki Minaj the crowd erupted! Meek performed ‘Level’s’, ‘House Party’, & ‘All Eyes on You’ with Nicki. He also brought his son out to perform the Nae Nae and let his DJ do a set of some fan favorites which included a lot of Future’s Dirty Sprite 2!
Next up was Beyoncé. I think fans literally camped out by the stage waiting on her. The Queen Bee is always giving life, serving face, and slaying the game but that night she was bringing the hashtag #BeyonceAlwaysOnBeat to life. Killing the beat to songs such as Future’s ‘F*ck Up Some Commas’, and ‘Where Ya At’, Nicki Minaj’s ‘Truffle Butter’, and Lil Ronny’s “THROW THAT @$$ IN A CIRCLE”!! At 34 years old Beyoncé continues to remind us why she’s THEE QUEEN BEE! With a two hour performance Beyoncé had given us a full concert making the $150 ticket totally worth it and we hadn’t even hit day 2 yet!
After the long day of standing I didn’t even know if I wanted to come back for day 2! My feet stung, my body hurt, and I was literally ready to sale my ticket, go home, and go to sleep!! #AintNoRoundTwoBih
BUT, Jay woke me up with that Day 2 lineup on my mind. SMH…. Needless to say, I headed out for round 2! The second day of the festival included performances from Fabulous, Future, J. Cole, Big Sean, and The Weekend among others! This time around my friends and I had learned a trick or two about these outside festivals and decided to watch most of J. Cole & Big Sean’s performances on the jumbo screens. I mean the turn up was still real from that view too! And our biggest win from the event was weaseling our way onto the Tidal VIP Stage to see The Weekend perform. The Weekend closed out the 2 day event and honestly he shocked me. Being that I only knew of him for his hit ‘The Hills’, I didn’t realize how many hits the soft spoken Michael Jackson sounding artist had. Performing his songs ‘High for This’, ‘Can’t Feel My Face’, ‘Often’, and renditions of Beyoncé’s ‘Drunk in Love’, Ariana Grande’s ‘Love Me Harder’, and Ty Dolla $ign’s ‘Or Nah’, The Weekend was the perfect closing act and the crowd loved him.
All in all I LOVED Budweiser’s Made in America Festival. The event gave out tons of freebies including beer, tattoos, water bottles, and even had barbers on site! Attending the event gave me memories with my friends that I’ll cherish for a lifetime and yes I’m blaming (and thanking) Jay Z for that too! However, the combination of the long lines, overwhelming people, and porta-potties was just too much for me. So, even though I LOVED the Made in America Festival, Jay Z bamboozled me into going with that lineup and I’ll never go back!
……..Just kidding, y’all know I’m going to wait to see that 2016 lineup first!!!