Relive the moments of this year's Made In America festival.
The first day of the 2017 edition of the Made In America Festival was off to a wet and cold start. In an instance that contrasts typical festival weather, periods of heavy rainfall and slippery patches of mud throughout Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway threatened to put a damper on the fun. Nevertheless, the show went on, and a few showers couldn’t keep festival goers from enjoying sets from the likes of Cardi B, Migos, and the night’s headliner, J. Cole. In a lineup curated by JAY-Z himself, Hip-Hop reigned supreme with the aformentioned Cardi captivating the masses with a glamorous performance of her “Bodak Yellow” single, performed mainly by the crowd before her. Risings stars like A Boogie Wit da Hoodie and J.I.D. provided a broad spectrum of hip-hop’s future on the TIDAL stage while everyone’s favorite trio got everyone in the moshing mood as Migos took to the main Rocky Stage.
Day Two proved to be much drier and much more enjoyable. In a day that started off a little cloudy, clear skies were soon the norm and unbearable heat once more took its place. This time around, fans were hopping around 5 different stages to catch performances from Pusha T, 21 Savage, and the like before settling before the Rocky Stage, the festival’s main stage, to enjoy the illusory company of JAY-Z. Notably missing from the festivities was Nigerioan-born sensation Wizkid, whose cancellation at Made in America was only the latest from the “” singer.
Check out highlights from some of the weekend’s biggest acts.
Cardi B Continues Her Winning Streak in Philly:
Cardi B no longer needs any introduction, and if she does, the phrase “Bodak Yellow” clears up any confusion. The rapper’s single has officially gone Gold and earned the distinction of being the highest-charting solo rap song by a woman since Nicki Minaj's "Ananconda." In a relatively short time since her initial rise to fame, Cardi has accomplished the feats of veterans and certainly took over the Made In America stage like one as well. Draped in a revealing and flattering outfit, the reality star-turned-hip-hop star worked a drenched stage with resolve and in hels no less. It was refreshing to see fans singing along to other standouts in the femcee’s catalaog including, "Fleek," and "Washpoppin" from her Gangsta Bitch Music Vol. 1 project. Cardi took the opportunity to let us know that the wait for another full-length project would soon be up as her next roll out is slated for October.
Solange Calms the Masses with a Moving Set:
In the ethereal rebirth of R&B and Soul, Solange heads things up as Mother Hen, and she proved just why on Saturday during her rperformance at Made In America. Cuts like “Cranes In the Sky” and “Don’t Touch my Hair” from last year’s A Seat At The Table fittingly served as backdrop to the rainy weather. She, in true fashion, didn’t grace the stage without a message in tow. Alluding to her “Mad” cut featuring Lil Wayne, she addressed the nation’s current landscape. "We got Neo-Nazis out here with citronella sticks, looking like some tiki damn fools," she began. "We got anti-gay and lesbian, anti-Muslim folks out here, and we're not allowed to be mad. We got Confederate statues looking everywhere at our black asses, but we're not allowed to be mad. We got f--kboys at every corner, but we're not allowed to be mad."
Migos Bring the South Up North:
When you've got a catalog of nothing but bangers, it’s hard to disappoint in a festival setting where frenzied energy and mosh pits are the standard. Cutting through a set on a wet stage, Migos made light of the situation, encouraging fans to do the same. “The stage is wet, but we don’t give a fuck ‘cause we gon’ make make it slippery.” Naturally “Slippery” was in the repertoire, in additions to Culture cuts like “Get Right Witcha,” T-Shirt,” and, of course, “Bad & Boujee." They further teased the arrivals of the follow up, Culture II with the group’s DJ Durel leading the crowd with a, “When I say 'Culture', You say ‘2'!’”
Vic Mensa Powers Through A Slew of Technical Difficulties:
Vic Mensa was another name to bring an electrifying performance to the heart of Philly. His set including renditions of his “Say I Didn’t”, fresh off his The Autobiography debut released earlier this July. He further went into fan favorites like 2015’s “U Mad,” and his powerful “16 Shots.” While the rain couldn’t stop Vic, a few technical difficulties certainly did as he vacated the stage after his mic failed during “Homewrecker.” When he retruned to the stage to continue his set, the mic failed once more, putting a delay on things, but not so much that Vic’s stage presence felt any effect.
J. Cole Closes Out with A Message:
The night was capped off with J. Cole taking to the stage a few minutes before 10:00 PM, sporting a now signature orange jumpsuit with the word “property” fixed on the back. Kicking off his set with a sobering “For Whom The Bell Tolls,” off of 2016’s 4 Your Eyez Only, Cole took into several other enditions of “Immortal,” and “Change,” brinoing out Dreamville signee and singer Ari Lennox for an assist on the latter. Cuts from his archive included “Lights Please,” Born Sinner’s “Forbidden Fruit,” Forest Hill Drive’s “Wet Dreams,” and lighter and flash light-accompanied rendering of “Love Yourz.”
Pusha T Drops Off Exciting News:
Push’s set was of course riddled with career-defining cuts such as “Numbers On The Boards,” “Don’t Like,” and his verses off “Move That Dope,” “Runaway,” and “Mercy.” However, the most interesting part of the G.O.O.D. Music President’s set came with the revelation that his next album King Push was being produced by Kanye West “top to bottom,” explaining that the delay on the project’s release has been with ‘Ye's indecision on beats he’s made, opting to improve them whenever he gets a chance. "I done this album like three times," Pusha said. "[Kanye] come in and pick all the beats and shit and then he'd scarap them and say, 'I can do better.' These past two months we've just been locking in, day and night, getting this album perfect for y'all."
21 Savage's Hits Pick Up The Slack:
Among spectators of Made In America’s Liberty Stage were JAY-Z and Beyonce when it was time for 21 Savage to make his appearance. With not much derivation from other shows, his performance was rather subdued such is the nature of the Savage, whose seemingly timid and tame demeanor contrasts his musical alter ego. While his routine showcased a notable lack of energy, the weight of his music's influence balanced it out with enthusiastic fans rapping along to tracks like “No Heart,” “X,” and the now popular “Bank Account.”
KYLE Closes Out the TIDAL Stage:
Some ways across the park rapper KYLE was giving out every bit of energy in him to provide a show in accompaniment with his fellow SuperDuper Brick. Boisterous energy and well-received dance numbers paired well with renditions of “Don’t Wanna Fall In Love,” his newest “Nothing 2 Lose,” and his now quintessential “iSpy’.” The same stage was home to rising acts such as Kodie Shane, Ari Lennox, and A Boogie wit Da Hoodie who also took the time to announce that his newest project "The Bigger Artist" will be arriving on September 29th.
JAY-Z Takes His Rightful Place On Stage:
The last time JAY-Z headlined Made In America was in its debut in 2012, and it’s fitting that after the release of his 13th album 4:44, he returns to the spotlight of the festival he's been running from behind the scenes the past few years. He kicked off the fiery set with 4:44’s “Bam,” bringing out featured artist Damian Marley to lead the crowd in reciting the track’s hook. Soon after, fans were inundated in the enduring catalog of Hov, treated to renditions of “No Church In the Wild," “(Ain’t No Love) Heart of The City,” “Niggas in Paris,” and “Empire State of The Mind,” as a few examples. Naturally, 4:44 found itself peppered throughut the setlist, with Hova taking on”Marcy Me,” “Moonlight,” and Family Fued,” sans Beyonce despite the audience’s urges. “She’s not working tonight,” he said in response to chants of “Beyonce,” “But, that’s a beautiful gesture.”
He closed out his set with tried and true classics like “Hard Knock Life” and “99 Problems,” before paying tribute to the late Chester Bennington with a moving performance of the Linkin Park and JAY-Z collab “Numb/Encore.” It seemed that the show was over, but not until JAY-Z popped up at the adjacent Liberty Stage, joined by Philadelphia’s own golden boy, Meek Mill to run through “Young, Gifted, and Black,” and Meek’s own “Dreams and Nightmares.”