Who stood out at "Made in America" Festival this past weekend?
Jay-Z's Labor Day music festival rarely disappoints those who make the annual pilgrimage. The event taking place over the Ben Franklin Parkway in the heart of Philadelphia was temporarily home to thousands of festival attendees and a marquee lineup consisting of Meek Mill, Kendrick Lamar, Tekashi 6ix9ine, Lil Uzi, 6LACK, Pusha T, Lil Uzi, and Post Malone.
For starters it was Kendrick Lamar who received plaudits for reinventing his set for a Philadelphia audience that had already seen him perform twice this season. Kenny knew the fiercely proud grass roots crowd would get a kick out of seeing one of their own invited on stage, his weapon of choice a bubbling local rapper-singer by the name of Bri Steves.
While Nicki Minaj's set has been summarized as a hot mess, it wasn't so because it lacked in entertainment value. Hearing "FEFE" live with Tekashi on stage had festival-goers wet in their socks.
Nicki Minaj recovered from a wardrobe malfunction by relaxing in her Cleopatra pose.“You know what? Let’s go at it. They'll see my nipples at least 50 times tonight,” she interjected before getting back to her frenzied pace on stage.
Lil Uzi joined Nicki to perform "The Way Life Goes" remix, in parallel kawaii outfits which really sold their "sibling" relationship as one of care and concern. Makes you wonder what Tekashi and Nicki were pitching with "FEFE," on a level of fictional intimacy.
On the undercard, performers like Miguel kept festival crowd wrapt until the more boisterous headliners took the stage. Miguel's performance wasn't so much a light show but he did bring a peculiar conversational dynamic to his set, at once yelling, "If you're nasty and you know it, clap your hands," while taking a serious turn some time later in his set to explain his mixed heritage to a surprisingly attentive crowd.