PHILADELPHIA — Jay-Z once bragged in song that he beat his assault charges "like Rocky." Well, it's been more than a decade since, and Hov — the multiplatinum mogul who remains atop music's food chain — has done more than simply beat the charge.
On Monday morning (May 14), rap's most magnetic man drew a crowd of reporters and media types to the very steps that the fictional boxer Rocky has made famous. Standing triumphantly at the peak of the staircase of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Hov and Philly Mayor Michael Nutter announced yet another prolific Jay-venture: Budweiser Made in America, a two-day music festival in Philadelphia, this Labor Day weekend.
"Everyone knows my love affair with Philly from the amazing, talented artists I've signed from here," Jay said, prompting State Property MC Freeway to jump onstage beside him.
Jay-Z will not only headline the festival, he will also curate the three-stage concert, which will feature close to 30 different acts. Still, for the God MC, there are a few things to consider before pulling off stunts such as these.
"Whenever I enter into a project, I try to hit on some touch points. The first thing is: Is it great?" Jay asked rhetorically, addressing the crowd, which braved some clouds and drizzle. "The second one is: Is it gonna push the culture forward?"
Forward progress is a safe bet: A press release for the upcoming event promises eclectic acts in multiple genres like rock, hip-hop, R&B, Latin and dance music, but the official roster won't be announced until May 21.
The third item Jay considers is the philanthropic opportunities, so once again, he is partnering with United Way. Together, they put on Jigga's February Carnegie Hall concert in New York, and this time out, they aim to support local charities in both Philly and South New Jersey.
The show will be held September 1 and September 2 on Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park. Tickets for Made in America will go on sale May 23 through Ticketmaster.com and LiveNation.com.