There was a lot of buzz around Kanye West and his headlining Budweiser Made in America Festival performance in Philadelphia on Saturday night (August 30). Throughout the day there was speculation about whether Yeezy would bring out his pal and festival curator Jay Z, or if ’Ye would perform a new song off of his upcoming LP.
Well, neither of those things happened, instead West brought his superstar self, all of his hits and a couple of masks. He also brought some new perspective and spoke up about the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards where comedian Jay Pharaoh made a joke at Yeezy’s expense.
“I called Jay Pharaoh right after the MTV awards,” ’Ye told the crowd, disapproving of the “Saturday Night Live” comedian’s impersonation of him at the August 24 award show.
“I’m not making it a black or white thing right now, but I’m telling you if you see a black guy anywhere he had to work 12 times as hard, excuse me,” he continued. “So we ain’t gonna have no black comedians going up on stage spoofing the people that’s working hard to open doors, not only for black people, but any creatives.”
Yeezy wasn’t all talk, there was music too. Actually it was the music that dominated ’Ye’s 90-minute set. He started with “Black Skinhead,” launched into the “I Don’t Like” remix and did classics like “Jesus Walks,” “All Falls Down” and “Good Life.”
West brought his usual passion, focus and attention to detail. At one point he stopped the show because the lighting guy missed a cue on “New Slaves.” At first, it was all a bit bewildering, but after the stage hands got things right you could see the difference and understand why West is so meticulous. And that’s how he approaches all of his art.
“It’s not a joke, it’s something that should be treated with respect, because we’re all in this together,” Kayne urged at a separate part of the show where he went on about the media, even mentioning MTV mainstays Sway Calloway and Charlamagne the God.
“And I got love for Sway, I got love for Charlamagne, I got love for all these people. Anybody in the media, all the tabloid covers,” he said. “I know everybody’s doing their job, but before we go to the next song I want people to realize that what we do, we put our love, our heart, our pain, our story, our lives into it. 3 a.m. every night in the studio for this.”
Yes, Kanye’s passion showed last night, especially at the end when he performed “Blood on the Leaves” for the second time during his set directing fans to open up multiple mosh pits to create that desired Yeezy effect.