Jay-Z helped turn Philadelphia into a veritable music lover’s paradise over Labor Day weekend with the debut of his two-day Made in America festival. The fest, which the superstar hopes to make a yearly one, included performances from Janelle Monáe, D’Angelo, Miike Snow, Odd Future, Skrillex, The Hives, Santigold, Dirty Projectors, and Drake, in addition to headline performances by Pearl Jam and Jay-Z himself. It also marked hip-hop legends Run-DMC’s first return to the stage since the death of founding member Jam Master Jay in 2002 — featuring both of the DJ’s sons on the turntables in a very fitting tribute.
Surprise collaborations were a theme of the weekend, as well, with Eve joining Jill Scott during her set; Kanye West and his G.O.O.D. Music crew (including Common, Pusha T, Big Sean, and 2 Chainz) storming the stage to close out Jay-Z’s performance, and day one, with renditions of “Mercy,” “New God Flow,” and, of course, “Ni**as in Paris”; and Jay himself joining Pearl Jam for an unprecedented take on “99 Problems.” Even President Obama showed up, albeit in video form, urging people to vote while Jay looked on. And while Beyoncé never did perform, she joined her husband on site all weekend, where the pair were often spotted with director Ron Howard, on location to film an upcoming documentary about the event. Click through for our exclusive photo gallery from Made in America to see more of what went down in Philly.
Janelle Monáe. Photo credit: Jessica K. Chou