Made in America is made in the shade

Jay-Z’s Hip Hop and Electronic Music Festival returns for its annual Benjamin Franklin Parkway Takeover.

By this point, you need no introduction to Jay-Z’s Live Nation-assisted multi-day takeover of the Art Museum area, Made in America. Its abundance of street closures, complaining neighbors and food truck vendors all closing in on the Labor Day weekend. There’s no reason to remind you that Hova’s one-time schematic – one-night Hip Hop/R&B headliner and one-night Alterna-Rock line up topper – has been jettisoned for an all Hip Hop and Electronic music/DJ base.

All you need to know at this point, in regard to 2019’s iteration of Made in America is, at the last minute, the likes of soul singing barnstormer Lizzo (recently hot from her steamy appearance on the MTV Awards), Houston’s Megan Thee Stallion (their duet with Nicki Minaj, “Hot Girl Summer,” is my personal song of the season), and oddly dynamic Philadelphia rappers Lil Uzi Vert and Tierra Whack.

Jay could use a little help with the extra acts after his recent “we’ve moved past kneeling” comments regarding quarterback Colin Kaepernick, as well as his possible inclusion in the ranks of NFL team owners.

The additions are a great highlight to an already strong two night stand, August 31 and September 1, that includes spacey rapper Travis Scott and Cardi B. While Lady B has been on the Made in America bill before – when “Bodak Yellow” was still climbing the charts – this is her first true headlining showcase in Philly, and one would expect the powerful rapper with the Latino lilt to hit for the bleachers.

Hey, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders loves her. What makes you so special?

Also worth watching out for on the bill is every rapper’s best crooner, James Blake, the Avant R&B of Pink Sweat$, the jazz soulful crooning of Jorja Smith, the sunshiny funk of Anderson.Paak (another late addition), and the menacingly mirthful (and uniquely flowing) Blueface.

And no, I don’t know the entirety of who is playing what day.

Images: Michael Allen

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