Kendrick Lamar is the latest top-tier rapper to join this year’s Made In America billing. The Philly festival is the most recent addition to a busy late summer/fall itinerary of festival hopping for the rapper, who is also fresh off his TDE: Championship Tour with fellow Top Dog Entertainment artists SZA and Schoolboy Q. The announcement promises a “very special set” from Kung Fu Kenny, hinting at some major surprises.
Lamar will join a wildly stacked weekend lineup featuring huge names across hip-hop, dance music, and R&B, including Post Malone, Nicki Minaj, Diplo, Zedd, Cashmere Cat, Pusha T and more. The festival’s future was in question after the city’s mayor was reportedly set to ban MIA from the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the location in the heart of downtown used since the fest’s inaugural weekend in 2012. JAY-Z, the fest’s founder and organizer, put Mayor Jim Kenney on blast in a widely-publicized open letter. Thankfully, Mayor Kenney and HOV’s camp were able to smooth things over after meeting in person, and released a joint statement promising that the festival will remain in its original downtown location “for years to come,” and now Kendrick is cooking up something special to celebrate.
Benjamin Franklin Parkway cuts through the cultural heart of Philadelphia, and since 2012, Made in America has been held in that historic location. After Roc Nation and the mayors office met, Mayor Kenney wrote the following.
“I am greatly appreciative of everything that Made in America has done for the City of Philadelphia and I remain committed to its continued success. The Made in America festival belongs in Philadelphia—the birthplace of our country—and I’m optimistic that we can turn an unfortunate misunderstanding into a positive outcome and even stronger event. I look forward to working with Roc Nation and Live Nation, and maintaining this Philadelphia tradition for years to come.”
Thanks to Jay-Z’s actions, Made in America will stay in the historic landmark. Roc Nation’s COO, Desiree Perez, followed, discussing the candid and constructive nature of their conversation. Any miscommunications in the incident and concerns for were aptly addressed as both parties are excited to move forward. Both statements from the mayor and Jay-Z were made without proper face-to-face communication, citing proper dialogue as a integral action towards progress.
JAY-Z‘s Made in America Festival will host its final iteration at the Ben Franklin Parkway from September 1-2, 2018, after which the annual Labor Day Weekend event will relocate.
Made in America’s need to identify a new venue for its succeeding years of production comes after a statement from the office of Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. “This is the last year MIA will be held on the Parkway,” the office proclaims, “It’s unclear how MIA will want to proceed in the future but the City is interested in discussing alternate locations within Philadelphia for future years.” Made in America’s coerced migration from the Parkway will disrupt the festival’s six-year streak at the locale, hosted in the heart of the city since its inception. The statement continues, “Over the years, tourism has grown overall and the need for an event of this scale at this location may no longer be necessary.”
While the office adds that it remains, open to the event continuing elsewhere, Made in America’s eviction from its long term home did not please festival founder and rap mogul JAY-Z, who since penned an open letter expressing his disappointment with the mayor’s ousting of MIA from the Parkway. The rap mogul counterclaims that Kenney’s move, “signifies zero appreciation for what Made In America has built alongside the phenomenal citizens of this city.”
“Made in America is a multi-cultural platform that represents strength, freedom of speech, and perseverance for artists and music lovers,” JAY-Z writes. He continues, stating, “The Parkway is a cultural arts center that is symbolic to over 600 artists that have performed at this event. The Parkway captures the freedom and spirit of inclusivity that drew us to the city of Brotherly Love.” HOV does not indicate whether his festival property will leave Philadelphia altogether, or how the event organizers plan to relocate the festival in the future. JAY-Z goes on to disclose that the Kenney administration even tried to put a halt on this year’s edition of MIA.
The Made in America festival is a multi-cultural platform that represents strength, freedom of speech and perseverance for artists and music lovers. Philadelphia, an iconic city, represents those ideals. The location is integral to the pulse of the festival. The Parkway is a cultural arts center that is symbolic to over 600 artists that have performed at this event. The Parkway captures the freedom and spirit of inclusivity that drew us to the city of Brotherly Love. The celebratory nature and essence of this festival has inspired locals as well as visitors from across the nation to enjoy Labor Day in Philadelphia.
We are disappointed that the Mayor of the City of Philadelphia would evict us from the heart of the city, through a media outlet, without a sit-down meeting, notice, dialogue or proper communication. It signifies zero appreciation for what Made In America has built alongside the phenomenal citizens of this city.
In fact, this administration immediately greeted us with a legal letter trying to stop the 2018 event.
Since 2012, Made in America, one of the only minority-owned festivals, has had a positive $102.8 million economic impact to Philadelphia and the festival has paid $3.4 million in rent to the City. Made in America employs over 1000 Philadelphians each day and 85 percent of our partners are Philadelphia based companies.
We have studies and reports that prove the festival significantly contributes to Philadelphia’s tourism bottom line. We cannot comment if the Mayor has reviewed any of these materials.
We consider this stance a failure on the Mayor’s part. Is this an accurate representation of how he and his administration treat partners that economically benefit his city? Do they regularly reject minority-owned businesses that want to continue to thrive and grow alongside his city’s people?
In addition to contributing to Philadelphia, since its inception, Made in America has donated $2.9 million to the United Way of Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. Cause Village, the festival’s philanthropic footprint and hub for social action, averages more than 15,000 social actions taken over the two-days via ongoing partnerships with more than 56 charitable and activist organizations representing all causes.
How does an administration, merely discard an event that generates millions in income and employs the city’s people as if we are disposable now that we have served our purpose? The city is right, in one respect, the first Made in America festival took place when there was a great need for tourism. By their admission, the festival first started as a “unique attraction to the City on an otherwise quiet Labor Day weekend. Over the years, tourism has grown overall.” Our question is, “How do you think that tourism grew, Mayor Kenney?”
We will discuss our options internally and handle accordingly.
Beyoncé and JAY-Z‘s net worth now stands at a whopping $1.25 billion, according to Forbes’ latest assessment of the couple’s collective value.
Beyoncé’s net worth sits at $355 million, while JAY-Z’s sits at a cool $900 million. Whereas Forbes attributes much of Beyoncé’s stature to album sales and profit derived from live performances, the business source credits JAY-Z’s staggering net worth to JAY-Z’s business acumen, evidenced by the $600 million dollar value of JAY-Z’s streaming service, TIDAL.
Beyoncé and JAY-Z’s combined net worth can only be expected to augment given The Carters‘ recent release of their first collaborative album Everything Is Love.
June 16 was a stressful day for all of those Queen B and Jay-Z lovers that weren’t subscribed to TIDAL, as the iconic duo released their surprise 9-track album EVERYTHING IS LOVE, as The Carters. The project marked their strengthened union following events of Lemonade, and featured steamy verses from both acts involved.
The tracks arrived at major streaming providers like Spotify and Apple Music a mere two days later, however, and now they have announced that CDs will be available on Friday, June 6. There is no report on whether or not vinyl records will also be released, but fans are excited to now be getting the album through all different mediums.
Drake‘s revealed the tracklist for his forthcoming album Scorpion, which is slated for a June 29 release via Young Money/Cash Money/Republic Records. The tracklist, Drake’s most extensive to date, boasts 25 tracks in total including the Pusha T diss “I’m Upset,” as well as “Nice for What,” and “God’s Plan.” The album, largely featureless, does include contributions from Ty Dolla $ign, JAY-Z, and a posthumous Michael Jackson collaboration appears to be on the way as well.
Scorpion is a long overdue deliverance from Drake, not to mention it’s a double-sided album with a song called “Ratchet Happy Birthday” — really what more could a Drake fan ask for.
Beyoncé and JAY-Z finally released their collaborative album under their new alias, The Carters, titled Everything Is Love. The full album is available on Tidal, while a number of singles are on YouTube. JAY mentioned the two were working together when producing 4:44 and Lemonade. He told the The New York Timeshim and his wife use music as therapy, and from the sound of the new album, therapy is working.
The power couple also released two music videos for “APESHIT” and SALUD!” The former was directed by Ricky Saiz and shot at the Louvre in Paris; the latter is co-produced by Cool & Dre and exclusively on Tidal.
Some standout lines on “APESHIT” include Queen B bringing the hype with “Gimme my check//Put some respect on my check//Or pay me in equity//Watch me reverse out of debt.” Or when Hova concludes his first verse with “Tell the Grammy’s fuck that 0 for 8 shit//Have you ever seen the crowd goin’ apeshit?” Alluding to getting shut out at this year’s Grammys. Migos and Pharrell are also on the track, further certifying its heat.
Throughout the album, a blend of old-school hip-hop and new school trap tropes combine with soul, blues, gospel, jazz, and other acoustically treated music. Beyoncé’s masterful vocal arrangements along with dynamic voice distortions and Jay’s contrasted voice, flow effortlessly together.
The dynamic duo calls reference to the Super Bowl, Spotify, Meek Mills with odes to Dr. Dre and The Notorious B.I.G. There’s some dialogue between the two on “LOVEHAPPY,” vulnerably expressing some tension in their relationship. They seem like they’re collectively confident on most of the album, giving zero cares about any other noise around them. Turn up the bass on “HEARD ABOUT US,” “BLACK EFFECT,” and “BOSS.”
They slow it down on the intro track, “Summer,” with a downtempo, love vibe. Bee’s soulful, soft voice glides along acoustic elements with jazzy fills for extra color. Jay’s contrast with his wife’s voice is just as natural as their personal connection.
Everything Is Love is everything fans love about these icons. They’re currently on their co-headlining On The Run II tour. The last time the two of them toured together was On The Run in 2014.
Norwegian newspaper, Dagens Næringslivsaid, has accused the streaming service Tidal of deliberately inflating its streaming data behind Beyoncé’s Lemonade and Kanye West’s The Life Of Pablo by hundreds of millions of plays, consequently leading to “massive royalty payouts” for the two artists at the expense of other, smaller acts.
Tidal has since issued a statement denying the claims, even going so far as to call the accusations a “smear campaign.”
“This is a smear campaign from a publication that once referred to our employee as an ‘Israeli Intelligence officer’ and our owner as a ‘crack dealer,’” in reference to a January 2017 report in which Dagens Næringsliv described Jay-Z and Roc Nation executive Lior Tibon with the aforementioned details. “We expect nothing less from them than this ridiculous story, lies and falsehoods. The information was stolen and manipulated and we will fight these claims vigorously.”
Dagens Næringslivs backs its claims of Tidal’s forgery with an analysis on internal data it reportedly received on a hard drive they had obtained that contained “billions of rows” of song titles, user IDs, and country codes, and found that – as translated into English partially by Music Business Worldwide – massive repeats of Beyoncé’s and Kanye West’s latest albums were present.
According to the data, one such user streamed Beyoncé’s 46-minute album 180 times in 24 hours which would add up to 8,280 minutes, though there are only 1,440 minutes in 24 hours.
After its exclusive Tidal release in February 2016, Tidal announced that TLOP was streamed 250 million times by its users in the first 10 days that it was available. Simultaneously, Tidal was claiming 3 million subscribers at the time — which averages out to each individual user streaming the album more than a dozen times a day. Similarly, Tidal also claimed that subscribers streamed Lemonade 306 million times in its first 15 days of availability when it was released that April.
After having received the hard drive of data, Dagens Næringsliv reportedly contracted the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s Center for Cyber and Information Security to run a forensic analysis on it. The CCIS found that 150 million TLOP plays and 170 million Lemonade plays were “duplicates” that did not reflect the actual listening activity of the subscribers they were attributed to. Tidal was made aware of the findings and their lawyer claimed at the time that the newspaper’s data has been falsified and that the study the CCIS conducted was done under false pretenses.
“The number of minutes elapsing before the track is re-entered in the log varies, but the time interval is always a variant of a figure multiplied by six minutes (6, 12, 18, 24, …). In addition, the tracks are restarted at the same second and millisecond,” the Dagens Næringsliv reads.
Ultimately, if the numbers do in fact prove to be falsified, and not a bug in the system, the implications on the industry are quite serious.
According to record label royalty payment reports obtained also by Dagens Næringsliv, Tidal paid West’s record label Universal upwards of $3.8 million dollars following the album’s release. Of that total, $2.3 million was directly in relation to TLOP. The service also paid $2.5 million to Beyoncé’s label Sony in April and May of 2016, though the total royalty payment exceeded $4 million.
To supplement its data, Dagens Næringsliv also spoke with several Tidal subscribers who were identified as frequent listeners in the data set. One user, who was confronted with numbers showing that he had listened to TLOP songs 96 times in one day, had some choice words: “It’s physically impossible.”
Ekali played to a packed Sahara tent in the middle of the afternoon
As if closing out the Do LaB tent wasn’t enough of an achievement, Ekali’s Sahara tent set was a testament to his massive growth and range as a producer. With over 20,000 in attendance, it’s for certain that Ekali’s destined for a monumental year, and to that, a congratulations is in order.
Was expecting maybe a couple thousand people at Coachella today.. we had over twenty thousand. Not going to get over this for awhile
Party Favor‘s set was filled with surprises. Dropping off a fervent performance with surprises from Tyga, Jamie Foxx, and Rich The Kid, Party Favor saw that things got a even hotter out on the polo fields.
Danish pop artist MØ graduated from her “Lean On” performance two years ago at Coachella with Major Lazer and blew the crowd away with her main stage sunset performance, where she even managed to bring out a few friends along the way. In addition to performing a solo rendition of the Justin Beiber featured “Cold Water,” MØ brought out Charli XCX for “Porsche,” and danced onstage with Diplo for their collaboration “Get It Right.”
Photo Credit: Kevin Winter, Getty Images for Coachella
David Byrne rewrote history
Talking Heads’ frontman David Byrne took the stage with a performance of past and present classics in Stop making Sense fashion, even finishing on a cover of Janelle Monae’s “Hell You Talmbout,” listing names of black victims of police violence with an absolutely epic drum-heavy rendition.
Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison, Getty Images for Coachella
Beyoncé took the throne
Queen B delivered. As expected, Beyoncé’s headlining performance was nothing short iconic. Undoubtedly, it’ll go down as one of the greatest Coachella performances in history with Beyoncé standing as the first ever woman of color to headline the festival. “Ain’t that ’bout a bitch?” she quixotically squealed, when talking about the phenomena.
Photo Credit: Larry Busacca, Getty Images for Coachella
Moving through her performance with poise, hair flowing, barely seeming to break a sweat, Beyoncé’s energy and the performance’s production proved she’s one of the greatest entertainers to ever grace the stage. The New York Times has even gone so far to call her bigger than Coachella in their latest editorial.
She opened with a performance of “Crazy In Love,” brought out her husband JAY-Z for one of their many collaborations “Déjà Vu,” had her sister Solange come out for “Get Me Bodied,” and then she did the unthinkable. She saved humanity. I mean—and then she reunited Destiny’s Child.
Although rumors of a Destiny’s Child reunion have been circulating for months, nothing comes close to the real thing. The trio performed “Lose My Breath,” “Say My Name,” and “Soldier.”
“I was supposed to perform last year but I got pregnant, thank God,” Beyoncé said before closing her set with an a cappella rendition of her uplifting “Love On Top.” “I had time to dream with two beautiful souls in my belly and this is everything and more I had in my dream, so thank you for sharing this with me. I want to sing this last song to all my incredible, beautiful fans. Loyal fans. Ride or dies. I love y’all.”