So Jay-Z announced this year’s Made in America (his Philly music fest) lineup this week. The lineup itself is old news by now (find it here) – I just need to talk about the way in which Jay chose to deliver the information to us common people.
Because it wasn’t just some snazzy graphic/e-poster uploaded to the event’s website or a press release or anything like that. Obviously something normal like that is just way too basic for Jay.
No, Made in America is the reason that you would have found me glued to my computer for an HOUR on Wednesday afternoon, watching a SPOTIFY playlist populate with tracks from the artists to be featured at this year’s Made in America. YES.
First of all, I was already impressed by the originality of the overall idea. I don’t think anyone has done this before, and it’s cool to see a business partnership work out as being honestly cool and not forced or weird. It really worked for the benefit of the event and showed off Spotify’s capabilities, and that was just really beautiful to me, okay.
Secondly, there was SERIOUS TACT to this. Someone was clearly paid to devise the plan of who would be added to the playlist when. This was not some willy-nilly order and OBVIOUSLY they couldn’t just publish the complete playlist at once.
So this lineup unveiling became an event in and of itself, full of emotion and suspense that effectively makes me want to travel to Philadelphia just for this one event because I already feel emotionally invested in the Made in America brand, you guys.
So here I am, Spotify open, waiting…
Nine Inch Nails was the first to be announced. Last year Pearl Jam co-headlined with Jay himself (kind of WUT), so I suppose NIN is the new Pearl Jam this year. Fine.
Next was Solange. I was basically like is this a joke. Does anyone care about Solange? Are you just doing this because you have to to please your wife? Are these seriously the first two artists you’re pulling out the hat? Give me a break.
Then a slew of more acts I didn’t care about popped up, like The Gaslight Anthem, Emeli Sandé (Who is she, really? Does the music industry just feel like they owe her something because she won that Grammy?), Walk the Moon, etc.
I was getting real bored, BUT THEN, Kendrick Lamar’s “Poetic Justice,” featuring Drake came up and I was like HELL YES.
I LOVE me some K-Dot lately. It was pretty mean to put a song featuring Drake, though, because he’s not on the bill. So what was that. Don’t mess with grey areas like that, I’m already way more emotional than a person who’s just looking at a Spotify playlist should be.
Next was some more indie acts including electronic producer Wolfgang Gartner, who’s pretty dece. I found early on that the trick to getting through this emotional roller coaster was to distract myself by playing the parts of the playlist I liked, and before I knew it, something else I was interested in would pop up. Tracks were added about two minutes apart, so this worked well.
So I was just chillin’ with “Poetic Justice” on repeat when WIZ KHALIFA showed up to the party. Things were turning around.
(Yes, that is Draco Malfoy.)
An EDM duo very dear to my heart, Nero, was announced soon after (for those who don’t know – aka everyone – they were the subject of my extremely disastrous first-ever backstage interview at a music festival, but were so insanely sweet and made me feel not like an idiot and the interview turned out totally fine, etc etc etc. It was all logistic error on the organizer’s fault. OBVIOUSLY I have no flaws).
ANYWAY, that was all fine and good, but then another slew of really boring things started coming one after the other, and I was pretty much like, “This is on the downhill,” “What am I even waiting for anymore,” “Was NIN seriously the biggest thing here, like, come on.” Calvin Harris pops as a second-time Made in America artist and I’m just like really …….. this is all you’re giving me right now.
Phoenix is added next, and I’m like “Alright. That’s not so bad…FOR A MUSIC FEST IN TWO-THOUSAND-AND-NINE.”
But really, considering how expertly Jay brought together urban, pop, EDM and alternative artists last year, I was happy someone as good as Phoenix would be appearing to represent their respective genre. Good.
Porter Robinson, another EDM artists was added – I started to (and still) fear this this is going to be a little heavy on the “rave”y artists, but I guess you have to follow trends to make money, amiright.
Well whatever, none of this matters because MF-ing 2 CHAINZ IS GONNA BE THERE. When “I’m Different” popped up as I was listening to something else on the list I metaphorically jumped. I mean, I was laying in bed, but in my head maybe I could have done a simultaneous horizontal hover. Or something.
–> –> NEXT WAS MACKLEMORE. <– <–
HOW COME THEY DECIDED TO DO TWO BIG ONES IN A ROW. I didn’t know, but I was glad things were starting to heat up, because the beginning would have been enough to make me leave and come back when it was over. Except I did have to watch it in real time because my other job was paying me to do that. Aka reporting.
Next, a few more, including: Public Enemy (cool), Queens of the Stone Age (again with the “TWO-THOUSAND-AND-NINE” comment) and Deadmau5 (again with the “‘rave’y” comment).
I want to add, too, that at this point it had been about an hour. When will it end? Where’s the other headliner? Is it supposed to be one of these rappers already mentioned? Is Jay performing like he did last year? Finally, the last artist was added, and…
Then they also threw Miguel on the end and then repositioned the track into the middle of the playlist because they forgot about it! Miguel!!!!! “Adorn”!!!!!
So even amongst all the things I didn’t even mention because I don’t think I care about them, we still have all these great people taking the stage this year, an awesome mix of genres, and an opportunity to get to know the people I don’t think I care about, because they’re probably all great too!
Raise a glass to Jay for saving the best for last, I suppose.