We back! Yes, yes y’all! It’s been awhile now, but we can say the phrase just as Boogie Down Productions did back in ’88, “My posse from the Bronx is thick!” It started to trend upward about a year ago, when the tandem of Remy Ma and Fat Joe got it poppin’. Their work, combined with what French Montana was doing, had eyes and ears focused on the birth place of hip-hop, the Boogie Down Bronx. The year 2017 finds two acts set to carry the baton well into the next year and beyond. That’s not a speculative statement. Look at what the numbers and accomplishments say. For the first act, A Boogie Wit da Hoodie, in a little over a year’s time, has collected two platinum plaques for “My Shit” and “Drowning,” featuring Kodak Black, which peaked at No. 38 on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as two gold singles in “Jungle” and “Timeless.” For Cardi B, the accession has been a little faster and higher. As she is riding high on what could be the banger of the summer with “Bodak Yellow.” The song has sprinted to the No. 3 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, going gold and climbing in the process. With those credentials in tow, it was no wonder that they were two of the most anticipated performers to grace the stages at the 2017 Made in America Festival. Fans braved drenching rainfall, creating muddy shoes, for the bulk of the opening day of the festival, Saturday, Sept. 2, to rock out with a selection of artists, including A Boogie, Cardi B, Migos, Solange and the top biller J. Cole.
Day 2 promised to be bigger and better, whether the weather cooperated or not, as the curator of the festival, Shaun Carter, as his superhero alter ego, JAY-Z, closed the two-day event. Warming up the crowd throughout the day were stellar performances by 21 Savage, Pusha T and Run the Jewels. By 9:45 p.m., with the weather cooperating, the weekend-long anticipation was rewarded. Opening his set with a selection from the new project “4:44,” entitled “Bam,” with Damian Marley accompanying, it was an indicator of how things were going to be, As JAY-Z acknowledged, “Oh, it’s gonna be a special night tonight.” The second song of the set, “PSA,” created the high that the audience couldn’t come down from. With the crowd squarely in the palm of his hands, JAY-Z chided the audience to wish his wife a happy birthday in song, with both the traditional and the Stevie Wonder versions. Being a little greedy, the crowd chanted for Beyoncé to take the stage for one of the smash duets, “Shining” in particular, but that was swiftly shut down. “She’s not working tonight,” he stated. No need. He got this!
New York, we get our shot to see JAY-Z in the festival format as he headlines the Meadows Music and Arts Festival, Sept. 15 to Sept. 17 at Citi Field. Also slated to perform are Nas, Erykah Badu, Future, Run the Jewels and LL Cool J.
As for the aforementioned wife, Beyoncé, she and George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Barbra Streisand, Jamie Foxx, Reese Witherspoon and Oprah Winfrey are among the stars lined up to appear in a one-hour telethon set for Sept. 12 that will raise money for Hurricane Harvey relief. “Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Harvey Relief” will air live at 8 p.m., ET, across ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and cable channel CMT.
Proceeds from the event will be distributed to a range of charities aiding recovery efforts in Beyoncé’s hometown of Houston, which was ravaged last week by the storm and widespread flooding in Harvey’s wake.
Over and out. Holla next week. Til then, enjoy the nightlife.