Sunday, 13 October 2013


Showtime's documentary "Made In America," (premiered Friday night on Showtime) from director Ron Howard, goes behind the scenes of the making of one of the biggest concert events of the year -- Jay Z's Made In America festival in Philadelphia (September 1, 2012).

The documentary follows the artists (From Jay Z to Run-D.M.C., The Hives to Pearl Jam, Kanye West to Jill Scott, Santigold to Passion Pit and more) as they prepare for and play their sets, but it also gets perspective from festival security guards, crew members, promoters and food vendors, and even the mayor of Philadelphia.

It's a fascinating look at Jay Z's rise -- including a scene where he visits his old apartment, which now has a view of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn that houses his 40/40 Club -- and at what artists are doing to help revive local economies and bring people from all walks of life together.

Jay Z explains that his impetus for Made in America was to create a multi-genre festival in which people of all backgrounds can mesh. "Made in America could become a place where people of all cultures gather and have fun being themselves," he says. The rapper vehemently states that he’s "not an elected official," yet his words could foreshadow a new hip-hop political platform: "America is now being accepting of all cultures," he says. "We have a black president now. . . . We’ve made steps as far as racism. Now we have to make steps towards sexism, gay rights. . . . We’re all people at the end of the day. . . . We all have that belief that you can make it here in the land of the free and the home of the brave." Rolling Stone recaps the most memorable moments here

Ron Howard with Beyonce Knowles-Carter and Jay-Z backstage during the Budweiser Made In America Festival

Just ignore the small pop-up and press play

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