Nightlife & Music

‘Made In America’ Artists With Philadelphia Connections

August 30, 2012 8:00 AM

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There are 32 artists slated to perform at this year’s first-ever Budweiser Made in America Festival, curated by Jay Z. The event aims to “embody the American spirit,” but many of the performers also embody Philadelphia’s spirit. Here’s who has ties to the City of Brotherly Love. – Chelsea Karnash
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Jay-Z

Made in America’s curator has signed numerous artists in Philadelphia, including State Property, which is made up of rappers Beanie Sigel, Freeway, Peedi Peedi, Young Gunz, Omillio Sparks, Casha, and Oschino. Jay-Z also attended Trenton Central High School in Trenton, NJ but didn’t graduate.

When Jay-Z announced that he was curating Philly’s Made In America Fest, he referred to his “love affair” with the city and cited his ongoing film collaboration with Philadelphia native Will Smith. He also said that the two-day concert will benefit the nonprofit United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.

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Santigold

Santigold, born Santi White, is a Mt. Airy native who attended Germantown Friends School before leaving for college. She was the lead singer of Philly punk rock group Stiffed and has worked with fellow Philadelphia musicians Chuck Treece and Diplo.

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Meek Mill

Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill’s 2011 single “Ima Boss” reached #20 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts and #51 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Earlier this summer, Meek Mill’s single “Amen” (featuring Drake) caused some controversy in Philly, where a local pastor offended by the song attempted to forge a movement to boycott the rapper. After Meek Mill issued a public apology and alleged he had meant no disrespect to any religion, the Philadelphia pastor likewise issued a statement of forgiveness.

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Janelle Monae

R&B/soul singer Janelle Monae was born in Kansas City, but she later attended Philly performing arts school the Freedom Theatre, which is the oldest African-American theater in the city.

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Pearl Jam

Famed rock group Pearl Jam played the last concert ever to be held at the Philadelphia Spectrum back on October 31, 2009. The band brought down the house during their nearly four hour performance, which included a tribute to the soon-to-be-demolished Spectrum’s history.

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Jill Scott

The actress/singer was raised in North Philadelphia as a Jehovah’s Witness and attended the Philadelphia High School for Girls and Temple University. Scott was studying to be an English teacher, but later dropped out of Temple after becoming disillusioned with her chosen career path. She also lived in nearby Mount Laurel, NJ and once had an acting fellowship at a Philadelphia theater.

Since making it big and moving to California, Scott has founded a charity, the Blues Babe Foundation (named after her grandmother), which helps cover university expenses for students from Philly, Camden and the Delaware Valley.

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Passion Pit

Electropop group Passion Pit recently released the video for their new single, “Take A Walk,” which follows the trajectory of a ball through Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs. The video spotlights local sites like Fairmount Park, Northern Liberties and Maple Acres Farm in Plymouth Meeting.

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