Jay-Z says that the current mayor of the city of Philadelphia tried to shut down and banned the annual Made in America Festival.
Jay-Z Blasts Philadelphia Mayor
In an op-ed published by the Philly Inquirer on Tuesday, July 18, the rapper called out Mayor Jim Kenney for evicting the music festival from the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
"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," he wrote. "It signifies zero appreciation for what Made In America has built alongside the phenomenal citizens of this city."
Parkway has been the venue of the Made in America Festival since its creation in 2012. However, recently, a report from a local paper revealed that the next iteration of the festival will take place elsewhere. Apparently, holding the annual music festival, which was attended by stars such as J.Cole and Chance The Rapper, can be quite expensive.
Last year alone, the city spent more than $1.1 million in various services including EMS coverage, Parks & Rec support, and police overtime for the star-studded event. Jay-Z's Roc Nation covered $600,000.
While Made in America lost its primary sponsor, Budweiser, which has started concentrating on country music, Roc Nation insists that it can continue covering the expenses with the help of new partners. However, the local paper asserts that the entertainment company's payments could not cover the full expense of the event.
The source says that Mayor Kenney is willing to find another suitable venue for the music festival within the city.
Jay-Z, in his op-ed argued that Made in America has been beneficial for the city, too, not only because of its economic impact, but also because the event has made donations to several local organizations. Since 2012, the two-day festival has given $2.9 million to the United Way of Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.
Philadelphia Mayor Responds To Jay-Z's Fiery Op-Ed
In a statement to Variety, Mayor Kenney immediately responded to Jay-Z's op-ed. He called the situation a misunderstanding and said that he hopes to continue the partnership between Roc Nation and the city of Philadelphia.
"We are committed to its continued success and thank them for their partnership," read the statement. "We hope to be able to resolve what has been an unfortunate misunderstanding. We are working with Roc Nation and Live Nation to resolve this issue and we are committed to continuing our partnership with the Made in America festival."
Made in America this year will take place from Sept. 1 to Sept. 2. The lineup for this year's two-day event includes Nicki Minaj, Post Malone, Janelle Monáe, Diplo, Alessa Cara, Ty Dolla $ign, Rich The Kid, Jay Park, Sabrina Claudio, Cashmere Cat, 6lack, Zedd, Miguel, and Philadelphia's own Meek Mill.