Public Enemy’s Chuck D has stepped forward to defend his decision to not grace the stage at Jay-Z‘s Made In America Philadelphia music festival last weekend.
Although inspired by Run-DMC‘s performance, Chuck offered a psychological reason for not rocking the microphone.
“I was inspired today by Run DMC in Pennsylvania,” Chuck said in an interview shortly after the show Sunday night. They were invited to play Jay-Z’s inaugural Made in America festival in Philadelphia, which Chuck had some choice words about, both onstage at the Sound Academy and again in conversation. Even though he respects Jay-Z, he said that for political reasons, he declined to play at the festival. “I know I’m made in America but I’m really made on the planet,” he told CBC Music. “I’m not made by America. So, we like to protest and be difficult. But I salute them for bringing rap music to the forefront and for Run DMC to get that slot.” (CBC Music)
Over the weekend, Young Hov raised eyebrows when he brought out Run-DMC to take over the Philadelphia festival.
Reunited rappers Run-DMC, whose two principals hadn’t performed together in 13 years – their DJ Jam Master Jay die in 2002 – were the biggest crowd pleasers of the day. Rappers Darryl McDaniels and Joseph Simmons set off the crowd with 1980s rock power-chord boosted bangers like “it’s Tricky,” “My Adidas” and of course, their trailblazing Aerosmith collaboration “Walk This Way.” (Joe Perry and Steven Tyler were only, heard, and not seen, at Made In America, however.) In a touching interlude, the group handed over the wheels of steel to Jam Master Jay’s two sons Jason Mizell Jr. and TJ Mizell, both of whom grew up to be Deejays. For an added thrill, the big video screens showed Jay-Z and Beyonce moving through the crowd during the old school rappers’ set. (Philly)
Jigga also had iconic rock group Pearl Jam wrap up the festival.
If closing out a two-day festival with an intense two-hour set wasn’t enough for Pearl Jam, then bringing out the man who organized it sealed the deal. Jay-Z joined the group for its second-to-last encore Sunday with a rocking version of his signature hit “99 Problems.” While Jay closed out the first night of the Budweiser Made in America Festival, he handed the torch to the Seattle-based band grunge rockers and they did not disappoint. Their 25-song set saw tens of thousands of fans jumping, dancing, and singing on the muggy September night to the band’s well-known tracks like “Alive,” “Better Man,” and “Jeremy.” (Huffington Post)
Prior to the festivities kicking off, Philadelphia rapper Freeway gave SOHH a hint at what Jigga would have in store for the publicized event.
“Just be there, man, that’s all I’m going to say,” Freeway told SOHH. “It’s going to be electrifying. I know I’m gonna be there. Just be there, man. It’s just good to see all different types of genres of music come together. It’s good to see people doing something positive and it’s good. I’m a part of it no matter what. I’m a part of it Roc-A-Fella’s history. You can’t mention Roc-A-Fella without me and I’m a party of Philadelphia history. You can’t mention Philadelphia music without me, so, it’s big for me, it means a lot to me, you know? I’m happy that it’s going down.” (SOHH)
Check out Chuck D’s interview below: