As controversy continues to rage in Philadelphia over rapper Meek Mill’s probation case, the mayor’s office has moved to boot the popular Made In America festival created by Jay-Z, the founder of Meek’s Roc Nation label.
A rep for Philly Mayor Jim Kenney dropped a bombshell Tuesday: “This is the last year [the fest] will be held on the [Ben Franklin] Parkway.” That was apparently news to Jay-Z and Roc Nation — as well as the concert’s promoter, Live Nation.
Jay-Z fired back Wednesday, revealing in a statement that the mayor’s office also tried to cancel this year’s fest — which will feature Meek Mill, Nicki Minaj and Post Malone on Sept. 1 and 2.
“We are disappointed that the Mayor … would evict us from the heart of the city, through a media outlet, without a sit-down meeting, notice, dialogue or proper communication,” the hip-hop mogul wrote. “It signifies zero appreciation for what Made In America has built alongside the phenomenal citizens of this city.”
He added, “In fact, this administration immediately greeted us with a legal letter trying to stop the 2018 event.”
Roc Nation COO Desiree Perez exclusively told us that she’d previously tried to reach out to the mayor’s office and never heard back before the city publicly said the fest would move. “I’d love to have a conversation,” she said. “We’re shocked. We couldn’t believe it. We don’t have a clue about the hostility we’ve received.”
Jay-Z said the minority-owned fest, which has included Rihanna, Kanye West and Pearl Jam, has brought $102.8 million to the city, paid $3.4 million in rent and employed thousands.