May 15, 2012


Jay-Z Will Invite President Obama to Perform at His Philly Fest

Gilbert Carrasquillo
Gilbert Carrasquillo

President Obama totally aced his audition—remember that impromptu performance of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" at the Apollo Theater on January 19?—and now he's subsequently landed a headlining spot at a major summer music fest, if he so chooses to accept the gig. Seriously: Jay-Z says he'll invite the Commander-in-Chief to perform at his just-announced Budweiser Made in America festival, which is set to descend on Philadelphia's Fairmont Park on September 1 and 2.

In an interview with Rolling Stone held Monday on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum, where the rapper and mayor Michael Nutter unveiled plans for the fest, Hova said that he's looking to book artists that embody the American spirit. Writer scribe Jeff Rosenthal responded, saying, "I've got a guy: he's got a beautiful voice and he sings Al Green songs well. The only problem is that he's super-busy and Donald Trump thinks he was born overseas."

"[Laughs] Ah, yeah, that guy. I'm gonna try," said Jay-Z. "I'm gonna tell you guys right now: I'm gonna give him a call and I'm gonna try to get him to perform—do a little rendition of Al Green—but I doubt it. I think that opens up the political season. He'll be so far into helping the world that he probably won't have time, but I'm absolutely going to ask him." 

Jay, who is curating the fest and headlining Saturday night, said that the bill will feature 29 artists—"to start with," he clarifies—and that his baby's momma/wifey Beyonce might be among them. "I tried to put it far enough away that she'd have a little gap in her schedule," he said, "so hopefully that works."

And it sounds like Hova won't be all business over Labor Day weekend—he's planning to kick it at Made in America fest, too. "I'll probably get one of those silly headsets with the thing, just to look important," he joked. "I don't really need it, but I'll just do that. Overall, have a good time. You'll see me with probably a beer in my hand [editor's note: I'm guessing a Budweiser], just enjoying the festivities and the music like everyone else. I'ma try and keep it as normal and simple as possible." Sounds good!

In related news, Jay also supported Obama's endorsement of gay marriage equality, which is an evolution for the rapper who dropped homophobic lyrics earlier in his career. "I've always thought [of] it as something that's still holding the country back," Jay-Z told CNN about the lack of legal recognition for same-sex couples. "What people do in their own homes is their business ... It's no different than discriminating against blacks. It's discrimination, plain and simple."

So will Fuse see you at Made in America fest this September? Tell us in the comments below.

President Obama Sings Al Green's "Let's Stay Together":