By MESFIN FEKADU, Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jay-Z is in a Philadelphia State of Mind: The rapper announced a two-day music festival Monday in the City of Brotherly Love.
The "Budweiser Made in America" festival will feature nearly 30 acts "that embody the American spirit" across three stages at Fairmount Park on Sept 1. and Sept. 2, which is Labor Day weekend.
"It's such an iconic place, so it felt like a natural fit," Jay-Z said of Philadelphia in an interview after the news conference. "You'll get to come out and have two great days, listen to some amazing music (and) discover some new bands."
Jay-Z was joined by Mayor Michael Nutter atop the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, made famous by the movie "Rocky." A feverish crowd of fans was on hand, chanting his name. When one yelled out that Jay-Z was the best, the rapper paused and said: "I agree."
New York-born Jay-Z said 70 percent of the acts are confirmed, and will include rap, rock, R&B, Latin and dance artists.
"I've always believed in great music," he said. "I don't believe in the lines that separate music. ... That's for people that can't easily define what they're hearing, so they have to put it in some sort of box. Me, I listen to anything I like."
The festival will benefit the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. The full list of performers will be announced May 21 and tickets go on sale May 23. One possible performer will already be in town: Bruce Springsteen is scheduled to play at Citizens Bank Park on Sept. 2 and Sept. 3.
Jay-Z, 42, also talked about a film deal between his Roc Nation imprint and Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment. The entrepreneur said they're close to completing the film "Annie," which will star Smith's daughter, singer Willow.
"We'll be producing a number of films," he said. "We may have another (film) that comes before it, but we're looking at shooting 'Annie' pretty soon. (We're) just getting script together and that's pretty close."
Jay-Z and Beyonce had their first daughter, Blue Ivy, in January. He said of Beyonce's first Mother's Day: "Amazing. I can just imagine that sort of feeling. It was pretty good for her."
Mesfin Fekadu covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow him at http://www.twitter.com/musicmesfin
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