“When in Rome, do as Romans,” Wale said, before introducing his crew mate. “When in Philly, you bring out Meek Mill.”
Before a crew as deep as Maybach Music Group opens a show, there are decisions to be made. Do you overwhelm the audience with the weight of the biggest star and the most known song? Or do you parse out the artists one at a time, each act upping the ante for the next? MMG chose the latter.
Wale first bounced onto the stage to the tune of “Chain Music,” from his appropriately titled Ambition album. While the crowd enthusiastically recited the chorus (“Chain so big, can’t pop my collar”) Wale opted for a do over. After a clipped version of his song, he darted off stage and returned with “The Work (Workin’).”
“This was the song I was supposed to come out to,” he said.
With the famous Philadelphia Museum of Art as a backdrop–the gloves of Rocky’s statue peeked over the gate–Meek Mill charged onto the stage, his gold chains beat his chest. He roused the set with his raucous song, “House Party.” He then pumped up “Boss” an obvious, if fitting, segway to bring out–who else?–the Bawse.
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For forty-five minutes, Ross and team, which also included Stalley and Rockie Fresh, but not Omarion, touched on twenty songs designed to sweat out festival-goers. Towels helicoptered above their heads and the voice of Jessica Gomez reciting the signature “Maybach Music” drop, further riled the audience.
Rozay broke the momentum, only once, for a moment of thanks.
“For those of you who do not know this, the big homie Jay-Z gave me my first record deal,” Ross said, refering to Jigga’s tenure as Def Jam head. “For me to be a part of this Made In America thing, to be standing with my dream team, there’s only one song to describe this feeling.”
He fired up his verse from DJ Khaled’s “I’m On One,” which features Lil Wayne and Drake, who did not appear on stage tonight (Drake performs on Sunday). But Ross’ team was clearly on hand to back up the bossman. —Erik Parker, CBS Local