Made In America: The Backstage Diaries, Day Two

Photo credit: Rolling Stone

We kicked off a rainy Sunday morning with brunch at Ms. Tootsie’s. After munching on shrimp and grits and their famous sweet tea, we fought off the itis and dragged ourselves to the park just in time to catch Santigold. The crappy weather made for a less crowded park, so I ventured over to check out some of the vendors.

There were lots of booths to choose from. The NAACP of Pennsylvania urged everyone to take a second to register to vote, while local DJs took the time to chat directly with listeners. I found some amazing art from @FlyGirrl and @Ameerahkart and gorgeous earrings from Diva Ears. Drake even had a booth set-up selling exclusive OVO gear, including a dope bright red hoodie embroidered with their signature gold owl.

I continued to wander around talking to strangers as Jill Scott took the main stage and put on for her city. Jilly from Philly covered all of her hits, looked amazing and sounding like smooth, velvet perfection. I made it back just in time for Gary Clark Jr.’s encore performance. Clark opened the festival the day before, but now on the smaller stage (with Beyonce, Jay-Z and Rita Ora off to the side), the Austin, Texas native took the crowd through a bluesy/soul/rock journey playing a different set list from day one. Of course, he killed it.

Back in the artist village, OVO land was being created. Tyler the Creator and the Odd Future crew looked on as staff erected the Drake Hospitality Suite. (Make no mistake: OVO is a movement.) Between a half dozen production assistants in OVO tees, several massive security guards and about fifteen friends and family–including Noah “40” Shebib, Drizzy’s producer/engineer)–the Toronto native had the largest clan at the festival. But the support was most evident as he emerged from his trailer dressed in all white. Drake stopped to take pictures with Darryl “DMC” McDaniels who’d just come off stage for the first time with Rev Run since the death of Jam Master Jay. Then he steadied himself in a massive huddle for the pre-performance prayer with his crew. OVOXO indeed.