What I learned from the Jay-Z- Made In America Documentary

I just made it through my second viewing of this Showtime documentary filmed by famed director Ron Howard.

I love music, but I was more fascinated that Ron Howard had taken on this project. Intrigued and home with a head cold, I settled in to watch this documentary regarding Jay-Z’s Made In America tour that took place this past summer in Philadelphia.

Here’s what I took away from the documentary.

  1. Music is a common bond, a common language if you will. We can all recognize the strains of joy, struggle or anger in any melody, any genre.
  2. Don’t wait for your opportunity to shine, make your opportunity.  This theme is reflected through the vendors, the performers and the stage crew pulling all these acts and stages together. Each person has decided to take on their challenges, not wait for solutions from others.
  3. It’s up to you to find your talent, your gift. It’s also up to you to not be afraid to use it. Easier said than done. Janelle Monae, a phenomenal artist, in a moment of reflection in the documentary talks about how she had to decide if she was going to use her talent or just walk away from it.
  4. Be open-minded. You may never know what an artist(person) may bring to the table. There’s a great scene where a neighborhood woman is complaining about the noise of the festival and the film cuts away to R&B singer, Jill Scott– singing an aria from an opera that just blows the crowd away. It’s completely unexpected and the neighborhood woman, unable to see the person is able to enjoy the joy and not focus on the image of the crowd.
  5. There’s a brewing generation of unexpected leaders out in the world and they’re not afraid to jump into the fray. They’re also more cognizant of the generations that lead the way than people give them credit for.

It just goes to show that one never knows where the lesson will come from or who it will come from– but it will come if we can keep an open-mind and be willing to learn.

Author: KMK Foley

Storyteller. Wicked sense of humor. Tenacious learner, Coffee Lover, especially Dunkin' Donuts.