Ah, the Fourth of July: a day when Americans of all shapes and sizes get off work, proudly wave their Stars and Stripes, and (presumably) set off a shit-ton of fireworks – all in the name of freedom and democracy.
While we’ll gloss over the fact that Independence Day is in fact the US’s annual celebration of being freed from the tyrannical yoke of British colonial rule (Google “no taxation without representation” if you want to fall down a rabbit hole’s worth of US history), it’s still an occasion that we on the other, less glamorous and currently very Brexit-y, side of the pond view as something of a curiosity: what exactly does it mean to be this proud of your country? What’s it like to eat BBQ with your neighbours on a day of national celebration? And how the hell does one country’s worth of people manage to set off 285 million pounds (roughly 130 million kg) of fireworks within a single day?
These are questions that us Brits may never be able to find an answer to, but we observe the fun in our social media newsfeeds: witnessing, as we scroll aimlessly on our smartphones, what kind of high jinks our favourite American bands and artists got up to on this especially momentous Monday. So from Maine to Oregon, here’s a slice of what went down on the 240th anniversary of Thomas Jefferson drawing up that blasted Declaration of Independence.
Kendrick Lamar and Janelle Monáe hung out at The White House with the POTUS, at the express request of Obama himself
K-Dot then performed a short (and weirdly censored) set for the Commander-in-Chief
Steve Tyler went all caps lock in the name of freedom
Garage-rockers Twin Peaks did it right, blowing shit up in the name of ‘Murica
RZA had some societal-focused wisdom to impart
R&B singer Jhené Aiko posted a snap of her current squeeze, the Chicago rapper Big Sean, who was adorned in some designer patriotism
Mark and Matt from blink-182 took in the sights, sounds and corn of the ball game
Tyler, the Creator seemed to be having a less explosive day than his compatriots, though
Joe Jonas went a little too all-out. No fireworks, though
Run The Jewels’ El-P, meanwhile, didn’t miss a trick with some well-timed merchandising. Well, what else are you going to wear as your light your next batch of fireworks?