Life sure is beautiful when the hip hop side of a festival is more stacked than Nicki Minaj! So I had to pop off this list off with a female rapper whose M.O. is to be unknown. I am talking about New York based Leikeli47 (lah-KAY-lee), who refuses to do any interviews and allows her music to be how she wants to be heard. Her style is one of a kind and a ski mask is a common accessory for this rapper. All her music in her live show is accompanied by a visual performed by her ski masked wearing dancers. From acting out lyrics, to acting out the story the creative thought put behind the performance is stunning. If you decide to sit still and watch that is, I found the music took control of all my joints.
I had to keep it real with a classic artist that was the soundtrack to my middle school life. Atmosphere hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota made wonderful music about love, life, friendships, hardships and brought the meaning of “keeping it real” to life. Providing a very intimate show that allows even new comers to his music understand and connect with the person next to them even if they have never met before. Meanwhile still being able to intrigue your mind with his social and political commentary, ask one of his fans and they will probably spit a few of his songs to you.
Chance The Rapper
Vibing out of Chicago, Illinois comes Chance The Rapper. I’m sure by know you’ve heard of him, heard some of his songs and have to admit that at first it sounded odd, but then it grew on you and realized it was his signature sound and style. Chance explodes on stage, usually backed by “The Social Experiment” which he’s a part of, they energize the audience and Chance orchestrates both the band and the audience to follow. If you love hip hop with real instruments, this is one act not to miss.
Straight outta Compton, Los Angeles (see what I did there?) Kendrick Lamar AKA K.Dot AKA King of the West AKA DOOF DOOF DOOF! Blesses everyone in Downtown Las Vegas this weekend, which is sure to be an enlightening experience, with intense and powerful visuals that bring the messages in his music to life. Here’s hoping he brings back some bangers from his older albums, but either way Kendrick Lamar in a festival environment is something you’re going to talk about for a long time.
Run the Jewels
KILLER MIKE AND EL-P! FUCK BOYS, THINK ABOUT IT! Also known as Run The Jewels have taken the music industry by storm! Killer Mike ripping out of Adamsville, Atlanta with nothing but thought provoking raps that deal with current social and political issues which he also rebels to with his vicious rapping style. El Producto coming up from Brooklyn, New York also rips the mic but he provides the soundtrack to each of their vocals. Emerging from the underground alternative hip hop scene, El-P brings his own unique style of beats that work with their emotion of each song. Their live show is by the best hip hop show I have attended, my roommate’s tooth is still somewhere at Porter’s Pub at UCSD. Moshing and singing along with everyone was extremely fun, people stage diving, Killer Mike reassuring everyone to help each other even in the mosh pit and to make sure that it was all love. If you’re looking for a true current hip hop festival experience, than look no further than Run The Jewels, you’ll be tossing the gun and the chain before the end of the weekend and for more to come.