Outside Lands 2018

Festivals

I would have traded seeing “Low Life” performed twice to see even half of GoldLink’s set. And although The Weekend and Future, respectively, were amazing performances, many of us Hip-Hop heads still have a sour taste in our mouth from last year’s Outside Lands when A Tribe Called Quest got cancelled – not just once, but twice in one weekend.

Sure, Berner filled in, but does Burner really compare to GoldLink? I wouldn’t say so. GoldLink’s last album, “At What Cost” contains several of my all-time favorite songs, not to mention the track, “Crew” which was released in 2016 and is still spinning on mainstream radio.  Rolling Stone even called it one of the 40 Best Rap Albums of 2017.

The weather was great. Typical San Francisco weather – warm in the sun, cold in the shade, foggy at times, and cold enough for fur at night. The grounds were well maintained (no porta-potty issues), minimal trash, and very polite volunteers and vendors. I spent most of my time at the Twin Peaks and Lands End stage with a few stops at Panhandle, but each day, I averaged 30,000 steps and 10 miles of walking during festival hours. The new clear bag policy made entry less stressful – I bought a $9 bag off Amazon that broke at the start of day two. Not recommended.

Some of my favorite sets:

N.E.R.D. – they played the track “Lemon” (yes – the one with Riri) like four times back to back. Sounds cheesy, but I was dancing just as hard to the fourth time around as I was the first.

2018 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival - Lands End Stage - Day 1

Odesza – not going to lie, all my friends went to Outside Lands for this set. Well, mid-hype, I ran away from the group to use the restroom, heard this song, stopped, and danced with strangers until I almost broke down and cried.

2018 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival - Lands End Stage - Day 1

Saba – I have seen “West Side Bound 3” live so many times and still, and I get level 100 hype every time I get the chance to see him again. Proof is here.

2018 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival - Panhandle Stage - Day 3

Smokepurpp – the mosh pit went crazy. He performed one of XXXTENTACION’s songs, “Look At Me” as a tribute. Being signed to Travis Scott’s label, Cactus Jack, everyone went wild (including me) when he did, “Fingers Blue”.

2018 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival - Twin Peaks Stage - Day 2

SOBxRBE – this has to be one of the best sets of the weekend. SOB brought out Nef the Pharaoh for “Bling Blaow” and shortly after the festival, their single, “Anti” went certified gold. Since the trio was also featured on the Black Panther Soundtrack, they ended their set with the heavy hitter, “Paramedic”.

2018 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival - Twin Peaks Stage - Day 2

Future – I mean, do I really need to say more?

2018 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival - Twin Peaks Stage - Day 2

Whethan – I saw this guy on accident walking from one stage to another, but he caught my attention when he mixed Childish Gambino’s “This is America” with some EDM. From then on, I’ve been hooked.

2018Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival - Panhandle Stage - Day 2

Caleborate – an intimate, daytime performance was delivered by a long-time featured artist over at KSJS. “Soul” is one of the best tracks to come out of 2017. And I got a chance to thank Caleborate later in the day when we crossed paths in the VIP area. Definitely one of my Top 5 Festival Moments.

2018 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival - Panhandle Stage - Day 1

DJ Snake – real trappy electronic music closed out the weekend. The casual mix of mainstream Hip-Hop with dirty house music was extremely lit. I enjoyed myself. My EDM friends, however, were not impressed.

2018 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival - Twin Peaks Stage - Day 3

Overall, the weekend was more than I think anyone could ask for. I enjoyed yelling out “you heard it first on KSJS” at the top of my lungs for several songs. I met up with all my friends (if you are a seasoned festival goer, you know how difficult this is). I made a bunch of new friends. I stayed out too late, I drank a little too much, but I have some of the best festie memories to date. Until next year Outside Lands. Peace.

All Photography courtesy of Outside Lands by FilmMagic.com

Why Hip-Hop Needs Festivals Like @NNMFestival

Festivals

If there was one thing I wish more people talked about more when rendering their favorite festival experiences – is how peaceful the Hip-Hop environment was.

I realize a small (or perhaps, non-existent) number of people actually go to Electronic-based festivals to hear Hip-Hop so let’s take a moment to acknowledge Northern Nights Music Festival for always including some degree of Hip-Hop. This year: Sage The Gemini. In previous years: Living Legends, Adam Vida, Black Star, GoldLink, Amp Live, Zion I, and many others.

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It’s hard to explain the scenery of a strictly Hip-Hop show or festival but imagine this – last year at Rolling Loud Bay Area, I saw a girl actively participate in a mosh pit and then immediately get upset when she got knocked down multiple times – while getting pushed around (as expected in a mosh pit) she threatened to pepper-spray everyone within reach. Wild right? At the same festival – Lil B got jumped backstage – of all people – Lil B?The Based God – who literally loves every single soul on this Earth including insects and trees.

Also, consider – numerous SOBxRBE shows in the Bay where chains get snatched and in turn, fights break out. At their most recent back-to-back, sold-out show in Santa Cruz, the second show didn’t even happen because someone brought their gun out. I’ve seen fights turn into brawls, rude girls throw drinks on one another, and aggressive attitudes from virtually everybody.

Not to mention – extensive searches, metal detectors, and pat downs upon entry. And don’t you dare try smoking a joint while you’re in there. Some will say it’s ego, others say pride, but what it really is – is the very content of the genre itself. Which is something that’s probably not going to change much in time. When you rap about drugs, violence, and bad bitches, that’s what you can expect when the energy is reciprocated in a live setting. But switch environments for just a second and watch how the scene changes.

HIP-HOP NEEDS FESTIVALS LIKE NORTHERN NIGHTS because the atmosphere is so welcoming and abundant in vibes. If you’ve ever tried, you know you can’t talk a Hip-Hop head out of Hip-Hop, so don’t try. It’s not about the music – but try enticing real Hip-Hop fans with friendly people, pretty girls, not-so-douchey men, caring neighbors, activities like cannabis and yoga – c’mon, have you ever seen anyone smoke weed or leave yoga mad or wanting to fight? No, you have not. This year, Northern Nights has also incorporated an Experimental Cannabis Activation where organizers simply wish to implement a re-imagination of how festivals incorporate cannabis. Plus, of course, yoga, live art, a silent disco, a river, workshops, and plenty more.

So much of Hip-Hop is resistance. Especially resistance to change. But a festival like Northern Nights will change your life, and maybe even your perspective on music in general. Genuinely coming from someone who sgoes hyphy to Mac Dre in between EDM songs at the most unexpected DJ sets at any given festival, I highly recommend this one over your typical festival.

Tickets are selling fast, and the set times have been released. Visit https://www.northernnights.org/ now for everything you need to know.  #MakeTheJourney and see you all there!

Photos courtesy of Northern Nights Music Festival

Rolling Loud Bay Area

Festivals

http://ksjs.org/2017/10/25/ksjsrollingloud/