12th Freddie Gibbs & Madlib @ The NOVO
12th JOEY FATTS: CUTTHROAT SUMMER, A$TON MATTHEWS, LUCKI, UNO THE ACTIVIST, RONSCOLD, OHNO, EDDY BAKER, NASCAR ALOE, K B3ACH @ The Regent Theater
13th & 14th Audiotastic @ Shoreline Ampitheatre & Grounds
16th & 19th (Observatory) MOZZY, WITH ALLBLACK & $TUPID YOUNG @ The El Rey Theatre
19th 21 Savage @ Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall
19th Femme It Forward Tour: Brandy, Monica, Ashanti, Keri Hilson, Amerie & Lil Mo @ Microsoft Theater
21st DABABY WITH STUNNA 4 VEGAS, BLACC ZACC @ The Observatory
27th & 28th Once Upon A Time in LBC @ Queen Mary Waterfront
28th Cam’Ron @ The NOVO
30th Beast Coast @ Five Point Ampitheatre
31st Beast Coast @ Greek Theater
Pink Sweat$ talks on His Rising Career and What Almost Stopped it All at the Pabst Sound Society Fearless Experience.
On November 8, 2018, I came across R&B singer-songwriter David Bowden's (aka Pink Sweat$) music. The West Philly artist released his first EP titled , Volume 1 in 2018. Listening to songs like "Call Me", "Cocaine", and "Honesty" drew me to the young artist's Instagram account. I was impressed with his content, yet disappointed with the low amount of coverage he was receiving. A young black artist, who's not singing about random topics deserved an audience. In order of spreading this young man's talents, I decided to post the EP on my Insta-story. To my surprise Pink Sweat$ himself reached out to me with thanks and appreciation. From that day on I knew this man was special.
Almost a year later I had the opportunity of meeting the artist face to face for an event hosted by Pabst Sound Society. This interview and intimate experience gave fans including me a closer look into his rising career. Sweat$ talked to fans and the interviewer about becoming fearless and taking on your dreams.
Humble, Honest and Heroic- We would like to introduce you to the artist known as Pink Sweat$.
Meet Pink Sweat$ by Pabst Sound Society
INT: What was your first experience in music? How far did you work into your music?
PS: I was a drummer in church. I never knew I was good at singing but, I was afraid to sing in church. When I first started, I wasn’t comfortable. I started to write songs that meant something. I wanted people to think, to touch people's minds and make them think just a little. Not just make music to play in the club.
INT: You're not really like any other artist we have seen yet. Especially being from Philly, how was growing up there and how did that dynamic shape you?
PS: Growing up in the hood, and liking different things than other people encouraged me to love being different. “I never talk about sex in an explicit way; that’s intentional. I never degrade women; that’s intentional. I don’t have a [fancy] haircut. I wear pink. That’s not typical for the history of R&B.”
INT: What did you notice in the music industry as a new artist?
PS: When I hear most new R&B music, it sounds like Chris Brown from three years ago. While he's in 2033 right now, people are trying to sound like his past. You can be inspired without jacking someone's style. You got to be comfortable in you
INT: Not too many people are aware with what actually pushed you to face your careers, which was your experience with achalasia. Can you explain what that disease is and what it was like going through with it?
PS: I noticed that I started getting skinnier and looking drained. I went to the hospital and was diagnosed with achalasia, a rare esophageal condition. Mostly older folks get it at the age of 60 but, somehow I got it. Lucky me! I couldn't swallow and even keep down a sip of water.
INT: How did you recover from this?
PS: I was depressed for a short period. What snapped me out of it was the reality that things started to work. Also talking with Dante, my brother, for hours really helped. It was like therapy. With the thought of me losing my face it ironically gave me the courage to pursue this singing career for real. For a year I also told myself that I am a genius. Even when I wasn't doing s
INT: What are your fears? How do you conquer those fears?
PS: Falling in love and losing my teeth are the two things I am afraid of. I have nightmares about both all the time. I realized that you will become a better songwriter once your heart is broke. My heart was broken and then I started creating amazing music. Hopefully, someone would listen to this and understand or connect with how I felt.
INT: What do you want to bring into this world with the creation of your music?
PS: Everything you do creates a new experience, which allows you to share something new to your audience. Life is not about one thing. It’s about balance. It's about struggling to pursue great things and juggling the not so great things. I am here to add to the pile. People only consume one thing. I am here to create balance and show people dreams can happen.
INT: What is your advice on taking risks and facing your fears?
PS: Don’t be tiptoeing and afraid to break the glass. You have to live. If you fail its a lesson. Get back up and try it again.
For over a decade, legendary hip hop magazine, XXL has been nominating several candidates into a class known as the Freshman list. This list is dedicated to showcase the hottest up and coming rappers in the game. Alumni on this list includes J.Cole, Nipsey Hussle and many, many more. This annual list is always both exciting and controversial. Some of the selections are met with several fake hip hop critics bidding their taste as higher as the hand-selectors of the list. But, you can't please everyone/ This year's list makes no difference. Here is our take on the 2019 XXL Freshman List.
Pros of the List
Unlike any of its predecessors, this year's Freshman list has a large ranking of up and coming male and female artists. We are excited to see hip hop's new leading ladies on the list. Megan the Stallion, Rico Nasty, and Tierra Whack represent various styles of hip hop including that 90's sex appeal Trina or Lil Kim inspired sound, that Gothic soundcloud wave of rap, and unprecedented lyrical genius sound . We are also excited to see a couple of break out artists such as DaBaby, YBN Cordae, and Roddy Rich. Yes we're even happy with Blueface!
We first want to say that majority of these choices are not us saying we think these artists do not deserve to be on the list. However, we do feel that these selected artist need a little bit of an edge to add them to this prestigious list.
Gunna- Now we are absolutely not upset with this addition to the list. Gunna has had an impressive last two years with back to back hits and collaborations. The only reason this choice is questionable is because where there is Gunna, there is Lil Baby. Both artists came up around the same time and their similar styles brought us classics such as "Drip Too Hard" and "Close Friends". We are excited to see Gunna on this list but it just seems weird that his fellow artist and friend did not make the cut.
Lil Mosey & Comethazine- We were introduced to both artists thanks to the wave of young Soundcloud rappers. Building an underground fan base is definitely what got these two artists to the top. Unfortunately, did they make this list a little too soon. Now, both of these young artists are extremely talented but, we feel they have way more to offer. Neither have a signature song that a standard lover of music can point out. After build a stronger career and commercial fan base we feel the two would've be a great addition for up and coming years.
YK Osiris- Another young artist who is indeed talented. With his viral hit "Worth It" this is a great example of a growing hip hop star. However, he is still so young and new. With a little bit more wiggle room, the artist can develop a little more beyond a You Tube and Instagrammable artist.
Great Additions for 2019's List
YNW Melly (pre murder charge)
By Indigo Stop & UpRoxx Contributors
Igor by Tyler the Creator
ZUU by Denzel Curry
When I Get Home by Solange
Arizona baby by Kevin Abstract
Anger Management by Rico Nasty
Ventura by Anderson. Paak
Fever by Megan Thee Stallion
Everything's for Sale by Boogie
Little Simz by Grey Area
Still Summer in the Projects by 03 Greedo
Sli'Merre by Young Nudy & Pi'erre Bourne
Rapper and Singer Smino took a pit stop from Coachella to perform for a sold out crowd at Hollywood's
Fonda Theatre with openers Earthgang and Phoelix.
Though halfway complete, 2019 is proving to be the year of rising new artists. With the Coachella Music and Arts Festival going back to their indie inclusive routes, Black artists like Rico Nasty, Anders0n Paak and SiR were able to elevate their fan base. One artist with a cult following that rose during festival season was St. Louis' own Smino. After hitting the stage during the two weekend extravaganza, Smino took over California with a couple of performances in Santa Ana, San Diego and Los Angeles. Joining him onto the Hoopti Tour was Atlanta's group Earthgang and up and coming artist Phoelix. The three acts performed amazing sets reminiscent of the great performer's before them all without losing their modern-day wave.
Following Smino's career is becoming one of our favorite past times. We were introduced to the young artist via Instagram back in 2017. He had just released his critically acclaimed debut studio album, blkswn. On first sound, the St. Louis native's musical style took us a little off guard, but in the best way possible. Very seldom an artist is able to display all of their amazing talents on their first album and it works so well. Smino does that with blkswn, titling himself as both a rapper and singer. With top charting singles "Blkswn" and "Anita", the album proved to be a successful introduction. The genius behind Smino is his unique voice and flow. Having the gift of a gospel-based voice, a thesaurus-wide vocabulary, and a slight southern accent; Smino's flow is something we've never heard before in the rap community.
Born to a family of musicians, Christopher Smith (Smino) has been preparing to take the stage since he seven-years-old. His talents brought him to open for other acts such as T-Pain and SZA. In November 2018, he dropped his second album Noir. The sophomore production surpassed fans' expectations for the artist. Once again, utilizing his smart lyricism with funk and jazz-inspired beats made Noir a pinnacle moment in Smino's growing career. The neo-soul based hip hop inspired album included many hits like "Z4L", "Klink", and "L.M.F". After the success of the album, Smino announced his second tour.
The Hoopti Tour is currently set up for 33 shows including stops in the United States, England, and Canada. He also announced fellow openers Earthgang and Phoelix. Phoelix is a Chicago based artist who has been linked with fellow artist Noname. The Jack-of-all-trades is an amazing singer, rapper, musician, and producer, with tracks on both Smino's and Noname's albums. The energetic and eclectic duo, Earthgang, has had the spotlight on them since joining J. Cole's Dreamville project. The Atlanta group also has ties to Smino with several collaboration tracks on the way, making them the perfect addition to the tour.
Artistry and storytelling was the driving theme of the Los Angeles' Hoopti Tour. Marketing tactics playing with Noir's theme of Black luxury, beauty, and reality; inspired Smino to create a commercial of him and his crew searching for a Hoopti for the upcoming tour. Fast-forward to an April night in Hollywood where a sold-out crowd was more than excited to see the fresh talent presented on the Fonda Theater's stage. The three acts were almost too perfect of a deal together displaying a new non-mumbling and non-conforming music style. Seeing these three artists at the beginning of their career gave us a comfortable and secure feeling about the future of hip-hop.
Chicago triple threat Phoelix kicked off the night on an old school keyboard set. His voice was both alluring and hypnotizing, so much that it was hard to believe that this was the young artist's first tour ever. He performed a few of his tracks from his 2017 and 2018 albums Tempo and GSPL. A favorite from the night was a performance of his 2018 single "Drip". Drip was created with Phoelix's expression of sexual frustration. An awkward muse yes, but hearing this song live made us Shazam this hit immediately. Just when the audience got used to the singer's voice, he then showed the crowd the multi-instrumental side to him. With already a strong track record as a producer for NoName, Saba, and Smino; we guarantee that you'll be seeing more of Phoelix.
Next on the stage was Dreamville's dynamic duo Earthgang. Earthgang consists of the flamboyant but vocal Johnny Venus and the lyrically talented Doctor Dut. The hip hop duo brought Atlanta to Los Angeles by allowing the usually boujie Hollywood-based crowd to get a little loose during their performance. Fun and energetic, the two rappers performed a couple hits from their trilogy album release Rags, Robots, and Royalty. Eclectic and eccentric, the duo's chemistry was similar to fellow ATL alumni Outkast. The crowd danced and danced till they couldn't any more thanks to Earthgang. Highlights from the act include a performance of the unreleased, yet viral song "Up" ( which was featured on COLORS' music platform) and a dance party with the crowd.
As the crowd was settling and preparing for the main act of the evening, the Fonda curtains rose dramatically with Usher playing softly in the background. The crowd was confused, yet excited for what was to come. Unlike any other modern-day concert we've been to, the Hoopti Tour decided to showcase a comedy act in the middle of the show.
After a 15 minute comedy set, the curtain rose again to introduce female singer Schenay Mosley. She showed off her vocal range by dropping a few oohs and ahs, then Smino graciously appeared from behind the curtains with his live band. Rocking a sky blue fur coat, baggy pants and cornrows , Smino took the audience with him back to the early 2000s. One thing that drew us immediately to Smino was his amazing voice. Let's just say that his live voice is just as, if not more impressive than his recorded copies. Long-standing Smino fans were in for a treat as the rapper took the crowd on a 30-song journey of his young career.
He performed hits like Blkswn's "Anita", "Hoopti", "ZFL" , "Fenty Sex" , "Pizano" and "We Got the Biscuits". The crowd sung along to the underrated rapper's melodic hits and jazz based beats. One special member of the crowd was Smino's father, who was visiting California for the first time ever. Capturing the look in the St. Louis rappers eye when he would catch his proud father recording his performance, was something so beautiful and enchanting. Especially after looking back at the young rapper's history in music. His father was a piano player, his mother was a singer and his grandfather was the original bass guitarist for Muddy Waters. The careers of his relatives were put on the hold to preserve their family, but who knew that structural sacrifice is exactly what it took to get their family name and talent in the spotlight.
However, the brilliance behind Smino is that he simply does not crave the spotlight but for sure deserves it. Both conscious yet content, he uses his music to tackle hard hitting subjects while still knowing what our generational youth is interested in. In between sets of his performance he thanked the crowd for their support but, took some well-deserved time to acknowledge his Black fans within the crowd. He brought young African American fans together in the best way possible, by Swag Surfing of course! He even continued the night with a rendition of Young Joc's "Its Going Down". The young crowd followed through and retracted the same amount of energy that Smino was giving them during his performance. Just as the night was coming to an end Smino announced his last song of the night. The crowd was excited for they knew what was to come. He performed another hit from Noir called "Merlo"t. Though the song is a fan favorite, the crowd was a little disappointed with the closing choice. As Smino and his band members closed house, the crowd chanted one powerful word repeatedly, "Klink, klink, klink". The band members took notice as the drummer set back down with the lead guitarist joining him with a smile. The dj and backup singer both returned to their stations as Smino returned on stage with a big bang. Finally, the crowd got exactly what they wanted as the dj began to play the beginning of Noir standout his "Klink". The crowd went wild, is simply an understatement for how lit the closing performance was.
The three performers killed the Hoopti Tour leaving fans with nostalgic feels and future hopes for the new artists. Everyone is now aware and understanding of why these three artists are listed as the Ones to Watch in 2019/To give you a little preview of what these artists' performances are like, we've made a brief playlist of the Hoopti Tour essentials.
Under the surface of thousands of influencers and overpriced tickets, Coachella is popular because of its appreciation for music. The original Coachella Music and Arts Festival was started to expose indie artists looking for a jump in their cult following. The first fest in 1999 featured headliners Beck, Tool and the Rage Against the Machine. As the years past and profits rose, the line up became bigger and busier. Showcasing more than just rock stars and country pop, the line up saw the likes of Jay Z, Prince, and many more. After last year's astounding Coachella or should we say "Beychella" attendees were ready to see who sets the bar for the 2019 festival. Though many were disappointed with this year's line up, many artists proved their talents and the grand stage. Here are our top artists who stole the show at Coachella '19.
Even before hitting the stage Ariana Grande made history becoming the youngest headliner ever. She also is only the fourth female headliner of the festival. The young singer has been having a successful 2018-2019, with her tour and Sweetener album release. Her performance included hits from the album "Thank You, Next", "7 Rings", and "Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored". Just when we thought her performance was already amazing she brought out everyone's fave 90's boy band 'NSync. Though without Justin Timberlake, Grande proved to be a great addition to the band's reunion. Other reunions and special guests appearing in her hour-long performances were Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, P Diddy and Mase.
In 2019's Coachella, BLACKPINK became the first ever female K-Pop group to perform at an American festival. K-Pop has been stealing the music scene thanks to the girl group and fellow performers BTS. The South Korean quartet has a successful Coachella debut with their already international fan base becoming even larger. The group performed numbers from their recently released ep Kill this Love. After this performance, we are guaranteeing that these ladies US exposure is going to go above the roof.
This is Billie Eilish's time ! If you don't believe so, do us a favor and watch her weekend 1 and 2 Coachella performances. She is currently topping the Billboard Artist 100 chart and had her first experience at Coachella 2019. The 17-year old pop star showcased her amazing vocal range performing hits from When We Fall Asleep , Where Do We Go. Joining her on stage for her performance was Long Beach's own Vince Staples.
Childish Gambino's star power shined as he used Coachella to maximize all of his many talents. His first venture for the weekend was his Coachella release of his new film starring him and Rihanna. "Guava Island" was introduced camping style to fest goers in an island themed tent. For those who missed Glover's directional debut the film is now streaming on Hulu. A second venture that the rapper/actor tackled this weekend was his new shoe partnership with Adidas. At Adidas' exclusive pool party, attendees got a sneak peek of the Childish-inspired shoes. Continuing his momentum, Gambino closed Friday's Coachella with an incredible performance including top songs "Red Bone", "This is American" and "Feels Like Summer". His performance also featured a new song and an AR App experience.
Leave it to Kanye West to find his way as the topic of discussion for Coachella, even without performing weekend 1. In January, reports of West's cancellation of headlining the festival were shrouding Coachella. However, West's spiritual change allowed him to put on a spectacular performance for Weekend 2. Lately on Sundays, Mr. West has developed his own spiritual Sunday Service, where a choir would perform notable Gospel music and remixed hits. He decided to bring this experience to festival goers on Easter morning. The performance included several praise dancers and choir members performing "You are the Sunshine", "Father Stretch My Hands" and "He has Risen". West performed with the choir a couple of his own versions of his top hits "Jesus Walks" and "All Fall Down". West was also surrounded by friends and artists Kid Cudi, Ty Dolla Sign, Teyana Taylor and Chance the Rapper.
Khalid won big at this year's Coachella with his partnership with BMW for fan based events and amazing performance. The El Paso artist started his second Coachella experience by headlining BMW i's 2019 Road to Coachella campaign. In this project, the company showcased art inspired by the artist and fans got a chance to meet the main man himself. On stage, Khalid performed songs from hit albums Free Spirit and American Teen. Songs he performed included "Locations", 'OTW" and "Angeles" (which he paid tribute to Mac Miller and Nipsey Hussle). Joining Khalid on stage was fellow young artist Billie Eilish for the duo's hit "Lovely", Normani for 'Love Lies" and Halsey for "Eastside".
This band's selection as the day 2 headliner caused a lot of commotion on social media platforms. For Weekend 1, several Instagram trolls got their questions answered on who Tame Impala was. Every attendee without a doubt called the band;s performance the best of the night and the most trippy lighting in the festival's recent history. Australian funk-rockers Tame Impala performed new tunes using psychedelic visuals. For the groups second weekend performance they brought out A$AP Rocky. The band also announced a new US tour performing their greatest decade hits.
Last on our list is LA's very own YG, who took over "Boachella" weekend. The Compton native has had a rough last couple of weeks with the death of a longtime friend and fellow rapper Nipsey Hussle. The Crenshaw Legend's death clouded the festival's activities and several artists could not complete their set without the acknowledging of one of hip hop's greatest loss. No other performer did it like YG though. Videos and photos of Hussle took over the Sahara stage and showed that this whole set was going to be dedicated to him. All of this and it is his first time ever performing at the festival, YG had a lot of pressure and balls to go through with his performance. He performed his usual hits including "BPT", "My N*gga" and "Twist My Fingers". He then took audience members back to a time where the young rapper was just a struggling teenager in Compton with his 2009 hit "Toot it and Boot It". In honor of Hussle, he performed their collab tracks the controversial "FDT" and "B*tches Aint Sh*t" with Tyga coming out as well. Just when you thought the performance was finished, he closed the show with 2018's song of the summer "Big Bank" with Big Sean and 2 Chainz. This performance proved YG's performance and celebrity factor as the rapper blended sentimental, political and powerful elements all while still having a great time.
March 31st, 2019- The day began somber as it was originally synonymous for the 24th anniversary of the death of Latina legend Selena Quintanilla. Sad to say that day got way worst. That Sunday afternoon Los Angeles rapper, Nipsey Hussle was fatally shot outside of his own clothing store in Hyde Park. Instagram kept fans updated on the shooting. As thousands of fans posted their prayers for recovery, it was announced on all media outlets of the 33-year-old's death. The shocking news left fans stunned as he leaves behind longtime girlfriend Lauren London and his two children. Hussle was more than a local lyricist. His intentions to revive Hip Hop, culture and history makes his death even more heartbreaking. To show honor to the man who represented Southern Los Angeles so well, I wanted to write a brief piece that showed the many hats that Hussle represented in the African American community.
Ermias Asghedom transformed his experience as a 60's gang member to a narrative tale as rapper Nipsey Hussle. Los Angeles rap was slowly losing its sting as the south dominated hip-hop in the early 2000's. Hussle; however, was at the forefront of the decade's new era of Rap. In 2005, The 'Slauson Boy' caught the attention of music lovers in 2008 with the releases of the two volume mix tapes 'Bullets Aint Got No Name'. Combining the lyricism and storytelling nature of an early South Central Ice Cube and the smooth enticing voice of Long Beach's Snoop Dog, Hussle reminded fans of the legacy of West Coast Hip-Hop. Year after year, and collab after collab- Hussle created iconic projects The Marathon, The Marathon Continues, Crenshaw and Mailbox Money. Surrounded by J-Cole, Freddie Gibbs, and Big Sean on the XXL's 2010 Freshman Class, Hussle stood out as the "Most Determined" and as a man dedicated to building a legacy for himself. The Militant Manifesto spoke his success to existence as he finally gained his first Grammy nomination for his last album Victory Lap. Even though he did not take home the big reward of the night, he stole the show by cementing his legacy.
"Invest in assets, not liabilities", a young Hussle said eagerly to a reporter on what he would do with his future profits. Hussle though openly and freely about being an African American male who knows his worth. After signing to Epic Records in 2008, Hussle learned about the guttering truth of an agency signed artist. Between challenging an artist's persona and slowing down their process due to costs and over signing talents-the industry has no problem leaving their performers high and dry. Hussle ended his deal in 2010, and created his own label All Money In. This was the first step to his entrepreneurial career. As a sufficient self-starter, Hussle moved differently than other rappers. Following after Jay-Z's creation of Tidal, Hussle regained interest in owning his own label and pricing his own masters. In doing so he charged one of his mix tapes for $100 (which Jay-Z purchased all of the copies). Other ventures that the rapper took interest in is fashion. In 2017, he opened his own clothing shop Marathon Clothing with Steve Careless and Karen Civil. In this shop he innovated the "Smart Shop" which fans can shop for one of kind clothing that syncs to Hussle's music purchases. Thus maximizing his ability to connect to his audience directly.
Speaking of connecting to fans, the Marathon Man was entirely for the people. Though fame and fortune came to Hussle, he never lost sight of his social agendas such as feeding the homeless, donating funds to community programs, and providing clothes and shoes for the less fortunate. Believing in teaching a man how to fish, Hussle's philanthropy style taught the community on how to profit off of themselves. His political awareness also encouraged youth to go out and vote with his YG collab "F*** Donald Trump. Hussle's latest work of activism was creating a documentary on the late Dr. Sebi. Sebi was a Hounduran herbalist and spiritualist who claimed to find a cure for Aids. In doing so however, the research was never shared to the world as the government silenced the man. Hussle was going to display the 1985 trial and prove to the world that anything is possible with hard work and education.
Los Angeles Legend
There are two faults within the rap community: First, many celebs who started out in the hood rarely return and second, when artists become famous they put on a pair of goggles that blinds them from what is going on in their community. Hussle was always both aware and proud of his roots. Starting out as a Rolling 60's gang member, Hussle acknowledged what he saw and how he can transform the history of LA gang violence. One way Hussle did this was by realizing that the reason so many children get involved in gangs is because the lack of educational resources and activities in the area. To "redefine what the streets expect" Hussle created several programs: The Too Big To Fail, a STEM center and co-working space in Crenshaw and the Marathon Movement, a program to donate back to the youth of Crenshaw. Hussle was also invested in buying back the community with his growing projects to refurbish Destination Crenshaw Arts District.
Though the world lost Nipsey Hussle, Los Angeles grieved a little bit more as we lost a father, a uncle and even big homie. We may have lost the man, but we can never lose his message. Thank you Hussle for all you have done and we will continue to keep your legacy alive.
Missing out the big festival this year? Coachella is a cultural musical event that brings together artists, socialites and music lovers. The annual celebration produces large installations and performances from both new and veteran musicians. Indio will be surrounded with thousands of people on the weekend of April 12th. Unfortunately, the dream festival of the year costs big bucks. Paying over $500 for standing in an overpopulated field, dehydrated and not able to spot your favorite artists, however; is not the dream! To assist those who are financially incapable or just not interested in dealing with the hype this year, we decided to come up with a "Coachella Adjacent List". Several of the artists on the line-up are promoting their performances by doing cheap shows near the date of Coachella and in the Los Angeles area. This list will help you find them and experience those artists with lighter crowds and heavier pockets.
* Due to artists' busy schedules and unpredictability many of the concerts are subject to change and certain performers are only limited to Coachella performances within the time frame.
Rapper Chief Keef proves to fans that 2019 will be his year after a new mix tape release and performance at Santa Ana's Observatory.
"Did the beat go off?" No one had to ask that question after rapper Chief Keef took over the stage on Jan. 16th. Keef performed favorites such as 'Faneto", "Love Sosa' and "Don't Like" for over 75 fans at the Santa Ana Observatory. Coming fashionably late, of course, Keef kept the audience satisfied for the end of that Wednesday night. With his release date for his new mix tape being Jan. 18th, Keef also decided to give attendees a sample of what is to come. After attending the performance and constantly playing both new and old records from the artist I am finally reminded and upset about the lack of love that SOSA gets as a rapper. Here are my five reasons why Chief Keep needs more appreciation !
1. Amazing Performer
The Observatory was my first experience watching Chief Keef live. I attempted to see him perform at the major Los Angeles hip hop festival, Rolling Loud. Unfortunately, after waiting 45 minutes in the cold surrounded by anxious fans, I realized that his set was definitely not happening. I admit, I felt defeated and disappointed as a long term fan of the rapper. 'How dare he abandon his fans", I thought. Lucky for me, I was able to spot his next California appearance, the Santa Ana Observatory. Now the Observatory is known for two things: their cheap tickets and hours of sound cloud rappers' performances. So the majority of the time was dedicated for up and coming rappers to display their skills. Hour after Hour, the crowd shouted: "We want SOSA !" Finally, at 11 P.M., Glo Gang artist Tadoe came out as the introductory artist. Performing his top hits, Keef suddenly appeared to perform his cult classic "Faneto" (I'll talk about that a little bit later). An hour of amazing sets and a hype crowd rapping constantly reminded me of the great artist Keef really is. His stage presence alone was impressive and surprisingly crowd friendly. After performing the beginning snippets of his songs, he would walk to the nearest fan with their phone in their hands and record a video of himself performing in the camera. He did this several times during the performance of his songs. The hits were non stop and Chief Keef shared with audience members hits back from 2012, where we were first introduced to the rapper.
2. First of His Kind
I was first introduced to the Chicago rapper as a sophomore in high school. At first, I was completely caught off guard by his sound. A lot of "bangs" and "gangs" shouted over a low constructed beat. " No way, this guy can make it", I thought. Listening to "Kobe", "Bang" and "3Hunna", repeatedly for over three days made me understand that even though this artist was different he had something special and unlike no other. The attention the rapper was getting was both positive and negative. Some people ridiculed him based off of his violent lyrics and unflattering portrayal of raw Chicago. Though his hard-hitting style ruffles some feathers, his talent is certainly undeniable. Being the first of his kind he took a lot of hits from critics, but with those hits, he created a new generation of gangsta rap. Notable artists such as Lil Pump and Lil Uzi Vert has gone on record to say that they were greatly inspired be Keef. Mumble rap was initiated by the "Chriaq Legend".
3. Introduction of Chicago Drill
From the melodic rhymes of Common to the fast-paced flow of Twista, we all learned that Chicago artistry comes in all shapes and forms. Between the late '90s and early '00s, Chicago was painted as the Windy City with a smooth sound. Slick and inspired by East Coast jazz, this style of the city introduced us to hip hop heavy hitters such as Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco. These artists created a sound known as alternative hip hop. At that time, that was the only wave everyone was focusing on from Chicago. Then out of nowhere, Chief Keef releases his first top hit "I Don't Like". This song became a Chicago hit after finally portraying the violent reality of a Chicago native youth. The song caught West's attention and he remixed the track with Keef, Pusha T, Jadakiss, and Big Sean. This introductory to the rapper showed the world a new Chicago style called "Drill Music", a form of repetitive Trap. As a prominent leader to this new style, Keef has elevated the careers of fellow Chicago natives and elevated the storytelling behind the vicious cycle of living in Chicago.
4. Young Entrepreneur
At the age of 15, Keith Cozart (at the time) dropped out of high school. Already popular in the South Side gang life , Keef turned his lifestyle into a career. After creating countless of hits and attempting to dodge the court room, Keef decided to created countless of growing businesses all under the age of 25. His first business venture is his own label Glory Boyz Entertainment (GBE) also known as Glo Gang. In his label he has signed various young artists such as Tadoe, Ballout. Tray Savage and many more. Besides his own label, he is also currently working on his own clothing line that is planned to be release in the spring of 2019.
5. Faneto> Mo Bamba & Sicko Mode
"What song is bound to get everyone hype anywhere they go?" This is the age-old question. Some of the top answers include Mo Bamba, Sicko Mode, and Dreams and Nightmares. On paper those songs are amazing, but neither of those songs brings the same energy as Chief Keef's Faneto. Back at the Observatory, Several DJs attempted to soothe the tenacious crowd over, but the only thing that made the crowd distracted from Keef's tardiness was this 2014 hit.
Needless to explain or say more, I'll let these quick videos prove why this song is better than its current competitors.
1. Fetti by Freddie Gibbs, Curren$y & The Alchemist
2. Noir by Smino
3. FM! by Vince Staples
4. Isolation by Kali Uchis
5. SR3MM by Rae Sremmurd
6. Stokeley by Ski Mask the Slump God
7. Negro Swan by Blood Orange
8. Harder than Ever by Lil Baby
9. Astroworld by Travis Scott
10. Dicaprio 2 by J.I.D