Bridging the gap between the fine and the less refined

Hip-Hop at Music Festivals


As the weather starts to heat up, the US music festival season commences. This list is extensive and includes music goers staples like southern California’s Coachella, Tennessee’s Bonnarooo, New York’s Summer Stage and of course Austin’s SXSW.

As of late though, the has been a wave of change amongst the population of performers. In recent years the number of urban acts at these music festivals have increased threefold. These festivals which used to be preserved for your typical indy-rock band are not inviting acts like Kendrick Lamar and Frank Ocean to their roster.

But to be honest it is not really that far of a jump. While most people would find it difficult to understand what The Weeknd and Bon Iver have in common, besides the fact that they are both slated to perform at this year’s Coachella in Indio, CA, but they both began with a self-built fan base. Neither had the power of a major record label to push them out into the public but rather they worked solely on word-of-mouth and footwork. So instead of having guitars like Bon Iver, The Weeknd had a turntable.

Anyone noticing my reoccurring theme of linking seemingly distinct things together? good.

And fans are really eating this up! I mean they must be if the festival producers keep giving these acts a set. 

It really speaks volumes of the direction that music of the youth is currently taking. There is a strong push in the direction of eliminating genre boundaries because at the end of the day, music is music. For example if you ask Frank Ocean, he considers himself bluegrass. Who even knows what The Weeknd or Bon Iver are. Or Santigold for that matter and Kanye West does even want to be hip-hop. 

So the moral to the story is this: buy your tickets, skip work/class and I’ll meet you in space for the first interplanetary jam session.

Rock on!



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