Posts Tagged ‘Wale’

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Why Wale? This is a question I ask myself every time I hear something negative in hip-hop news regarding Wale. I mean, the guy isn’t exactly a gangster rapper, so why do people continuously tempt him to push wigs back or what-have-you? Why does Twitter love to troll Wale? Why does most of the DMV throw salt his way whenever he speaks? The following include some theories on “Why Wale?”, as in “why is Wale a target for so many?”

1) He’s been dubbed as being from D.C., but isn’t exactly a D.C. native.

Let’s start off with the “obvious” one. Wale, when he was first getting buzz, was credited as being from D.C., but attended school in PG County, Montgomery County, and so on. This, like many artists from the DMV (Bossman, Logic, Fat Trel to an extent, most go-go bands, etc.) is more a fault of publications not knowing that the DMV is a diverse area. In other words, there’s more to the area than D.C. and Baltimore. Wale’s from Gaithersburg, he got some buzz in PG, he appropriated D.C.-centric music (go-go) to help create said buzz, and people (read again: reporters et al) decided that he was from the district. Granted, Wale, early on, did little to assuage this fallacy and correct it. For that, one can argue he’s a bit wrong. But, it’s not all on him–nor should it be.

2) Wale is outspoken, which leads to “s-s-s-s-shots fired.”

Aside from being a Seinfeld enthusiast, Wale is probably one of the most opinionated guys in hip-hop not named Speed on the Beat (shameless plug). These opinions, at times, rub people the wrong way. When you consider the many, many, many diss tracks that have been released over the years to Wale, you notice a trend. Many of these tracks revolve around, simply put, “he said, she said BS” that Wale might’ve said to someone or someone might’ve said to him or about him. Few of these beefs have legitimate reasons behind them. By legitimate, I’m talking more “business” reasons, and let’s just leave it at that. I’m not a beefmonger.

3) Wale is outspoken, which leads to people trying to get to him.

Wale’s name and image is cannon fodder to trolls and gossip sites. From linking him to Ka–I mean “La Reina” to provoking him to almost pop off on some dude at a WWE show in D.C., people love to push his buttons. It’s probably because he’s an outspoken guy and lets everything said about him get to him in some way. In some ways, it seems as if he’s got a “me against the world” complex. I’m just speculating, guys. Don’t send the goon squad.

Wale’s got to learn to let cooler heads prevail. He’d probably avoid some of the strife he receives if he learned to chill. Wale, people know you love to voice your opinion. People will use that against you if it means they get to brag to their friends that they were the one(s) that pissed Wale off and got him to rant on something. Heck, look at The Gifted‘s intro. The guy on there started off as a Wale troll. Wale got wind of it and, in a moment of self-parody, decided to include the guy on his intro. If Wale is able to do that more often, trolls and such wouldn’t be as quick to go off on him. Unless, of course, Wale loves to troll the trolls by acting upset.

#ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmm.

Now, Wale, as a human being, has the right to respond to negative vibes. I just wish he’d not resort to responding every time.

4) Wale doesn’t put everyone on from the DMV.

Let’s be honest here. If you’re in the DMV, chances are, you’ll run into someone trying to rap/sing/produce/model/what-the-[bleep]-ever. With that said, it’s flat-out impossible for one man to put an entire city on his back, regardless of what rappers tell you. It’s even more impossible when that one man, again, isn’t exactly from the city people want him to put on his back. In this case, I’m taken back to a Jay Z line from the track “Do U Wanna Ride” from Kingdom Come.

“I put my [ninjas] on, my [ninjas] put their [ninjas] on…”

Translation: you can’t depend on every person from your area to help you out. If I did that, shoot, I’d still be waiting on K-Swift to play J dot Speed songs in her mixes in heaven. Artists, if you want to get on, you’ve got to, nine times out of ten, get yourself on. Not everyone can, will, or is obligated to, help you do that.

5) Some believe he looks at himself as the “best in the world” (no CM Punk).

If you’re good at something, you should be proud of it. Granted, “being proud” shouldn’t include getting ready to spaz on Complex editors because they didn’t include you in their top-50 list, but you should be proud of what you do. Some don’t like that, possibly because they’ve failed in some way, and will dedicate their lives to pushing the buttons of those who’ve done something (goes back to #3).

The list goes on, but I’ll stop at five because I’d rather not take up too much space/time.

It can be argued that Mr. Ralph Folarin brings some of this stuff upon himself because of his temperament. He’s a guy that, if carried, will try to joan on someone twice as hard. In some ways, the relationship between Wale and his victims/trolls is symbiotic in nature. They troll him, he trolls back, someone gets angry, then the figurative shots are fired. I wouldn’t suggest he’s doing it because he’s “sensitive” or whatever. It’s more of a “damn, maybe I’ve said too much” situation sometimes. But, as is the case with social media, once it’s out there, it’s usually out there to stay. So, because it’s out there, someone will continue to press the issue, until it gets out of hand. In short, it’s more than likely that Wale’s “rampages” and so-on are brought on by his (over?)use of social media, his outspoken nature (including to people who are just as, if not more, outspoken), and the fact that trolls love to push buttons. Combine all three and you’ve got a perfect storm of [tomfoolery].

So, why Wale? In the end, it becomes not a question of why, but why not?

Until next time and my apologies for potentially rambling,

Speed on the Beat

Greetings and saliva, folks.

Hope your hangovers are recovered and your ready for some real spit (see what I did there?), because it’s time for Speed’s Wishlist for Hip-Hop in the Upcoming Frame of Time.* I used to do these annually on one of my older blogs, but that site was lost in The Great AOL Disintegration of the Mid-2000s. So, without further ado, here are some talking points that, if followed, can only bring peace and awesomeness into the world of hip-hop.

First, can we stop trying to sound like Chief Keef, Future/Rich Homie Quan and/or Migos? I mean, come on! I get that music is one of those things that goes by the philosophy of more is better and “if it worked for them, it’ll damn sure work for me because I’m better and more real than them.” But, if I’ve got to sit through one more faux-sung, over-AutoTuned track about trapping, thots/t.h.o.t. (a word/acronym that must be sent to pasture–and soon), and the lot with that “Karate Chop” flow, I swear that I’m going to start throwing chairs. And we all know what happens when people throw chairs (Ed. Note: link contains a use of “the n-word”). Now, I can’t lie. If I’m in the club, and I’ve had a couple…ummm…sips of Sprite, I don’t want to hear Immortal Technique, Nas, or Lupe. Heck, I don’t even want to hear my music when I’m partying, so everything has its place. But, get out their lane, random up-and-coming rapper 217291.

Secondly, I’d love to hear a female rapper (sorry Jean Grae, there is still a socioeconomic need to differentiate between male and female rappers–even if I don’t necessarily agree with it) to drop bars without referring to their sex or referring to themselves as female dogs (keeping it PG here). I know that people try to “reclaim” words and re-purpose them as strong, pro-cause terms, but I still can’t see much too “awesome” about being a dog. Maybe I’m missing something.

Ya...don't say, Speed?

Eh…nah. (Had to bring this one into ’14)

Third, can we stop the Drake jokes? No, this one has nothing to do with some upcoming news I’ve got for everyone the fact that I’m also writing for Boi-1da.net now. It’s more so that the jokes are repetitive and dated. It’s like watching an episode of Two and a Half Men. On repeat. For a year. You can see how that may make a person go all Robot Chicken (Ed. Note: Viewer’s discretion is advised as this video is from the show Robot Chicken). Better yet, if we’re gonna do Drake jokes, it’s like watching Degrassi: The Next Generation for a year and only getting to watch the episode where Jimmy gets shot. Yes, I watch(ed) Degrassi. In high school, and oddly in college, it got me into some…great situations. Now, some people, like Big GhostFASE and the like, they made their name off calling out some of the more…ahem…emotive rappers out there, and that’s awesome. But, that doesn’t mean everyone needs to/can do it as effectively.

This. Must. Stop.

This. Must. Stop.

Fourth, can conscious rappers get off their high horses? If there’s one thing that gets my goat more than anything, it’s that sort of you-know-what. I mean, seriously! It’s bad enough when Fake Deep Twitter talks about stuff they don’t fully comprehend. It’s even worse when you’ve gotta listen to entire albums of that gobbledygook, which brings me to my next point.

DOUBLE SEGUE!

DOUBLE SEGUE!

Fifth, can rappers get back to, oh I don’t know, rapping?! Between Joe Budden giving out relationship advice, Lupe tweeting books, Kanye “ranting” but kind of making sense, and so on, I had a headache. We get it. You’re bored and have down time like regular people, so you want to do something random. That’s cool. That’s great, actually, if it’ll keep you out of jail. But I want more music, guys and girls. Get to that, then we can talk about your extracurriculars.

Sixth, and this one is kind of local. DMV artists, let’s try to make history by having a year where we all get along and don’t start beefing over “he said, she said” tomfoolery. Because honestly, almost no one outside the DMV knows who any of us are. Heck, people have found out more about Wale through who he’s wanted to punch in the mouth at Complex than his music. Let’s not even get started on the Baltimore hip-hop scene (and yes, there is one. And no, it doesn’t just have Baltimore Club Music heads in it). If we, as an area (and don’t give me that “I’m bigger than DMV” shtick when people in the DMV the block where you stay have no idea who you are), can actually put our heads together, get off our self-imposed ego trips and actually make, oh I don’t know, music…we’d get somewhere. Beef’s are a real part of life and not everyone will love everyone else, regardless of how much easier it’d make things. But, for the love of apple pie, at least try.

*changed from “year” on request of those that are in the “it’s just a year” camp. Even though, you’ve gotta admit: focusing on just one year is a bit corny.

Hear ye, hear ye!

The No-Fi King has an announcement for all to take into consideration. As this is potentially the last post of the year from me (Christmas is next week and the week after that is New Year’s Day), I’d like to first give a huge e-high five to Arteest for allowing me the chance to write on this blog–and reminding me that I can voice witty opinions without four-letter words. My mom can now read some of my thoughts…if she, you know, understood “that damn interwebnets” and/or had a computer.

She was born pre-Korean War.

Anywho, as promised, here are the winners and losers of 2013 (in hip-hop). Some of these choices will be controversial, some will probably get me death stares and/or threats when I walk in the street. But, let me remind you that if I’m thinking it, there are probably many others who are thinking the same doggone thing. Losers and winners are not exactly based off of lyrical content or anything–more so who’s had the worst year (or who had a great 2013, but will probably fail because of their 2013, if that makes sense). Also, my apologies for the male artist-skewed list.

Losers:

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2 Chainz: Say you’re a thirty-something rapper who’s had many setbacks but finally get on to a degree. You achieve success, fame, recognition–even have white people know who you are. And then, you go from being the guy who had a Comeback Season more fawned over than Blake Griffin’s, to a failed comeback by doing the following:
1) Being arrested in Maryland for drugs
2) Being arrested (again) for weed and promethazine
3) Being robbed near a “marijuana dispensary” in San Fran at gunpoint and becoming a laughingstock (note: being robbed itself is not funny, nor is violence. However, the video of this incident is just…sad)
4) Being pulled over for a traffic light–and then being cited for drugs and guns and…
5) Having an album drop and then having said album drop from peoples’ conscious almost a week after its release.
Now, Mr. T*** Two Necklace is still, obviously, doing his thing. But, these actions have most certainly placed him in the loser category.

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J. Cole: Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Cole went gold! How did he have a bad year?” Well, let’s see. His “response” to “The Almighty ‘Control’ Verse” was brushed off as being “in-character,” “Let Nas Down” was potentially one of the most pandering songs in the history of modern hip-hop–even though it does touch on absent father syndrome. On top of that, Cole’s album was forgotten about in a similar fashion as Chainz’s. Sure, he outsold Yeezus, for a bit. But, aside from “Crooked Smile,” most people probably couldn’t name a song off of Born Sinner unless they listened to the whole thing and/or were fans of Cole. I enjoyed the album, but I’m just stating facts. Plus, he seems to look like he’s about to break down and cry 9.68 times out of ten. But, I mean, he’s potentially getting married to his college sweetheart. For that, I’d typically move him to the winners’ section. But, overall, he’s taken quite a few L’s this year.

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Wale: Mr. Folarin, I want to say this in advance. I don’t think you are a bad person. I actually enjoy a lot of your music. Hell, “Dig Dug” was the first song I heard when I stepped on UMD’s campus, so your music was always a part of my young adulthood…and stuff. I do think, however, that you’ve allowed your ego to surpass your talent. It happens. Kanye is an example of this (we’ll get to him later). But, at least with Kanye, he’s got clout to back up his behaviors. You, at this point, don’t exactly have that same cushion to fall back on. That’s not me being a bitter indie artist or an overly-critical music blogger. Based on your catalog, mixtapes included, you have less room to go all “Phuket, Thailand” every time someone says something that upsets you.

With that said, where do we begin regarding your fails this year? Your hissy fit (and eventual self-depreciation) over the Complex article list where Juicy J’s album was declared better than yours? You (apparently) deactivating your Twitter after Sace f/k/a Southeast Slim got at you on “Forever Hitter Quitter?” The Gifted being, aside from 2-3 songs, inferior compared to Ambition? It seems this year, aside from bringing Fat Trel to MMG, Wale’s wins were supplemented by losses. And, honestly, it’s damn sad–not even because he’s a local dude (who maybe allowed part of his hometown story to be fabricated a bit), though. It’s because he doesn’t seem made for fame, but he still seemingly feels like he’s got an obligation to put out stuff. So, until he leaves the drug of success alone, we’ll have to deal with his antics just like our next loser–unless he grows a thicker skin. It’s imperative, Wale, for you to grow a thicker skin before this game eats you alive. But, before we get to the next on our list, I’ve got to give a giant F*** You to Complex for taking this whole thing and turning it into a “look at this ni black rapper guy, he’s making us scared so we’re going to belittle him even more than we already have” freak-show.

At least when I did it above, I still have hope that Wale could grow as a human (more on that later).

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Kanye West: Enough said. Save me the psychobabble, and the “he’s circumventing black thought through embracing white people” crap. The guy lost this year. Yeezus sucked. Nothing he did was profound. Get over it.

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The Return of the Hii-Fivver

People Who Thought Kendrick/Drake Would Grow Into A Large Beef: It’s almost 2014, people. Large-scale beefs don’t happen anymore. If they do, they’ll pretty much be limited to Twitter beef and a couple of “it could be a diss if you think about it hard enough” shots.

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Gucci Mane: Umm…yeah. Gucci, I’m not a fan of yours, but I hope you’ve gotten your [stuff] together.

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Lorde: Now, this is probably going to turn some heads. First of all, I’m listing Lorde because whatever she does after this first album, it’ll forever be compared to the first time we were introduced to her (for most, this was “Royals”). It’s a similar situation with Lady Gaga. Critics (and some fans), however, always seem to go back to The Fame when looking at, for instance, Artpop. Granted, Artpop wasn’t epic, but it wasn’t Born this Way. Lorde will probably suffer from this more because, at seventeen, she was able to talk on some things (most) adult acts shy from–which brings me to my second point.

Secondly, Lorde’s made my list of losers of 2013 because when you really look at her work, it’s not all that profound or deep. It’s simple stuff that doesn’t address a problem, but glosses over it, opting more for catchiness and self-degradation. Let’s focus on the (now-overplayed) “Royals.” It comments on consumerism, the divide of New Zealand’s classes, and so on. But, what some may miss in Lorde is just as much a part of the problem that she’s speaking on as anything. To simply put it, she can sing, but the lyrical “depth” isn’t worth anything. My almost three-year-old was able to, in preschool-speak, decipher the meaning behind it. Put away the pitchforks, people. I’m just stating my opinion on her.

Honorable Mentions: Miley Cyrus (too easy) and R. Kelly (Seriously, Kellz. No one wants to hear you singing about how much you want to marry the…yeah…).

And now, for some winners:

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Beyoncé: She’s not exactly hip-hop, but she put out an album that’s–at the time I’m writing this–gold with no promotion, no buzz, and no sort of conventional use of her resources. She went all DIY indie rap artist (DOUBLE shameless plug) and dropped it randomly and told people to go get it. And, well, they did. Now, whether or not you think it’s really the “puppet masters” buying copies or not, the album did numbers that no album has on iTunes. That’s saying something about your win percentage right off the bat.

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Wale: How does Wale, a guy who I kind of ripped into earlier get a winner’s sticker as well? Well, rest assured, I wasn’t coerced into it (although I am, however, still waiting on my signed copy of Ambition) or anything crazy like that. He’s starting to, even with his “Wale Moments,” show (tiny increments of) growth, as mentioned above. The “I Got My Tool” Instagram showcases a lot more of the Wale that he doesn’t exactly show in his music. Perhaps if he did allow himself to have more fun musically, he’d be able to get more recognition/media attention. That’s not to say, “Hey Wale, make an album about selling coke and such,” but more a “hey Wale, everything doesn’t need to be so thought-provokingly serious all the time.” I mean, he’s still highly “sensitive,” but there seems to be hope. Plus, Wale has aided a couple DMV cats to gaining more mainstream recognition. Whether or not he could/should do more is another argument entirely, but more people know about, say, Fat Trel than they did last year.

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About ten years ago, this delusion would’ve been truth for most underground rappers. For some…it still is. We see you, but we will not say anything.

Indie rap: Call it the Macklemore Effect (ugh…and I say “ugh” because a few years ago, it would’ve been called the “Tech N9ne Effect,” but now “everyone” is heralding Macklemore as their unthreatening rap savior), but more people are starting to look outside the radio for good music. Not all indie rap is good, but at least with a variety, people can choose what works for them. Artists from Tech N9ne to yours truly have dropped projects this year and again, while the quality may sometimes lack the “big dog” feel, the heart’s still there. Gone are the days of the pasty nerdcore rapper and the wannabe thug on dial-up posting songs on Soundclick. Heck, gone are the days where people used Soundclick as their go-to for underground rap, but that’s neither here nor there really. Now? Indie rap is being taken quite seriously. You have indie artists appearing on “Top Ten” lists that aren’t just online.

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Big K.R.I.T: Sticking with the indie rap idea, KRIT’s King Remembered in Time album/mixtape was better than a lot of peoples’ albums. I consider it indie because, even though K.R.I.T has a deal with Def Jam and such, he put this one out on his own a la 2010’s K.R.I.T wuz Here and all but delivered a bona-fide sequel to that classic. Plus, K.R.I.T’s been getting around these days, with collaborations, touring with Talib Kweli and Macklemore, and just a slew of other stuff. I’d like to say that the sky’s the limit for Mr. Live from the Underground. If he continues, K.R.I.T could take over that Southern Wise Man spot left open by the departure of Pimp C and the reduced workload of Big Boi and Andre 3000. Either that or he’ll continue to just make good-a** music. Either way, we all win, and that’s what’s important.

[Safe for Work GIF Not Applicable, apparently]

Danny Brown: I’m not a huge fan of the guy, and I’m not really a fan of “let’s do drugs and do crazy [stuff] rap,” but Danny Brown deserves a win based off the fact that this guy’s been through hell (some of which, he admits, he caused himself).

Honorable Mentions: The Weeknd and the DMV music scene

And that, my friends, is how you do an end-of-year list. You take some good, some bad, some meh, and you actually think about what made each thing the way it is/was. Hopefully, I haven’t bored/offended any of you in the past few months I’ve been working with Arteest and the blog. If anything, I hope you’ve learned something, you’ve been entertained, and you’re able to grow from my mistakes, miscues, and thoughts. If I’ve bored or offended you, feel free to contact me on Twitter to rant and rave about it. Barring anything amazing happening, I’ll see you guys on New Year’s Day with my list of Hip-Hop Hopes For 2014. Same #TWIHH time (2PM EST), same #TWIHH station.

Pac

Random sidebar: my mom worked at the Baltimore School of the Arts while Pac attended. She, apparently, thought he was headed for great danger if he didn’t change his ways.

Written by: Michele Amira Pinczuk

Edited and co-written by: Arteest

Welcome to the first list of its kind – the top “DC chillin,” “VA chillin” and “Moco chillin” MCs. Selection for this Hip-Hop hot list is based on mixtape quality, swag as an MC, and poetic justice in the content of their songs. OMG! This is some serious DMV MC geography! The MCs on this list have all put out thebomb.com mixtapes in 2013 and many of them have been featured on each others mixtape at some point. Although Go-Go had long eclipsed our local music scene, these five talented artists are proving why Hip-Hop is becoming a permanent fixture in the DMV.

1. Wale – Hot Track: Bad feat Tiara Thomas

This Maybach Music MC is bringing the DMV to the forefront of Hip-Hop. Although he is a member of Maybach Music Group, his flow and sound are more like Black Hippy with Soul Train sounding hooks over hipster hot instrumentals. His most recent album, The Gifted has hits like “Bad” featuring Tiara Thomas sporting hooks that are smooth like tahina and reminiscent of Kanye West’s College Dropout. As a DMV born Hip-Hop heeb (hipster term for Jewish), I personally love his mixtapes More About Nothing and The Mixtape About Nothing, sampling Seinfeld on nearly every track, which makes me want to plotz (to burst, as from laughter in Yiddish).

Sidenote: A few years ago he started The Board Administration, a DMV-based record company that gets hype for go-go bands and puts out the latest Black Cobain and Wale mixtapes.

2.  Tabi Bonney – Hot Track: One More Time feat Phil Ade

Tabi Bonney is the DMV’s Andre 3000. He puts the funk in his DC based Hip-Hop with tracks off his mixtape like “She Parties”, “One More Time” and “Need a Girl”, featuring go-go band TCB. Bonney needs more hype than he has in the game. He marches to the beat of his own mixtape, which is deserving of a lot more airtime.

3. Black Cobain – Hot Track: Glorious

With the swagger of a hustler and the namesake of Kurt Cobain, Black Cobain is on the come up. His latest mixtape contains tracks like “Shootas” with a hot dance hall vibe, while on tracks like “Glorious” his flow is reminiscent of Tupac’s “Keep Ya Head Up.”

Sidenote: He is an artist on Wale’s The Board Administration imprint.

4. Phil Ade – Hot Track: Every Bag

On Phil Ade’s newest Tupac inspired mixtape, he said he “made it cool to be from Maryland.” Ade isn’t new to the game, but he’s always bringing the “new new” to the game even with his 2013 summer swag mixtape R.O.S.E.

5.  Shy Glizzy – Hot Track: If I Want To 

Shy’s nasal voice, sing-song swag and chill gangsta flow is creating hype in the DMV Hip-Hop scene. After he jumped into a twitter feud with Chief Keef, his recognition skyrocketed by releasing the Chief Keef diss “3 Milli“. This track has garnered close to two million YouTube views since its release in May of 2012. Much like 50 Cent in his hustler years, Shy is a hustler and has been creating hype by getting into beefs. Shy might be using the Ari Gold (Entourage) / Kanye West mantra of “there is no such thing as bad publicity”. He “is ’bout that life.” His track “Southside” featuring fellow DMV MC Wale has garnered some radio play in the DMV as well. One thing is for certain, this hipster is on the come up and on his way to making more moves in the world that is Hip-Hop.

Follow Michele Amira on Twitter: @NiceJewishSwag

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For those who missed one of the most eclectic concerts of the year, here’s a quick rundown of my top nine most memorable experiences of this year’s Trillectro Music Festival:

1. Herbal Essences – No. I am not referencing that shampoo that had the risqué commercials back in the 90’s. While in the crowd observing performances  throughout the day I was hit with numerous waves of what Snoop Dogg terms the “sticky icky icky“. Oh don’t worry, I didn’t catch any contact. One thing I will say is that I definitely think that green magical plant is what helped keep people in positive moods for the duration of the festival.

2. Food Trucks – The food at the fairgrounds was provided by a multitude of food trucks. The most noticeable trucks were the grilled cheese truck, the cookie truck and the cheese steak truck. I ate my first cheese steak filled with cheese whiz at Trillectro and I must say the whiz makes all the difference. They filled that bread with savory steak, cheese whiz, chopped onions and topped it with ketchup and I was feeling like I was in sandwich heaven. Downside: The nine dollar price tag, the fact it didn’t come with fries or chips, and the fact they only accepted cash. But hey, when you’re hungry and at a festival you expect things to cost more and you should know to always bring cash.

3. Two Stages – Stage One: The Karmaloop stage sporting the Karmaloop logo was where most, if not all, of the EDM Dj’s ran their sets. Jumping  from those speakers were straight “wub wub!”, “boom! boom! boom!”, and a multitude of crowd snatching, endorphin surging tunes that kept the festival dwellers moving for hours. The second stage was the main stage. It was set up for the music performers. I arrived at the festival just in time to catch the last thirty or so minutes of EDM sets and then I stood in the crowd to watch Casey Veggies, Travis Scott, King Chip, Asap Ferg and Asap Rocky tear down DC like no other. Sidenote: Travis Scott is the most hype performer I have ever seen. His stage presence is not just strangely captivating, but even a little ominous. That could possibly be attributed to his hype and yet sometimes grim beats. But, there was no doubt about it. In the conversation of who reigned supreme at Trillectro, hands down it was Asap Ferg with the rest of the Asap mob. Those guys took over the stage and had the entire Trillectro festival jumping.

4. Drinks – Those who know me know that I love beer. So I was more than happy when I discovered tall boy (16 ounces) Redd’s Apple Ale was available at the festival. I think I drank three or four of them. They also had tall boy’s of Sam Adams Summer Shandy, Bud Light and a few other beers that I seldom drink. Margaritas and strawberry lemonade were also in their non-beer drink selection and when I tell you those margaritas were good too, I mean it. They were delicious! Downside: Sixteen ounce beers were priced as high as seven dollars. So make sure that if you go to the festival next year you have plenty of money on you.

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5. DMV Music Artists – As a frequent planner of hiphop showcases in the DC metro area, a radio show host and executive producer I have developed a relationship with many local music artists. Trillectro was definitely not low on local talent on and off the stage. While walking around the fairgrounds I bumped into local artists Lyriciss, ill Stafa, Seph Ade, Nike Nando, Paperboy Prince of the Suburbs, Brain Rapp, Ike Da Kid, Kaye Trill, Stef, and many more. With all of the local artists so easily accessible, Trillectro almost felt more like the DMV’s (DC, MD, and VA) own smaller version of SXSW (South by Southwest). And let’s not forget those DMV artists who actually performed like New Retro, Phil Ade, Fat Trel, Shy Glizzy, RDGLDGRN and Wale!

6. Beautiful Women – Although there were many women who looked like they’d attended one too many ragers or just didn’t know what was appropriate for their body size. There were enough beautiful women to balance out the overall aesthetic of the festival. Needless to say, I definitely saw some head turners. But, it wasn’t just their faces that made them beautiful. So many women were dressed down and just ready to have a good time. It was moreso their pure style and what some may refer to as “swag” that drew me and many other guys eyes into their directions. It was not unusual to see natural hair, locs, tattoos, headbands, hand-made bracelets and chains, and completely couture outfits. Many women were on their hippy status and that made the vibe so much more enjoyable.

7. Eccentric People – The eccentricity didn’t end with the female festival attendees. Many of their male counterparts were adorned in hand-crafted wooden necklaces, tie dye shirts, and other throwback and vintage style getups. It was quite common to see a guy sporting camo shorts, a tye die tee, a bucket hat with marijuana leaves imprinted on it, slip-on flops, a drink in one hand and a doobie in the other. There were women wearing bra’s like they were bikini tops, kids sporting blonde locs, and black and white peace socks that revealed the plant just above their Jordans.  I revelled in the environment. I loved the fact that no two people looked alike. Everyone had their own style. The festival of individualism was a great escape from the Monday to Friday, nine-to-five khaki pants and blue shirt wearing clone doldrums that many DC dwellers undergo.

8. “Turn Up!” – The phrase of the day was definitely “Turn Up!” (to become energetic, highly enthused or overly excited) And man did we turn up once the ASAP Mob hit the stage. ASAP Ferg’s “Work” and “Shabba” got the entire crowd off their feet. At that point anyone at the festival who hadn’t relaxed and let loose, did. For ASAP Ferg’s entire set everyone in the festival turned up and went wild for the night. Of course ASAP Rocky’s surprise guest appearance during Ferg’s set was definitely a bonus that took the level of excitement to higher heights. With the alcohol flowing, the green leaves lit, and the music pumping everyone was forced to Turn Up!

9. Comradery – Myth: When large crowds of black people develop, a fight generally ensues. Fact: During the four and a half hours I attended the Trillectro festival I did not experience one fight. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying there weren’t any. I am simply saying that I didn’t hear of any or see any while I was there. I feel like the type of people who attend an event like Trillectro aren’t there to cause problems. It felt like we were all there to have fun and relax from the everyday stresses of life. Within those fairground walls, the outside world no longer existed. We became immersed in the moments. Of course within the crowd shoes were stepped on, people regularly brushed against you or shoved a little to dash for a closer view of the performances. But, it was as if there was an unspoken agreement between all the attendees there that these actions were not out of disrespect. They were simply a result of heightened energy within the fairground walls and spatial laws that meant there was no way to avoid it. But, most people were smart to avoid wearing really nice shoes. And those who weren’t, either stayed out of the large crowd or were so turned up they didn’t care.

Overall, I had a great Trillectro experience. Although the four hours I spent there seemed to fly by and I spent more money than I may have planned, my greatest memories are the expressions on everyone’s faces, the people I encountered and the overall positive vibe. Everyone seemed to be having a great time. We were all happy. And that’s what festivals are all about. Right?

The weekend of September 28th, over forty phenomenal hip-hop acts will hit multiple stages at RFK stadium in Washington DC as Rock The Bells hip-hop festival celebrates ten years of bringing historical live performances to the masses. As a hip-hop enthusiast who has never attended a Rock The Bells festival, I am truly looking forward to this. And, as if celebrating their tenth anniversary wasn’t enough excitement for me, it’s happening during my birthday weekend. CaptureThat’s right! September 28th “x” number of years ago this lover of hip-hop was born. And “x” number of years later on that very day, this lover of hip-hop will be doing none other than celebrating his love for such a creative and influential genre at the one-and-only ROCK THE BELLS!!!! Just check out the confirmed artist lineup below and try to tell me it doesn’t make your TurnUp scales explode due to the extreme level of talent and anticipation.

Confirmed Artists

Action Bronson | Big Krit | Black Hippy ( Kendrick Lamar | Schoolboy Q | Ab-Soul | Jay Rock ) Big Daddy Kane | Bodega Bamz | Bone Thugs N Harmony | Brother Ali | Chase and Status | Common | Currensy | Danny Brown | Dilated Peoples | Dizzy Wright | Dom Kennedy | Earl Sweatshirt | Flatbush Zombies | Freeway | Girl Talk | Hit Boy | Hopsin | Immortal Technique | J Cole | Jhene Aiko | Kid Cudi | LeCrae | Mimosa | Prof | Pusha T | Rapsody & 9th Wonder | Ratking | Riff Raff | Sean P | Snow Tha Product | Supernatural | Talib Kweli | Tech N9ne | Tyler the Creator | Wale | Wu Tang Clan

Capture1

And if you don’t know who a single artist in this lineup is, YOU DO NOT KNOW HIP-HOP!!! You should also probably have your vitals tested to make sure you’re alive and not some orchestra zombie who’s been feeding on harps to a tune of violins and flutes their whole life. Not a shot against classical music. Just a shot at you for not diversifying your ears. lol Anyway, some of the artists I am most excited to see perform are Kendrick Lamar, Ab Soul, Big Krit, Curren$y, Tyler The Creator, Pusha T, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Wale, Action Bronson, Kid Cudi and J Cole. I’m actually excited to see Riff Raff and Danny Brown perform as well. But that’s just for laughs because those dudes are some characters. With that said, I hope to see you at RFK stadium on the 28th and 29th. Click the images above for the full details of the event.

 

FUNNY

Tyler The Creator – She (Ft. Frank Ocean)

COOL

Wale – The Cloud ft. Tiara Thomas

SEXY

Keri Hilson – Lose Control ft. Nelly