Hopscotch Festival 2017: Solange, Big Boi, Rapsody, Teishi, & So Much More
Written By: V8ga & Indiana Giordani
Photo Credit: Alex of AfroCurl Photography
V8ga's Take On Hopscotch:
As I entered Raleigh , via South McDowell Street , my spirits were immediately lifted. The sun was shining and the sidewalks were riddled with people on the go. The city was alive and I literally felt her heartbeat in the form of bass from the Red Hat Amphitheater nearby. I gathered my pass eager to feast on the buffet of music and entertainment that was to come. Because I knew I was adorned with the task of describing my experience as a professional, I carefully plotted my itinerary per the festivals app. As I went from venue to venue my excitement rose and I lost all adult composure and was transformed into a happy, screaming kid. I’m not entirely sure why they named this festival Hopscotch, but I did zero work this weekend and I laughed and played with other kids of the culture hoppingaround downtown Raleigh.
Who are you looking forward to seeing here at the festival?
Big Boi!! I saw Outkast 3 years ago at ACL, and it was one of the most awesome performances I’ve ever seen, so i’m just excited to see him come out with his new album and hear “Boomerverse” live in person.
The love and admiration wasn’t limited to fans, The Lux Blog caught up with a few artists as well.
Being an artist and a fan, who are you looking forward to seeing?
Defacto Thezpian @Schnozgod:
One is definitely Rapsody being from North Carolina and coming from the same breed. Run The Jewels because for me as an artist we need to go to shows and learn stage presence, basically how to pick up and maintain the crowd. Kaytranada and definitely Solange also.
Do You Have any connections to North Carolina as far as Rap or fam?
Tek of Legendary Rap Group Smif-N-Wessun @teksmokeelah
Yea of course, we out here with our family collection of Jamla, Jamroc, @Rapsody,@9thwonder, @khrisis_ , and the whole Jamla team.
There were numerous performances that proved to be a cool treat. Since I was a kid enjoying fun and hopscotch it’s fitting that I conclude my account of artists in true adolescent fashion with ice cream comparisons. BusDriver was wild and zany, a unique concoction like tutti frutti. Rapsody was pure hip hop with a feminine mild touch like butter pecan. Run The Jewels was cookies and cream, no explanation needed it just works lol. Big Boi was timeless, classically cool mint chocolate chip. Solange was smooth and soulful like french vanilla.
Its the Lux!! V8ga out...
One Night Only: My First Time at Hopscotch
By: Indiana Giordani
Night had completely fallen once the chauffeur (Lyft driver) dropped me off on the corner of City Plaza. Taking a look at the time, it was 8:08 PM as I walked through the gate. Sauntering my way through the crowd I settled in a spot center stage, not too far from it and comfortably between the people around me. Still, not quite show time I see what surrounds me and casually watch the crowd grow thicker; the stage was parked in the middle of Fayetteville Street between the Happy + Hale and Marriott in downtown Raleigh. This was my first time at Hopscotch on behalf of The Lux Blog and my introduction artist was Big Boi! He strolled onto stage as cool as ever a few minutes after his scheduled set time which, in show biz, is essentially on time. Having never actually seen OutKast perform live, the show Big Boi put on was a lit experience on its own.
Though he was performing outside of the duo he was not alone, his DJ scratched and mixed his way through the set and handled the crowd as one should. Then there was the band that included a drum machine, bass guitar and two trumpet players, so you know how live it got when Big Boi played classics from his OutKast catalog! Also accompanying him onstage was an old friend and fellow musician, Sleepy Brown looking incognito. Those of us who are millennials and preceding generations remember brother Brown always being decked in the smoothest of garbs, he was the swank amongst the team; this time he opted for the casual all black pants, zip-up hoodie and beanie. Styled in all black everything like his entourage, Big Boi opted for a casual sharp; a Dickie's styled 'fit, crisp plain ball cap and a single gold chain he hyped us with the southerplayalistic sounds of a prolific futuristic Atlanta legend.
After rocking with Daddy Fat Sack for a little over half an hour as my nostalgia for the evening, I skipped over two blocks to Red Hat Amphitheater for some sanctuary with Solange. She doesn't simply take you to church when she performs, she serves you a praise and worship ceremony specifically made for revival week. Still flying high on the success of A Seat at the Table she introduces herself to the stage as the band plays an instrumental. Her dancers precede her and they mold into their choreography and Solo melodically flows through "Rise," "Weary," and "Cranes in the Sky." Solange is dedicated to giving you visuals, her dancers and band members are her cast and ensemble; with her they put on a production through her songs, her conversations, and cleverly placed moves. What was even more mesmerizing is that Mama Solange conducts her own shows, in real time. She captures you by taking you through a range of emotions, like while serenading us to a mellowed rendition of "T.O.N.Y" she dabbed it with the Proud Family theme song, Whuut?!!
Before her show came to a close she had a few more tricks up her sleeve. She had an intense dance session to "Losing You," from her True project after which, she exited stage left. Amid cheers she glided back to center stage and gave us a quelling encore with "Don't Touch My Hair" and a reprise to "Rise."
Saturday Night was a clear and starry filled sky of new experiences. For the first time in my life I saw Big Boi and Solange; legendary urban culture influencers of the avant-garde persuasion, at my first invite to Hopscotch Festival. Night well spent.
Check out photos of @Teishi !