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May 24, 2015 marked the date of the 8th installment of Soundset Festival or the largest hip-hop festival in the WORLD! Over 30,000 people from 47 states (sorry Hawaii, Delaware & South Carolina) made their way to Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota to celebrate all things hip-hop. Although the sky way grey and the forecast called for continuous rain, the passion and love for this incredible event put on by Rhymesayers Entertainment shined brighter than ever. Come on a journey with Sway’s Universe as we give you our behind the scenes look at Soundset 2015.
It’s only appropriate to start things off with some dope local talent, Dem Atlas took the main stage early in the day and got the sea of a crowd rocking. We were able to be stage side as the Rhymesayers’ emcee warmed up and focused in on bringing 30,000 damp hip-hop lovers together. From calm as can be to hype and alive, Dem Atlas rocked his first Soundset performance. We also got the chance to speak to Dem Atlas on Friday during our Sway In The Morning broadcast from Fifth Element and again after his set. What stood out was his wisdom and openness about his music, specifically his track “DSORDR” which he wrote after spending some time in Baltimore just a few weeks ago.
Sway’s artist G.L.A.M. or Good Lyrics And Music put on for the Bay Area as she took to the Fifth Element stage. Chopping up old ’90’s beats and adding her own flare to Fetty Wap’s “My Way,” G.L.A.M. immediately took control of the crowd. We also saw some very special moments with Sway as he huddled in for some last minute words of motivation. G.L.A.M. also hit the main stage for an acapella freestyle between acts, we caught her crack a smile walking off the stage.
We have to report everything, right? Hip-Hop legends need to re-fuel every now and then, we like to think Big Sean has a BIG appetite. Minneapolis donut shop, Glam Doll, knocked these custom custard pieces out of the park! From Yelawolf to Logic to Big Sean, you have to see these luscious breakfast accessories.
From Long Beach, California to the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Vince Staples brought crazy energy to the stage while cracking off hits like “Blue Suede” and his most recent tune “Señorita.” We sat down with Vince after his set to talk about the festival as well as his performance and we were immediately hit with some gems as he made it very apparent that he is here for the long run. We were very surprised as he said his set “was on 9,” but I think the crowd would hit him with a perfect 10.
Fresh off performing in St. Louis at a festival filled with mainly metal acts, Yelawolf brought a hardcore mentality to the stage as he threw not only a stool but also his mic into the mob of fans following his final song. A rock star move by the Alabama superstar who performed with a car grill on the front of his DJ booth. His live band complete with a stand up bass player added to the already electric atmosphere. We sat down with Yelawolf fresh off stage, adrenaline still pumping as he told us about advice he’s received from Eminem.
Visionary Music Group member Logic has been selling out shows across the country since his debut album “Under Pressure” dropped in 2014. But Soundset was a very special performance for the Maryland native as he revealed to our own Nicky G that it was his very first festival! The first of many as he will hit Lollapalooza in Chicago, Wireless Festival in London and many more huge festivals to keep him busy the rest of the summer. But don’t worry he hinted at music with some very special features that you will find out about in our exclusive interview. We interrupted his lunch after nearly dropping “moms spaghetti” on the stage due to nerves, he told us that Sway was there to remind him that he would kill his performance like he does every night. His genuine attitude shone through the grey clouds as he shared a laugh with us while cracking jokes following his performance.
It’s no secret that Luda has hits on deck, the ATL OG hit the Soundset stage and rattled off classic after classic. We watched this set on the side of the stage next to Clockwork Indigo (Flatbush Zombies & The Underachievers) who rapped along to every word from “Roll Out” to “Move B*%&h” to “Get Back” to… okay you get the idea. Splitting the crowd down the middle, Luda pinned them against each other to see who could get the loudest.
Arguably the hottest artist in the game right now, Big Sean went wayyyy up, standing on top of his light boards to start off his performance. The Detroit emcee even brought out a dancing mascot with a Detroit Red Wings jersey on to get the crowd hype! He rattled off hit records from his new album “Dark Sky Paradise” along with some GOOD Music cuts like “Mercy” as she shouted out Kanye, Pusha T, Common and the rest of the crew. We had the pleasure to talk to Sean after his set where he reminisced on now having 3 albums out, “where has the time gone?” He also shared his most memorable studio session with us, flying from his moms crib in Detroit to meet up with Kanye.
While a photo of J. Cole would round up our Soundset summary quite nicely, the best way to capture his performance is to show you a photo of the crowd. Imagine 30,000 people, tired, wet, hungry, they’ve been outside for 10 hours walking through the mud and being squeezed into tight spots. If you thought that’s what Soundset looked like at 9PM on Sunday night you would be wrong. These hip-hop warriors braved the rain all day for this moment, J. Cole takes the stage for his headlining set with a smile on his face. The largest hip-hop festival in the world smiles back as the music drops, a moment that sent chills down my neck as I looked out into the crowd that looked like an endless sea. The man who released “2014 Forest Hills Drive” with no singles played track after track, stopping only to tell stories that went with the album. J. Cole closed out Soundset 2015, the largest hip-hop festival in the world in stunning fashion.
Soundset 2016 will take place at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds on May 29, don’t miss out on your chance to witness history.
Stay tuned to Sway’s Universe all week for more exclusive content from Soundset Festival 2015.