June 24 2011
I thought I would dedicate this post the the select number of Hip Hop artists that you can catch at Summerfest this year. While I personally feel that Summerfest could use 4 times as many rap acts on the bill, there has been some major leaps and bounds over the past few years at the festival, if you are a Hip Hop fan.
Here are my picks for 2011...
Thursday June 30th
KANYE WEST with KID CUDI at the Marcus Amphitheater
Not much need for explanation on this one. Kanye is one of Hip Hop's most celebrated, hated, under-rated, over celebrated acts of the past decade. I was a big Kanye fan, before COLLEGE DROPOUT hit the shelf. Kanye was the man behind so many great Roc-A-Fell and Jay-Z hits, I knew he was gonna have a big impact on Hip Hop. Then he goes and get my favorite DJ, A-Track, to be his tour DJ... awesome! Since then Kanye's career has had ups and downs. Extreme highs and extreme lows, but he always comes back with something new and often controversial.
Kid Cudi has become America's favorite "underground" rapper. After his hit "Day 'N Nite" became a cross-genre crossover success, he continued to blaze new trails in Hip Hop. Kid Cudi can go places other rappers can't; and that is what I love most about him.
FRIDAY JULY 1st
GIRL TALK at Miller Oasis
While Greg Gillis may not be a name you immediately associate with pure party, his alter ego GIRL TALK is a synonym for sweaty party. Girl Talk has been moving party people for almost a decade with his original mash-ups and remixes. While GIRL TALK is not a rap artist, he does incorporate a ton of rap music in his sets. His work walks a fine line when it comes to the "industry's" rules on sampling. Girl Talk mixes have used hundreds of samples per "album". He has been the topic of several copyright battles and, there was even a documentary on his work called GOOD COPY, BAD COPY
TUESDAY JULY 5th
WIZ KHALIFA with Prophetic, Kid Cut Up & Madhatter, Que Billah and Growing Nation. HARLEY DAVIDSON Roadhouse Stage
If you like Hip Hop, this is your day. There are few days that have such a consistent amount of Hip Hop on one stage. Tuesday July 5th however, has 7 hours of straight HIP HOP music.
Starting with Milwaukee's soul/R&B/ Hip Hop super group Growing Nation at 4pm. Then Chicago MC Que Billah hits the stage. I'm some what partial to the next two acts, as I am one of them... LOL Myself and Kid Cut Up return to bring the DJ element back to Summerfest. We had a great response last year, and we plan to bring some new tricks this summer.
Milwaukee rapper Prophetic, has positioned himself as one of the city's top rappers in just a few short years. This is Proph's 2nd Summerfest appearance, and this time, he's hot on the heels of a new album and a break-out single "GREEN and YELLOW". When the Packers made the NFL playoffs, every station in Milwaukee was playing Prophetic's remake of Wiz Khalifa's "Black and Yellow". It should be interesting to see how this song goes over at Summerfest.
Pittsburg MC, Wiz Khalifa, went from underground mixtape king, to international celebrity almost over night. His show has been a favorite at festivals all over the US, so I'm expecting a BIG turn out for this performance. May be the fest's top rap show in the past few years.
SATURDAY JULY 9th
DE LA SOUL with Erin Martin, AUTOMatic and Fresh Cut Collective on the 88NINE Potawatomi Pavilion Stage
Another Hip Hop lovers dream, you can post up at the 88NINE stage from 4pm-close and catch some of the areas BEST Hip Hop groups all on one stage. The group has evolved in 2011, and their live show is more energetic than ever before.
I could NOT think of a better Milwaukee rap group to open up for De La Soul than AUTOMatic. A.P.R.I.M.E. and Trellmatic make a special brand of Hip Hop that brings you back to the golden days of A Tribe Called Quest, Black Sheep, and .... De La Soul. I hope they play their ode to the Native Tongues "Higher" in the set. Chicago's
Erin Martin brings her unique soul / hip hop hybrid to the stage before De La Soul. She often reminds me of Janelle Monae.
De La Soul. Few groups have remained relevant over the course of 20 years, but De La Soul has! From their 1989 debut 3 FEET HIGH AND RISING to their 2004 album GRIND DATE, De La Soul make hip hop for 30 something dad's who still want to listen to rap... like me. I hope they play "Ooh".
With Hip Hop music out selling most other genres in todays market, I wish I could say there was more great Hip Hop at Summerfest, but that's what we get. Summerfest has made some big leaps this year, and they are starting to get the kind of buzz that festivals like Bonnaroo and Lolapooloza get on the national circuit. I only hope that Hip Hop and electronic music find a few more time slots in the 2012 line up! Have fun, and if you are down at Summerfest this year, stop by our booth at the Potowatomi Pavilion and say hi!