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Festival season has officially arrived in all its splendid glory, and with it, comes yet another wide array of options to analyze when deciding just where you're going to spend that summer paycheck. With such an influx in the trend in recent years, it can prove to be difficult navigating the pool in order to land on just what festival you and your pack will be hitting up this year. Thankfully with the surge of festivals, there's been a quest for differentiation as organizers rush to create diverse and appealing lineups that attract a certain type of audience, and with such niche aspirations, the once-forgotten sect of hip hop lovers have been blessed with more than enough picks to choose from this festival season.
Whether it be diversifying lineups of festivals that have stood the test of time or the introduction of new concepts from some of hip hop's most recognizable brands, the lineup for hip hop oriented gatherings have opened up this year. So, we present to you the nine most attractive festivals that the genre's lovers should be checking out in these next coming months.
The reviews from weekend one of Coachella are in, and it is indeed, hip hop friendly. While Coachella's lineup continues to diversify, it's never quite fully resonated with rap fans. But, a stellar showing this year included performances from Childish Gambino, Pusha T, Tierra Whack, 070 Shake, Smino, YG, and Playboi Carti, among others. Festival goers can look forward to the encore April 19 - April 21 across eight stages. If you're looking to kick it in one area, for the most part, the headlining Coachella stage and hip hop-laden Sahara stage can do you no wrong. On the latter, you can catch Jaden Smith, Juice WRLD, and Kid Cudi on the bill while the headlining stage hosts Gambino, Anderson .Paak, Bad Bunny and Janelle Monae across the weekend.
2. Rolling Loud Miami
Since its inception, Rolling Loud has touted the subheading of being the biggest hip hop festival in the world. With such a stacked lineup, exclusively composed of hip hop and hip hop adjacent artists, it has lived up to the claim time and time again. While the brand has branched out to different cities in California and Australia to date, its flagship Miami showing continues to be one of the premier events of festival season. This year, Rolling Loud celebrates its five-year anniversary in its hometown with Migos, Travis Scott, and Kid Cudi all headlining the three-day event from May 10 - May 12. Elsewhere on the lineup, fans can expect to see Cardi B, JID, Wiz Khalifa, YG, Lil Wayne, 21 Savage and Megan Thee Stallion among at least 100 artists.
3. The Roots Picnic
This year, The Roots will celebrate the 20th anniversary of their Things Fall Apart album, and they've brought along a hefty lineup of artists for the assist at their annual The Roots Picnic. Once more staged in Philadelphia, the event is delivering a delicate balancing act of hip hop, R&B and other afro-influenced sounds, presenting festival goers with headliners H.E.R and 21 Savage in addition to the likes of Davido, Ari Lennox, Tanks and The Bangas, Blueface; and a special session with Raphael Saadiq and The Soulquarians. Set to arrive on June 1, The Roots Picnic has once again succeeded at acknowledging legends while showing love to the new class of stars.
4. Something In The Water
When Pharrell and his associates began to drop off social media teasers, the world was instantly convinced that Skateboard P had finally curated his very own music festival, and the result has become the highly anticipated Something In The Water festival. A newbie to the festival game, Something In The Water is providing residents of Virginia Beach with a homegrown experience that places local Virginia talent and culture at the forefront, even including a free revival-style church service hosted by local churches in its itinerary. For those looking to enjoy the festival itself, it's poised to take place from April 26 - April 28 and features a wondrous lineup that includes Pusha T, Migos, SZA, Teddy Riley, J Balvin, Anderson .Paak, Kaytranada, Chris Brown, Masego, and DRAM.
For festival lovers and travel enthusiasts alike, Dublin's Longitude festival provides a stacked lineup of hip hop favorites across the pond. Set for the weekend of July 5 - July 7, Longitude Fest's organizers have crafted a show headlined by A$AP Rocky, Chance The Rapper, Cardi B and Future. Interestingly, the festival is overwhelmingly peppered with more American artists such as Amine, Gunna, Denzel Curry, and Juice WRLD. But, you can still enjoy a look at UK-bred stars on the home front with sets from AJ Tracey, Jimothy and Anne-Marie.
This year, Texas' JMBLYA festival is doing double duty with back-to-back shows in Dallas and Austin over the weekend of May 3 - May 4. It hosts one of the smaller festival lineups on the list, but certainly prioritizes quality over quantity with Travis Scott doing the honors as headliner. He'll be supported by acts who include Lil Wayne, Kevin Gates, City Girls and Maxo Kream. Moreover, JMBLYA is doing its part in helping music-based non-profits in the area with proceeds from its Dallas show supporting Music Forward, a music education foundation; while the Austin leg will help the Grounded In Music foundation.
7. Mad Decent Block Party Festival
After years of traveling the country with the Mad Decent Block Party, Diplo's label has finally taken their pop-up brainchild and constructed it into a full-blown festival set to take place July 20 -July 21 in Massachusetts. Appropriately named the Super Mega Ultra Giant Mad Decent Block Party Festival, or Mad City for short, this show is a great balance between the mosh-pit friendly cousins of hip hop and electronic music. You can expect to catch G-Eazy, Miguel, Major Lazer, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Cousin Stizz, YBN Cordae, Jpegmafia, and Flosstradamus on the lineup while the experience boasts "The World's Largest Bounce House," Go-Kart racing and a Paintball Arena to match.
8. Made In America
Another premier outing in the city of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia's Made In America festival is anchored this year by headliners Travis Scott and Cardi B over Labor Day weekend. This year in particular, festival organizers seem to have honed in on hip hop-centric acts with other names that include Kodak Black, Megan Thee Stallion, Blueface, MadLib & Freddie Gibbs, Tierra Whack and Calboy scheduled to make appearances. Previously, MIA has aligned itself with charitable causes to underscore its purpose, and while it currently offers no details about its initiatives, you'll more than likely be able to retreat to its Cause Village where attendees are encouraged to learn about the organizations bringing about change in their communities.
9. Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash
Another new entry to the festival game, SPKRBX presents Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash has launched another hip hop festival geared toward the genre's new class set to kick off in Chicago. After a successful test run in August last year, the Summer Smash festival is now a full-blown event set to go down on the weekend of June 29 - June 30 and features headliners Playboi Carti, Juice WRLD, Kodak Black and Lil Yachty. Elsewhere on the lineup, crowds will be treated to the moshpit-inducing sounds of Ski Mask The Slump God, Trippie Redd, and Blueface among at least 50 other artists. As we enter an era of festivals catering to Gen Z's superstars, Summer Smash gets in at the ground level for what's sure to be a wild weekend.
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