Editor’s Note: All photos in this article courtesy of Adam DeGross. Be sure to follow him on Instagram to see even more of his work.
If you were at Soundset on Sunday, there’s a good chance you spent most of yesterday recovering. Kicking back and taking in everything you heard and experienced while you were at the State Fairgrounds, watching some of the best rappers in the world do their things. And if you’re like me, when you were done reminiscing on everything you’d seen, there was only one conclusion you could come to: It was lit. Super lit. 5-alarm fire lit.
I’m still getting over how awesome the whole thing was, so today I’m sharing my experiences at Soundset 2016, and my opinions on what I witnessed there. Let’s all zone out and take a trip back to Sunday together.
The squad and I rolled up a little after 1:15 PM, in hopes of catching Anderson .Paak, who was set to perform at 1:30 (I personally thought that was a little early for someone of his stature, but that’s really neither here nor there). When we parked, walked to the entrance, and got in line we quickly realized that we weren’t going to make it in in time…and we could faintly hear his performance, which made it all that much more frustrating. That might have started our day out on a bad note, but we shrugged it off and made it into the festival in time to see Lizzo‘s set.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you I’m terribly familiar with Lizzo’s music, but we enjoyed her set. She was very high-energy, had a commanding stage presence and a booming voice, and kept her set moving at a brisk pace. Her DJ, Sophia Eris is a friend of ours, and it was pretty cool to see her overlooking thousands of people.
We then moved over to the other stage for Danny Brown‘s set, which was one of the very best of the day in our opinion. Even though he was a little late to touch the stage (which seems very Danny Brown-ish) and his DJ had to play about 4-5 songs to fill up the dead time, he made up for it with a high-energy performance that had the crowd rocking in a rowdy fashion. Every year at Soundset, there’s at least one artist that goes up a few notches in my book, and this year that artist was definitely Danny Brown.
We needed a bit of a break after that set, so we went to grab food. One thing that I wish they’d have left at Canterbury was the ticket system, in which you have to buy sheets of 10 tickets at 10 bucks a pop. Of course, pretty much everything you can buy is between 6 to 8 dollars, so at the end of the night you’re always sitting on a few tickets that you can’t use.
Ticket gripes aside, the food was pretty good. I had a solid platter of cheese curds, some Sweet Martha’s Cookies (one of the biggest advantages of being at the fairgrounds), and a somewhat soggy hamburger. After eating, it was back to the music. We headed over to the 5th Element tent to catch Pouya‘s set, and he had a packed tent going absolutely nuts. The tent was so full that there wasn’t even elbow room in the back. It’s safe to say he’s got some fans in Minnesota.
After Pouya, we stuck around for Domo Genisis’s set, but we decided to leave after only a few songs. Not only did he start his set by saying he “liked to dance” and then playing Usher and R. Kelly instead of his own music (usually fine but not a good way to open your set), he just couldn’t match Pouya’s energy. At this point the lack of room in the tent grew too annoying, and we left to go hit the vendor booths instead.
The vendor booths were another area that was a considerable upgrade from Canterbury. Instead of tents, there were actual booths that you could set foot in to peruse a vendor’s wares. We stopped by to chill with our homies at NSOD Clothing and Piff, and then assembled the whole squad to get in the crowd for Future‘s set.
We caught the tail end of The Roots, which was a cool experience (always good to say you saw a legendary group perform), and then Future Hendrix came out. The crowd was wild for about the first two songs, but then strangely, towards the middle of the set, the energy seemed to drop out of nowhere. Maybe everyone was just starting to get tired, maybe it was just the adrenaline dump from the beginning of the show. Who knows? What I do know though, is that Future finished his set strong. With March Madness, Fuck Up Some Commas, and Wicked as the 3 closing songs, Future finished his set on a high note and set the stage for none other than…A$AP Rocky.
I’m a huge A$AP Rocky fan. One of the biggest you’ll find anywhere. Live. Love. A$AP changed my life. I’d never heard anything like it before, and Rocky opened the doors to a whole new world of culture, fashion, and music. I though I was cool before I heard that tape, but I know for a fact that I was cooler after I heard it.
But I digress. When the opening notes of LPFJ2 hit and Rocky came bounding onto the stage, the crowd collectively lost their shit. Wearing a vintage Guess jean jacket, a VLONE long-sleeve shirt, ripped denim and Bred I’s (ayyyy!) Rocky tore through his recent hits like M’S, Yamborghini High, and L$D, while sprinkling in classics like Goldie and Fuckin’ Problem. A$AP Nast, A$AP Ant, and A$AP Twelvyy were there to help, confetti machines sprayed purple hundred-dollar bills with A$AP Yams’s (R.I.P.) face on them, and to make things even better, Rocky even threw in fan favorites like Canal Street and Excuse Me, and finished his set with a rousing performance of Everyday. To add a little extra, Playboi Carti even came out and performed What, which, sounded even better live.
Rocky got off stage, and everyone filed out happy, after witnessing what, in our opinion, was one of the best if not the very best editions of Soundset yet. The eclectic mix of artists and great atmosphere made for a memorable time, and we don’t think we’re alone in saying that we absolutely can’t wait for next year.
Did you go to Soundset? If so, what did you enjoy the most? Who do you think had the best set? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter, check our Facebook page for daily updates, and, as always, be sure to follow us on Instagram for all the fire sneaker pictures you can handle.