Whoever curated Hopscotch’s hip hop lineup did a great job this year. On top of that, every rapper that performed at the festival deserved to be there, especially rising local stars like Skyblew and Ace Henderson. If you were a Hip Hop head at Hopscotch, there was more than enough material to keep your head nodding and your hands in the air.
Things started well on Thursday night when Lizzo took the stage at CAM. She may be one of the best artists I’ve ever seen on stage, and actually made me feel happy inside while she was performing. Maybe it was the sugar from the cookies she tossed out to her fans during the performance of her most popular single, “Batches & Cookies.” Either way she sang, rapped, and danced her way through her performance with swag for days, and kicked things off with a bang.
Friday at Lincoln Theatre was maybe one of the best nights at a music festival that I’ve ever experienced. Skyblew started off the night in front of a sparse crowd, but brought great energy with his jazzy backpack rap style. Then Chaz French took the stage and switched the vibe to a totally different pole by turning the treble down, and the bass way the f@$k up. He moshed his way through a set that landed himself in the middle of the audience, getting down with his fans (myself included), and setting the house on fire. He was followed by Father, who seemed like he had better things to do than rock with Raleigh folks, but the crowd got even thicker, and even rowdier with his presence.
Then Pusha T came out and conquered the festival. There was so much love in the building for King Push and it made me exceedingly proud as a hip hop head to be a part of it. If any veteran rapper deserves it, it’s him. Thanks for that Raleigh. Pusha T appreciated it too by tweeting: “Murdered #Hopscotch15 no fans, just family… love”
After the extreme energy of Friday night, Cakes Da Killa and Goldlink had some big shoes to fill at CAM on Saturday. Both of them rose to the occasion with amazing stage presence. Cakes Da Killa went through his set, cracking jokes with the crowd, and getting down into the audience to get crazy on the floor. Literally. Goldlink came out with equal amounts of energy and performed his set way longer than he was even scheduled to.
My only issue with Hopscotch, was with how Hip Hop was scheduled. All the fire was used on Friday night. Don’t get me wrong, Saturday night was DOPE, but the crowd wasn’t as hype, and not much was done to get it there. In my opinion, Friday night’s lineup should have been Saturday’s and vice versa. I know that artists’ touring schedules have a lot to do with how they’re scheduled at festivals like this, but a little more attention to detail could have been used to keep the heads ringing to the end of the road.