All photos by Darin Kamnetz

As the sun came out to play at this year’s Soundset Festival, thousands of hip-hop heads gathered to celebrate artists from all across the board, including local acts, classic hip-hop stars and SoundCloud sensations.

Click here to see more photos of the music of Soundset 2018. 

1) Brockhampton cancelling

 Amid sexual assault and emotional manipulation allegations against former group member Ameer Vann, Brockhampton announced that Vann would be dropped from the group and that their remainder U.S. tour dates, including their scheduled Soundeset appearance, would be cancelled about four hours before the State Fair grounds were flooded with hip-hop enthusiasts.

We are living in an age where even though the #MeToo movement is ongoing, the streaming and chart numbers show there is still support for other rising hip-hop acts who have been accused of abuse and sexual misconduct like XXXTentacion and Tekashi69. Although the “alternative boyband” put out an impressive trilogy of albums last year that would have rocked the outdoor event, putting out and issuing a statement apologizing for Vann’s actions and saying, “We don’t tolerate abuse of any kind,” was the best case scenario.

2) “Icon”

During Jaden Smith’s early afternoon mainstage set, he brought just the right amount of energy. His under ten-song performance included opening and closing with his viral and recently remixed hit “Icon.”  Jaden screamed until he squeaked, did his ever-polished moonwalk across the stage, and bounced up and down catching mad air with seemingly zero effort. His overall cool presence set the tone for the electric performances to come, and he won the crowd over with a close-to-home remark. The teenage star said he’s enjoyed his Minnesota stay so far and even got to watch “Deadpool 2” at an ICON movie theater, bringing his love for superheroes and his RIAA Certified Gold hit full circle in the Twin Cities.

3) Frequencies and vibrations 

Just a few songs into his set, Tyler, The Creator complained about heat and said he was done screaming, but he hypocritically proceeded to give the audience a full-energy Flower Boy experience. The icing on the cake was when Erykah Badu joined Tyler on stage for “See You Again,” which actually features frequent collaborator Kali Uchis. It was testament to what Badu previously preached during her set, as she took time in between songs to show support for the next generation of artists and highlight the positive side of new-school trends such as mumble rap.

“You guys are improving on our design,” Badu said. “Words aren’t as important as frequencies and vibrations.”

4) Crowd love

Another stereotype-defying moment was Russ fans showing out. The Atlanta artist has a strong fanbase, but on social media it sometimes seems as though the haters make more noise. On Sunday, Russ thanked Soundset attendees by tweeting it was “one of the best crowds ever.” Although they were a little bit pitchy, rows and rows of sweaty and dedicated fans backed Russ up on songs ranging from his newest track “Back to Life” to his 2014 SoundCloud drop “Goodbye.”

5) Age range

With a blend of classic stars, like the soulful Erykah Badu and legendary Wu-Tang Clan and fresher faces like Logic and Migos, came wide a range of audience members. One peak crowd moment was seeing the same kids calmly dancing or sitting atop their parents shoulders during the slower-paced, extended Erykah Badu set totally lose it when Migos did live renditions of Culture I and Culture II hits like “T-shirt” and “Walk It Talk It.” Additionally, some of Wu-Tang Clan’s youngest fans included a baby with protective headphones branded with the Wu-Tang “W” logo, and one of Soundset’s youngest acts this year, 10-year-old DJ Livia, chilling and totally vibing sidestage as the supergroup performed.


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