Soundset is always a massively diverse showcase of all the talent across the hip-hop map, and yesterday’s festivities has a particularly strong showing from all the West Coast talent who otherwise don’t often make their way to the Twin Cities.
Right at noon, the Main Stage kicked off with Bay Area favorite Kamaiyah. Even in the 95 degree weather, Kaimaiyah displayed some impressive showmanship by rocking her signature black Adidas tracksuit for her entire set, even through leading the crowd in her signature track “How Does It Feel?”
Tyler, the Creator has his set delayed due to Erykah Badu running long, but showed so signs of being affected by blistering through his recent favorites. As someone who has seen Tyler performing live since he was the asthma plagued 19-year-old struggling to breathe in a New York Webster Hall basement for 300 people back in 2010, watching his dynamic, powerful main stage set captivate the crowd was truly incredible.
At the same time, the Atmosphere and Friends stage was home to what’s certain to be a legendary Ice-T performance. Given that most of T’s touring these days seems to be with his metal band Body Count, the fact that we got a pure hip-hop DJ and MC set – with T’s original touring DJ Evil-E no less – made his set of landmark gangsta rap classics all the more incredible.
The underground cornerstones also shined. Evidence dazzled Minnesotans with selection for his latest album Weather or Not – the most recent new Rhymesayers release – in a hoodie, again, despite the ridiculous heat. Later the full Hieroglyphics line-up bounced between Del tha Funkee Homosapien, Casual and Souls of Mischief classics before leaving the crowd with the stellar one-two punch of Def doing his verses from Gorillaz‘s “Clint Eastwood” and Souls’ “93 Til Infinity.”
The biggest social media moment that the West Coast produced was the mid-day set from Jaden Smith who screamed through his hit “Icon” between moonwalking his way into the hearts and phones of a jam-packed main stage audience. Smith spoke with Go 95.3’s Mr. Peter Parker and DJ Bonics which we’ll have for you later this week.