The first day of Sasquatch was an awesome showcase of new and old hip hop. It was undoubtedly the day that I was most excited for and it certainly did not disappoint. I saw Andre 3000 seduce a whole crowd half his age. I watched De La Sould celebrate 25 years of their music. I watched Chance the Rapper showcase his amazing lyrical, drug induced, awkwardness and I watched Gifted Gab front a group of rappers with nothing but her words.
I have ranked the concerts in order of how I felt they performed. It may also go in order of the extravagance of their outfits.
Gifted Gab has recently become one of my favorite local Seattle Hip Hop Artists. Her rap flow and strong voice brings something that many male rappers have been lacking lately. Her perspective as a female in the hip hop community is also something that is very unique and adds some undeniably wonderful aspect to her music. I caught up with Gabbie on Friday and asked her a few questions.
Gabbie mentioned that she is working on a new EP and would really love to learn how to start making her own beats. She also stated that working with rappers such as Sam Lachow, Raz Simone, Sol, Dave B, Cam the Mack Jarv Dee, has given her so many new outlets and perspectives on her music. With Sam having skills working his own beats and Jarv Dee working every aspect of hip hop she has been able to learn a lot from the Board Gang.
Undoubtedly Gabby has not just learned from the Board Gang but has also added a huge sound and lyrical skills that might be unmatched by anyone else in the group. Gabby stated that her favorite part of the Seattle Hip Hop scene was that on any given night in Capitol Hill you can see one of them either hanging out or performing.
Their friendship seemed like such a fun thing and I think it is vital to their sound and will be crucial in creating the full West Coast sound that Gabby said she wants her next EP to sound like.
Gifted Gab’s set was awesome. Playing at the Narwal stage at 7PM she came out owning the stage. Her charisma is powerful and comforting and the help she received on stage from Cam the Mack, Sam Lachow, and Jarv Dee was amazing as they performed individually and as a band. What was also great was that Sam Lachow and Raz Simone’s sets were right after hers. Being able to see such a tight knit rap community is inspirational and simply fun. With Gabby as the Queen the Board Gang will be a powerhouse in West Coast rap for the foreseeable future.
Sadly missing the Damien Jurado set I watched Foster the People in hopes to get a good seat for what everyone was waiting for. Outkast. Foster the People was fine for what they are, but I was not paying too much attention to it.
I ended up getting to the middle of the Outkast pit and waited for Outkast. I waited for the two hip hop legends. One, a flambouyant god of R’n’B, unique raps, and catchy hooks with a personality that can make anyone timbers shiver. The other, a producing genius that has a way with words that is unique, classic, and groundbreaking. The crowd was anxious and nervous. No one knew what to expect. Outkast is getting older and had been on a hiatus for quite a while.
The concert started with a giant clear box on stage. The crowd went insane. A giant long haired Canadian man standing in front of me was most definitely the most excited person in the crowd. Andre 3000 and Big Boi started with some very old band worked their way through some more recent music. About halfway through the concert each artist had individual sets. Big Boi was amazing. Having the energy he has always had and got the crowd super loud. Andre 3000’s set was a bit weird. Playing some very slow R’n’B songs from his own individual project and getting the crowd louder than any other concert singing Hey Ya, his set was very weirdly vibed but forgotten quickly. Also during Andre’s set were some of the best visuals of I have ever seen at a concert. A hologram of a naked woman walked across the stage and it was so flawless I thought it was real. The visuals were perfect for the situation and beautifully ambient.
After the individual sets Big Boi came back on stage and they talked about their careers together and how they started in their grandma’s kitchen rapping around a table. Playing in the on stage box they relived the old times and it was a very emotional performance and possibly inferred to them breaking up. We will see what happens after they finish their festival tour, but no matter what Big Boi and Andre will forever have a vital impact on the musical community. Big Boi is currently working with Modest Mouse on their newest project.
De La Soul
De La Soul was one of the shows I was most excited for. A rap group from the late 1980’s and early 1980’s, De La Soul helped create the first party rap. This genre of music lead the way for so many hype men and many rap personalities today. The show was at 3 O’Clock on Friday and like the middle aged men that they are they were able to finish off their show before the dinner time. The show was good and bad. For me the show was wonderful because I got to hear some early 90’s bangers from the wonderous hip hop group De La Soul. The show was bad because the crowd was very awkward.
De La Soul is a household hip hop name but unlike Outkast many people of the generation may not be able to pick a De La Soul song out of the crowd. This may be an unfair assumption on my part but seeing the crowd at De La Soul try so hard to love De La Soul and fail leads me to feel no hard feelings about making this assumption.
This being said De La Soul throw about as good of a show as they could. They had a blast and had tons of energy. The songs were simple but tight and catchy but classic. The band seemed to realize the awkwardness of the crowd and just kind of laugh it off and play their show despite the weird sways.
-Marcus Shriver/Pancake Powerhouse/KSUB Community Outreach and Social Media Director