This summer, my friends and I are becoming doers. As in, we’re doing shit. Making shit happen. Making the best of our 20s and living them like those online articles written by really shitty journalists that all your corny friends share on Facebook.
Part of becoming a doer in my book means going to festivals and concerts. It’s barely the middle of June and since the summer has started, I’ve been to two major festivals and the concert of one of the most influential female rappers of our time. It’s been an exciting journey, and I’m excited to see where the rest of this summer of doing is going to take me.
To start off the summer concert series is M.I.A and A$AP Ferg on April 27th at Echostage in Washington DC. I had a really shitty experience last time I was there, and I was not in the mood to deal with that again, however, I was pleasantly surprised. It was definitely more organized this time.
This concert meant a lot to me because M.I.A. is my idol. I mean, she is literally so perfect. I have been obsessed with her since I first saw her on the cover of Blender back in 2007 right after Kala came out and have been ride or die for her ever since. Kala defined my high school years, and 20 Dollar put a lot of things in perspective for me. M.I.A. is one of the most influential artists of a generation and I refuse to let anyone else think otherwise. Please understand her music, please read more information about her, just please understand all the concepts of her videos and what she really stands for. I fucking love and adore her. And to see her in concert was literally a spiritual experience I was so excited for. She is a Sri Lankan goddess.
Before she came out, A$AP Ferg came out and did his set. He was good, and this was my 4th time seeing him, so I wasn’t expecting anything new from him. I thought it was funny because you could tell that not a lot of people in the crowd knew him except for Shabba Ranks and the Work Remix but he did his thing. And he smelled amazing too, even while he was sweaty. I fucking love Ferg, he’s so adorable. I met him in 2012 when The Mob came to Richmond and he was so nice.
M.I.A. came out and she was amazing. I kind of didn’t know what to expect from her as far as if she would have a live band or a DJ but her set was good. Tons of lights, crazy synth beats and dancers. My favorite part of the show was how some of the songs were done to different beats. “Sunshowers” was played with a heavier, faster beat that kind of rivaled the original version. She went in the crowd a couple of times, threw up the middle finger to tell people to fuck off, danced her ass off, and brought some girls onstage with her, all while wearing an orange jumpsuit (which I’m kind of thinking as a symbol of a prisoner, possibly a Guantanamo Bay one?) and orange lipstick. Bitch was working it, and I was fucking there for it.
Second up in the Summer Concert Series is Hot 97’s Summer Jam on June 1st. First off, I have no idea how the fuck I came up with the idea of going. All I know is I told my friend “hey let’s go to summer jam” and she was like “okay!”, we bought our tickets and drove 5 hours to Jersey. And that was it. It was the first big music festival and I was so fucking excited.
It was total music overload. When we first got there, on the festival stage was Iggy Azalea, Childish Gambino, Jhene Aiko, Chinx, Nipsey Hussel, August Alsina, Mack Wilds and others. I’m sure I missed a lot of them but that’s all I can think of off the top of my head. And that was just the beginning. Outside of MetLife Stadium. It was hot, but it was a good day for music. Everyone did a good job. I really wanted to see Childish and Jhene and they had great performances. They also played all of my favorite songs. Mack Wilds was good too. I had only heard of him off that one song you always hear on the radio, but he pleasantly surprised me. He can sing too, just like Childish. I’m really digging this trend of rappers that can actually sing and sound good. Don’t you hate when rappers try to sing and you’re just like uhhh…yeah. He sounded really good. Like he actually had a voice, and I really liked that.
Main Stage at Summer Jam was wild. I would get into who performed but it’s seriously so much. There were so many people who came out that I didn’t know until like 2 weeks later. However, I will say that witnessing G-Unit reuniting was definitely a highlight of the night. Nicki fucking killed it though. All I can really say is YAS BITCH. Her energy, her fierceness, just her presence on stage while she rapped every line was fucking wild. Bitch is coming back and shitting on these hoes. And she did all of these in 5 inch heels. Your fave could never.
Lil Wayne came out on stage to join the YMCMB trio along with Drake but I was highly unimpressed by Lil Wayne. He came out with no introduction and only did his part from “Loyal”. I’m like dude, people have been waiting for you all night, you can’t give us a little more to work with? But I’m not too much of a Wayne fan so I was okay. I just expected a little more, especially since he was being so heavily promoted. All in all, Summer Jam was an amazing experience. I hope to go more in the future.
Last in my Summer Concert Series is Shaggfest in Virginia Beach on June 6. The headliner was Pharrell so like obviously I had to go. Pharrell is iconic and if you don’t see him in concert like seriously what are you doing with your life?
Shaggfest is an all day music festival but my friend and I got there around 8ish because we didn’t know who was performing before that time. Mack Wilds, August Alsina, Sean Paul and Pharrell performed. I also think it’s funny that I saw Mack Wilds and August Alsina perform two weekends in a row and they don’t even know. Life is chaos I guess, haha. They were all good. August is a very good performer, he’s super chill and he has a certain swagger about him that I really like. Maybe it’s cause he’s from the south. Who knows. Either way, I enjoyed his performance.
Sean Paul came out with straight energy. He got everyone moving and dancing by playing all the classics and some new stuff. I had a great time with his performance, I was dutty wining and shit lol. His set was pretty short but it had me pumped up for Pharrell, who was amazing. I was skeptical about how his voice would sound considering his falsetto, however he sounded great. He even performed his hit songs he produced such as “Drop It Like It’s Hot” and “Hot In Herre” which I didn’t even know Pharrell produced so I was kind of mad at myself, because like where the fuck have I been the past 10+ years? Lmao. His dancers were amazing too. They were all different women of different ethnicities and I enjoyed that. I liked how they all looked different but were the same. He really honed in on the “Marilyn Monroe” video concept. I love it when there’s a spread of different women from different cultures who are dancers. It’s refreshing.
Shaggfest was definitely one of the best concerts I’ve been to, just in terms of like energy and dancing, then I would say Summer Jam and M.I.A.
At this time, I am taking a break from concerts until August, where I will be preparing for Drake and Lil Wayne touring together and Made in America. I never realized how much energy (not to mention MONEY) is drained from you when you go to concerts in the heat back to back. But they were such amazing memories. I will forever cherish them and hold them dear to me. I’m excited to write the experiences of my next concerts and I am hoping that they are as enjoyable as the first round of shows I’ve been to.