Saturday October 23, 2021, a collection of artists signed to the Dreamville record label are performing at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado. I’ve never been to Red Rocks. I’ve never even been to Colorado* (*Except for a layover once. I’ve never stepped out of the Denver airport). But the gorgeous Red Rocks venue has been high on my bucket list for a long time. So right when this lineup dropped, I had to jump on the opportunity.
For those who aren’t familiar with rap music, EARTHGANG (a duo consisting of Johnny Venus and Doctur Dot) and J.I.D. are intensely lyrical artists who break down some of the most complex social issues of our time, all with an outstanding ability to package their thoughts in a rhyming, hypnotic flow.
Besides seeing my favorite artists in their human form, the best thing about music festivals is discovering new talent. Of the other artists performing, I had heard a few songs from Bas and Ari Lennox. Ari has an amazing voice and sings mesmerizing melodies. Bas has his own unique voice and flow, and also delivers some of the best conscious-rap in the game. Discovering the works of Cozz and Lute opened up whole new worlds for me — I found myself listening to these guys on loop.
Catchy intellectualism must be a pre-requisite for getting signed by J. Cole.
All his artists have it. We get to watch it, surrounded by stunning views of the Colorado mountains.
COVID vaccinations are required, and I expect they will have Vaccine Checkpoints similar to Life is Beautiful and other music festivals that are powering through the pandemic.
I’m predicting (and making this prediction official in writing) that J. Cole will make a special guest appearance.
He’s not on the official lineup, as he’s currently busy with his own tour for his latest album, The Off-Season. But just a bit of elementary sleuthing…