My Bae Monday: Hopscotch Fest 2017
It’s been almost an entire month since I had my life changed by Hopscotch Fest for the first time. This is Hopscotch’s 7th year in the game and I’m lucky to have caught on during its year of completion. If I’m keeping it a buck, I was supposed to apply for press last year but I chickened out thinking I wouldn’t get picked to attend. This year my dreams clocked me in the forehead when Bryanda asked me to do press for Quirktastic. I couldn’t make up a stupid excuse not to attend this time so I made sure my ducks were in a row for me to get there.
Wednesday, September 6th
I took my aligned ducks up to Cary, NC to stay with one of my childhood bffs. Cary is 15 minutes from Raleigh, NC aka the heart of Hopscotch. After the 3 1/2 hour drive, I picked up my press pass and made my festival schedule to have a plan to see my faves over the entire weekend.
Thursday, September 7th
I woke up early with plans to attack Hopscotch head on. A familiar face invited me to a day party to see his performance. It left me inspired and anticipating his next release, as always. It was great to see a hometown hero because I was navigating the festival alone for the day. After H3RO (see what I did there) wowed the crowd, we took some time to play a couple games at the Boxcar Arcade. Now I’m convinced every city needs a barcade. After killing a few hours I headed to one of the many festival venues for P.A.T. Junior’s set. He was invited to Hopscotch to perform tracks from his latest album, Learning to Live (In a Day) and EP, Smoke Break. I was directed to P.A.T. via Benny Starr’s verse on “Blackest Bird” a few months ago and I knew this set was not one I could miss. Seeing him live was better than expected. Give me a week and I’ll drop our interview on Who Dat Wednesday.
The best part of his performance was seeing him rap every single word. I was close enough to see each methodical breath in between bars and almost get hit with the mic stand. P.A.T. rapped to me and each person in the audience that Thursday evening. His set was a memorable highlight of my Hopscotch 2017 experience.
Friday, September 8th
This section doesn’t have may words because the visuals are proof enough. Key points:
Rapsody’s performance - The goddess commanded the stage with bar after bar accompanied by a full band. Her lethal lyricism mixed with warming affirmations of love created the perfect live Hip-Hop show encounter. I haven’t been able to say that in a while.
Kaytranada - If you don’t know how much I preached about him before and after 99.9%, I don’t have many words for you.
Saturday, September 9th
Big day. Last day for me. I’m hanging on by a thread but I’m amongst those anticipating tonight’s closer, Solange. I made sure to start my day off with ZenSoFly. Raleigh’s Underground Princess brought her band (which included a super cool bassist) and kicked off the stage where Solange would be hours later.
In the middle of the day, the official Hopscotch Instagram told us that Phonte would be stepping in place for another artist that couldn’t make it. Talk about heroes saving the day! I’ve heard and read so much about Phonte so missing his set was not an option. Seeing him go from Hip-Hop to R&B at the drop of a dime was surreal.
Big Boi didn't miss a beat.
**All pictures and videos captured on my Samsung Galaxy S8. After I lost my entire mind at Big Boi, my body couldn’t handle Solange’s full set. Luckily I saw Cranes in the Sky before mustered up enough energy to go back to my car.
After reading the Free Times recap, I realized Hopscotch’s 7th year was truly one for the books. This year Hopscotch made some huge improvements while retaining the important things that helped the festival garner attention from people and publications all over the United States.
If this post does nothing else I hope it inspires you to go after what you want. One year you can be at home second guessing yourself and the next you’re screaming across a convention center to take a picture with your favorite artist. Anything can happen.