Summer may be over, but that doesn’t mean festival season is. After a crazy three months that saw festivals like Day N’ Night, Rolling Loud (Bay Area) and many more command the attention of the culture, a new festival in Arizona looks to join the ranks of the elite. Standing its first year ever, Chandler, Arizona’s Goldrush Festival is a unique event. Taking cue from mainstays like Hard Summer and others, Goldrush founder Thomas Turner decided to mesh his two loves of Electronic Dance Music and high-octane Hip-Hop under one roof, bringing out acts like Marshmello, Dillion Francis, Migos, Lil’ Uzi Vert, Ugly God and of course… Lil’ Pump.
*drops the “LIL’ PUMP” ad-lib with an air-horn*
With such a diverse line-up on tap, we’re exciting to be on hand covering the festival, which takes place next weekend, November 18th & 19th. Take a look at the seven acts, we’re most excited to see below.
Having spent a little time in The Grand Canyon state in High School, I’ve been aware of Valley natives Injury Reserve for quite some time now. Despite that, it wasn’t until this year when the trio went on a hot streak with the release of the single, “North Pole” as well as Google Translate Lady’s scene-stealing verse on fellow AZ native Lil’ Qwerty’s, “Hits For Days,” that I truly took notice to the group. With braggadocio frat raps that are complimented by high energy and stout lyricism, Injury Reserve should fit perfectly into the setting of the festival—and with the home-court advantage on their side, it could be one for the books for the trio.
German-born, Los Angeles product, Azizi Gibson has been in and around the game for quite some time now. I first became hip to the energetic rapper with the single, “Smoking With the Gods,” a ridiculously in-depth and creative song disguised as a SoundCloud hit which see’s Gibson rhyme about a day in Heaven smoking with Zeus, Jesus and the rest of the gang — Gibson even throws a sly little dis at Judas, “Don’t you dare pass the blunt to Judas, he a traitor muthafucka. Are you stupid?” — and instantly became a fan. Similar to Injury Reserve, Gibson’s underrated ability to make bars sound cool will set in well with the restless crowd.
After exploding onto the scene with 2013’s Inigoism, The Underachievers have carved out a nice career since their days back in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Signing to Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder Records, the eccentric duo is one of the most refreshing acts in Hip-Hop’s recent years. Members Issa Gold and AK bounce off of one another perfectly, despite the numerous amount of solo projects between the two, highlighting a chemistry that is not often sustained in the genre. Older tracks like, “Gold Soul Theory” and fan-favorite, “Herb Shuttles” capture the UA craze at its’ height, while newer records like, “Gotham Nights” and “Cobra Clutch” showcase Issa and AK at a polished, more mature lyrical state. As the kids would say, they’re now in their bag. Having already seen the Beast-Coast duo a couple times before, I anticipate them put on a show for the sure-to-be sedated crowd of college kids.
I’m partially convinced that the Flatbush Zombies and UA had to be the first rap acts that festival founder Thomas Turner had in mind when he struck up the idea for this festival. Sure, UA is electric and the Brooklyn natives ooze stage presence, but post-apocalyptic trio the Flatbush Zombies take rowdy to another level. Maybe it’s due to the break-neck nature of their music, or maybe it’s just the fact that front-man Meechy Darko is one of the most sinister, yet underrated emcees in all of Hip-Hop–but whatever it is, the Zombies have a legitimate chance at having the most wild set of the whole festival. Couple that energy with the fact that Arizona is one of the most FBZ crazed cities in the country and you’ve got yourself a recipe for destruction. This is one set you will not want to miss.
Please, tell me—who’s had a better year than the Migos? After releasing an early candidate for album of the year in January’s Culture, the Atlanta trio never slowed down not one step. Instead, they put their foot on the gas and never relinquished, releasing hits by the dozens both together, “Too Hotty” and on their own. Actually, it’s separately where the Migos have probably done most of their brand-building. While Quavo hopped on every pop record that had a spot for an urban crooner, Off-Set decided to slash every single feature he was commissioned for and dropped a solid collaborative tape with 21 Savage and Metro Boomin’.
It’s TakeOff, though, who has taken the group to new heights. After an awkward encounter on Complex’s Everyday Struggle, TakeOff not having a verse on the group’s magnum opus, “Bad & Boujee” became more glaring than ever. Instead of falling into obscurity, the youngest member of the group upped the ante and started torching everything he touched, silencing anybody that labeled him the weak link and giving the group a third legitimate star. With Culture 2 on the horizon as well as the highly anticipated collab-tape from Quavo and Travis Scott, it doesn’t seem like the Migos show any signs of stopping. Be sure to catch them headlining at Goldrush Festival.
Lil’ Uzi Vert
When it comes to Philadelphia native Lil’ Uzi Vert, it took me a while to join the club. While I always respected his notion that he was indeed a rock-star and not a rap one, he still rapped—and to me, he wasn’t very good at it. As a writer in this cesspool we call the culture, though, it is a sin to write off an obvious star too early just because his music failed to comfort your ears.
So instead of denouncing the man, I just shelved him and decided to hold judgement until I was able to see him live. One day, that chance came. Since that day, I’ve bumped every single Uzi album and since the release of his newest project, LUV is Rage 2, I’ve played a song off of that album every day. That’s how great of a performer he is, no exaggeration. His energy and overall execution of his records live could turn even the biggest of doubters into a Supreme satchel-wearing, hype-beast for a few songs. Hell, he did it to me. Try showing 2015 me, “The Way Life Goes,” and watch him laugh and then bark at you to get out of his face. If you’re already an Uzi fan, then you know what I’m talking about, but if you’re not? Come join us. It’s a lot more lit over here.
One day when they make the inevitable internet bible, I pray that they don’t forget the innovative shit that South Florida native Lil’ Pump has done and rightfully place him among the Samson-like figures. At one point, Pump really had me trying to confirm if he went to Harvard Medical School or not. That’s how crazy his fan-base is—and while you make think it stems solely from ignorant social media acts, you’re wrong. The boy has bangers. After forcing his way into the homes of mainstream America with his first Billboard single, “Flex” a lo-fi, bass-heavy track that says, “Bitch I flex, Rick Ross” easily over 40 times, Pump followed that success up with his self-titled debut and it’s lead single, “Gucci Gang” which just recently burst into the Top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100 list and blew every mind in Hip-Hop away, including mine.
Pump turned a so-so SoundCloud career that was beginning to be overshadowed by best-friend Smokepurpp, and leveled the fuck up like never seen before—and it all came from the internet. One can argue that Cardi B had the biggest come-up of 2017, and would be completely in the green for doing so—but let’s be real. Cardi had Love & Hip-Hop and few other mainstream plays to bolster her entry. Not Pump. For those that are old enough to remember – if you are, you’re probably not a Pump fan – I would argue that Twitter has done for Lil’ Pump what MySpace did for Drake—and we see where that ended up. Don’t miss Lil’ Pump, probably the hottest rapper in the game right now, only at Goldrush Festival.
You can purchase your tickets to the festival here, which is set to take place in Chandler, Arizona on November 18th & 19th.