RESPECT. Roundtable #1: Trillectro
RESPECT.is presented to you as a smooth, faceless entity, but in reality, it’s operated by over a dozen dedicated and dangerous hip-hop fans and aficionados. With this new feature, RESPECT. Roundtable, we hope to give you a brief glimpse into the minds of the individual voices behind RESPECT.‘s familiar resonant roar.
The first topic is Trillectro, the Washington D.C.-based music festival that explicitly encourages the ever-increasing collisions between hip-hop and what is now known as EDM. Most of the RESPECT. team will not make it to Trillectro, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have interesting thoughts on the festival’s lineup. Read below as we pick apart our hivemind just for you. The specific question everyone responded to was, “What two acts would you HAVE to see at Trillectro?”
Kevin Ahmadi – Writer
“Summer festivals are about two things: food and dancing next to half-naked women. These conditions require a fun party climate that is best achieved with big, hard-hitting beats. DJ Slink and Alex Young both meet that criteria without falling into annoying dubstep territory. While Wale may be the main attraction, the best atmosphere will be at Slink and Young’s shows. You could probably also score some molly if that’s still cool.“
Ali Holdridge -Writer
“It’s the heat of music festival season and Trillectro will no doubt go hard. Travi$ Scott and A$AP FERG top my itinerary list. Scott’s debut mixtape Owl Pharaoh, was extremely well-done. Seeing his new single “Upper Echelon” live would be insane. Admittedly, I’m a huge fan of A$AP FERG’s remix to “Work.” With Trap Lord set to drop Aug. 20, I’d jump on the opportunity to see the track performed in person. “
Veronica Slabicki – Writer
“Dave Nada and Matt Nordstrom are Nadastrom, and their DJ set is a living legend. The duo is known for pioneering moombahton, a genre that splices the pulsing rhythms of reggaeton with the energizing kicks of dutch house, for a combination that wreaks havoc on the dancefloor. Nadastrom will have you popping, jumping, and flailing, among other things. I wouldn’t miss that for anything. Venus X is also someone I wouldn’t miss. She came into the public eye through a weekly party called “Ghetto Gothic” which features a range of styles and aims to break the segregation of genres in the New York music scene. Unlike other artists who may premix their sets, Venus X takes a unique approach to deejaying, and she mixes sounds on the spot based on her own emotions, experiences, and the vibe of the crowd. That’s pretty rare these days.”
Sheldon Pearce – Writer
“As a DC native, when the full Trillectro lineup was released, my eyes immediately lit up when I saw Shy Glizzy would be gracing one of the biggest stages in the metropolitan area (figuratively speaking). But all regional biases aside, I’d have to say my two must see acts on a performance basis would be Travi$ Scott and A$AP FERG. I must have a thing for the whole dollar-sign-replacing-the-s shtick. I’m a big rap guy. The EDM/IDM/Dance records don’t really sway me (although they can be great for festivals like *cough* *cough* this one, so I don’t know I guess we’ll see). Hip-hop shows are incredible when done right, though, and I think both Travi$ and Ferg have the charisma and the catalogs necessary to put on a great show. Not to mention, FERG’s Trap Lord is due out a few days later so there’s some huge debut potential there (fingers crossed).”
Alyse Howard – Writer
“I would definitely HAVE TO SEE Nodastrom – I can tell they are very musically savvy. Those conversational synths and hooky drum rhythms would provide the perfect atmosphere for me to dance and just dream. I would also definitely have to see Phil Ade. His rhymes are poignant and the accompanying videos add subtle touches of realness without overdoing it, you know?”
Fatima Johnson – Writer
“For me, music festival is synonymous with dance party, so I am going to Trillectro specifically to shake my tailfeather. Moombahton music is a new fusion of house/hip hop/reggaeton/dancehall that has been leaving divas and dancequeens breathless on the dance floor for the last three years. Moombahton beats are the hottest they’ve ever been right now, and there’s no better stage for the genre to shine than in its birthplace, Washington D.C. If you like to dance, like listening to dance music, like laughing at other people dancing, or all the above, definitely watch the Moombahton originator, Dave Nada, and his producer friend, Matt Nordstrom, performing as their DJ group, Nadastrom.”
Emmanuel Wallace – Writer
“This entire lineup looks interesting as hell. The first act I’d check out is King Chip. I’m a bit partial since he’s from my hometown and all, but I’ve been following the guy since he was Chip Tha Ripper and his devoted fanbase always make his shows fun. The second act is Phil Ade, I think he’s been overlooked by many over the past few years but he’s definitely been bubbling under the surface.”
Nina Long – Writer
“The two performances I would have to see at Trillectro would be Nadastrom and A$AP FERG. Nadastrom brings a ton of energy, and definitely knows how to get the party stated. Being that they are performing in their hometown, I’d expect their performance to be epic. The trap lord himself, A$AP FERG, is definitely a must-see at the festival. His album is dropping in a few weeks so he’s definitely gong to be bringing it. Plus the A$AP Mob is totally unpredictable so you never know what they might have up their sleeve.”
Ryan Lyons – Writer
“I can only expect greater things to come out of Trillectro since I attended the first festival last summer. Beautiful people came out from as far as the West Coast to join in on a localized movement brought forth by the good folks at DC to BC.
Historically, Washington D.C has always had open doors to whatever emcee or group came down for the Howard Homecomings or whatever. Many rappers reference it in song. However, the city possesses it’s own slang and it’s own style that will be embedded in this show featuring emcees like Wale, Phil Ade and Shy Glizzy. I’m hoping Fat Trel makes an appearance as well.I’m most excited to see Wale perform some hits from The Gifted in his hometown because because this latest album sounds so much like D.C. ( i.e. congos, melody, live instrumentation). I’m hoping to see that in person and reminisce on the days when I witnessed him as a young pup covering gogo songs in the same area.
Other than Wale, I’m really looking forward to seeing Fergenstein [A$AP FERG]. His “Work” single and it’s remix are some of those tracks that made this summer more fun. How could we even have Trillectro without one of the main songs people turn up too? After witnessing A$AP FERG tear it down at SOB’s in NYC during the fall, I’m waiting to see how D.C. reacts to him.“
Ben Sherak – Online Editor
This festival is going to be an strange experience for everyone involved. From the fan-to-fan interactions, which are sure to be a confused intermingling of ravers, trendy hip-hop fans and diehards for individual acts, to the artists’ ability to engage a crowd that might not have shown up for their genre, let alone their individual music, Trillectro could go one of two ways. It could be an awkward but still energetic gathering, or a straight up amazing party. At good parties, you rock out, regardless of lyrics, regardless of anything. At amazing parties, you experience something new. It should almost offend your tastes at first, and it should be reshaping your tastes by the end. Your world should expand and your head should throb.
Standing in the way of Trillectro‘s ability to do that are a few things. Choosing a particularly organic sounding headliner, Wale, for a majorly electronic festival will probably wind up a bad call. If Salva or Nadastrom fans listen to any un-remixed hip-hop, it’s probably not Wale. Even though that album with the unused Wale Chia pet on the cover premiered at #1, it was a quiet #1. Even more importantly: it’s just uncool to love Wale, probably because of his lack of distinguishing traits and the fact that, according to those unearthed tweets, the rest of the cool kids of rap think (or used to think) he’s a joke. (LINK http://highbrowhiphop.com/old-tweets-of-rappers-talking-reckless-surface/). Regardless, his album is accessible to fans of music in general, so there’s certainly hope.
One rap act who’s far more fit for Trillectro and is more respected by the game’s current cool kids is Casey Veggies. Casey‘s “Everything Wavy” and “Faces” are synthesized and current enough to lure more than a few non-hip-hop heads toward his set. He’s also got the co-signs to backup his almost-man-of-the-hour style. Both ScHoolboy Q and Logic, current XXL Freshmen, named Casey as their pick for the main man missing from this year’s list. Add all of that to Casey‘s clear knack for style and the end result is one of the festival’s likely all-around successes.
Overall, it will prove hard to consolidate the two umbrella terms–trill and electro–that comprise the festival’s name until the music leads it there. Trillectro is doing a great service of creating an inhabitable melting pot, which will guaranteed be a good party. Time, and the direction of the music, will tell if it was great.
Stephen Kearse – Online editor
“The Trillectro lineup is a strange beast for me. On one hand, there are tons of amazing DJs with the proven ability to use largely un-instrumental music as marionette strings. On the other hand, there are rappers, but not rappers that I would necessarily qualify as “trill.” I’m from Atlanta, but I hadn’t heard the term “trill” since a DJ at a party back in 2010 surprised us with a spin of “Some Cut” by Trillville. If “trill” is back, how does Casey Veggies embody it? How does King Chip embody it? I don’t know, but those questions (and a preexisting interest in those specific rappers) alone would draw me out to the festival.
With that in mind, from a slightly less subjective perspective, I’d have to say that the sets to see would be Casey Veggie‘s and DJ Slink‘s. Slink is one of the few DJs out there who spins trap that I find tolerable. I hate to sound lame, but seeing someone twerk to a Rick Ross song about shooting people is just bizarre. I don’t think that would happen during a Slink set. He doesn’t seem to treat all trap equally. He makes a discernible distinction between songs to get rowdy to and songs to get nasty to. I appreciate that. As far as Casey Veggies, I just want to see how he approaches this set. He’s a solid rapper and a cool dude, but can he bring out the inner Miley Cyrus in that quiet girl from your English class? Or will he just play it cool? There’s only one way to find out.”
And there you have it. Expect more RESPECT. Roundtable discussions in the future and check out our review of Trillectro from last year.