Odd Future, Dipset, Ab-Soul - Paid Dues 2012 - 4/7/2012
Posted by the Paid Dues media check-in, the announcement, "ATTENTION: Photo Pit Closed for Odd Future Performance," seemed an ominous sign. Though it likely was just to ward off further lawsuits, it felt a little pretentious -- and Murs' indie hip-hop festival always has been anything but.
Though it's grown even since last year, when Lil B was still a curiosity and Black Hippy performed on the smallest stage early in the day (Kendrick Lamar headlined yesterday, for contrast), there remains a kind of hip-hop family-reunion feeling. Your favorite rappers come out to be fans of their favorite rappers. Fashawn was wandering around the grounds in house shoes, red SOLO cup in hand. Odd Future geeked out kinda adorably and literally tumbled into the photo pit to watch Dipset. Hell, even Jerry Heller was spotted lurking around the artists' trailers.
Yeah, standing on asphalt in 87 degree-weather with a sea of people who flooded in to catch Wu-Tang Clan's super early 4 o'clock set was as sweaty as you'd expect it to be.
Rebecca Haithcoat Lucas working OF's merch table
The indoor stages, as usual, wrestled with sound issues; TiRon & Ayomari and RA The Rugged Man's shows especially were plagued. We got shut out of DJ Quik's set because the smaller indoor arena reached capacity, quick. We heard he brought Bizzy Bone out and are still kicking ourselves.
But the breeze picked up by late afternoon, far fewer people seemed to be passing out than at recent San Bernardino festivals and the vibe was that of a family picnic, except with people you really like. Here are a few more highlights from the day.
Top Dawg Entertainment, the label that recently announced it had inked a deal with Interscope, rolled out its roster with tactics something like a coolly patient, big-picture war strategy. Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, and Schoolboy Q were methodically trained to strike precisely when the iron was hot. After yesterday's show, it's obvious Ab-Soul, the last member of TDE supergroup Black Hippy, has been well primed.
Schoolboy Q called Ab-Soul the "Einstein" of the group, and he certainly seems to have studied and learned from his peers, especially Q. Sans hype man, he rapped confidently, fiercely and relentlessly. For a set time that coincided with Wu-Tang's, his crowd was large and knew most of his lyrics. "I'm out this muhfucka. Soul!" he said before walking offstage. Just watch. Dude's about to attack.