Tag Archives: AAHH! Fest

AAHH! Fest 2014 Review

In case you thought festival season was over in Chicago, think again. This weekend the Common Ground Foundation curated alongside sponsors Donda’s House Inc., and the Lupe Fiasco Foundation for their first AAHH! Fest in Union park. Upon initial observation this was the trendiest group of festival goers I’ve come across. The performers were also looking fashion forward, Jennifer Hudson and Kanye shared the same red and black flannel by the DONDA art director/Kanye consigliere Virgil Abloh, Lupe wore a patterned tribal print tunic paired with camo pants, while Common, as always, dressed very sharp and classy in all black.

The festival grounds featured VIP and artist guest lounges, food tents (we chose to grab some hot dogs from Chicago Dog House made of exotic meats like alligator sausage, duck, and infused cheddar bacon sausage), and a Miller Lounge featuring this years debuted drinks: Smith and Forge Hard Cider and Miller Fortune. It was nice to run into many familiar faces, network with talented people, and be surrounded around the who’s who in the Chicago Hip Hop scene. Acts included Jay Electronica, De La Soul, Jennifer Hudson, Dave Chappelle, Lupe Fiasco, Common, Twista, and Kanye West.

Jennifer Hudson
Jennifer Hudson
Lupe Fiasco
Lupe Fiasco

More pics from the photo pit here

To many people’s surprise Dave Chappelle made a 10 minute appearance instead hosting the evenings show as anticipated, too bad because his set was hilarious, before heading off stage he told the audience:

Take a picture, cause I might be gone for another 10 years.

Dave Chappelle
Dave Chappelle

The main highlight of the evening by far was the surprise appearance of Mr. West himself, giving the longest performance of 16 songs. It was classic Kanye from how he dressed, to his delivery, to the song selection. This was no mainstream set, it was raw, Chicago rooted, and genuine talent showing the truest form of art. There was no facade or “too good for you” attitude like you see with most celebrities. No surprise then that photo/video crews weren’t allowed to document the performance from the pit, illustrating that this was a show for his hometown fans, not the media and entertainment industry. Chicago first!

Check out our video below of the full set from deep in the crowd:

Kanye also brought out Common to conclude the fest with a special performance of “Get Em High”.

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(Filmed with the iPhone 6+ 1080p HD!)
0:00 “All Falls Down”
0:52 “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”
2:10 “Power”
3:49 “I Don’t Like”
5:40 “Mercy”
7:33 “New Slaves”
10:27 “All of the Lights”
11:40 “Good Life”
13:32 “Gold Digger”
13:59 “Homecoming”
15:25 “Blood on the Leaves”
16:42 “N****s In Paris”
18:00 “Get ‘Em High” with Common
(Note: “Jesus Walks” not captured.)

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AAHH! FEST: Donda’s House Showcase

Go hard or go home. Nothing short of a surprise as Kanye West’s nonprofit opens up AAHH! FEST, the most talked about concert this summer between Common’s Common Ground Foundation and Kanye’s own organization Donda’s House.

Led by the creative director of Donda’s House, Rhymefest and music legend, Common, the community showcase answered the many questions the media has been asking and buzzing about with this music event. “What Chicago got that is not violence?” “How can this concert save Chicago?” “Chicago hasn’t made anything original in years, what do they have to offer now?”

The answer? We’re still producing talent. Now, cue the awkward silence. 

Featuring a lineup of 25 artists representing every corner of the city, people from all sides of Chicago came to rep their neighborhood and all the talent this city is notorious for producing. From the tiny vocalists with huge voices, the enigmatic rappers, and the larger than life dancers, it was hard not to admire and give out love to all those who walked the stage. I mean, how many times will one witness three young vocalist sing in perfect harmony to Adele? Or rappers who have the caliber and insight to be the next Kendrick Lamar? Not too many.

Even Diggy Simmons even came through to Chicago to give kudos, commending the city for our overall talent while performing some of his hit tunes. Oh and making all the girls swoon in the 40 degree weather. You know, typical stuff. Yet nevertheless, not a bad compliment from the son of legendary hip hop artist Joseph Simmons aka Rev. Run of RUN DMC.

And with an influx of talent bordering all realms of the city, the creation of AHH! FEST and Donda’s House own individual efforts is exactly what Chicago has been yearning. Even with the show’s lengthy line up, cold morning weather, and occasional stage hiccups, the organization once again proves why Chicago still is the city to be. Don’t be surprised to see Donda’s House pop up once again. I foresee a great wave coming from the organization as they continue their stride to make Chicago even bigger and larger before.

As for AAHH! FEST, if you weren’t there well, I can’t say you didn’t miss out. Cause in all honesty, you REALLY did miss out. No worries though, coming straight from Rhymefest and Common, this event won’t be the last to come for the city of Chicago.

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Diggy Simmons
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Rhymefest & Common freestyling

Kanye West AAHH! Fest FULL Set

Common put together the first annual AAHH! Fest in Chicago promoting peace, love, and prosperity with a lineup of some of the city’s finest artists. Kanye was the special surprise guest artist, and here’s his full live set filmed on the iPhone 6+ 1080p HD!

Kanye also brought out Common to conclude the fest with a special performance of “Get Em High”. Was this your favorite moment? Be the first to drop it here.

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Kanye West AAHH! Fest FULL Set Tracklist/Timestamps
0:00 “All Falls Down”
0:52 “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”
2:10 “Power”
3:49 “I Don’t Like”
5:40 “Mercy”
7:33 “New Slaves”
10:27 “All of the Lights”
11:40 “Good Life”
13:32 “Gold Digger”
13:59 “Homecoming”
15:25 “Blood on the Leaves”
16:42 “N****s In Paris”
18:00 “Get ‘Em High” with Common

Common, Lupe, lead AAHH Fest lineup

This is my personal favorite festival lineup for this summer and it’s only right that it’s a “save the best for last” moment, right?

AAHH! Fest is coming up in about 3 weeks to Union Park (the setting for the 5th year of North Coast this weekend) and wow, look at that lineup again. Chicago’s own Common & Lupe headlining. Rhymefest also curating the Community showcase with Lil Herb holdin’ it down for the hometown too. Jay Elect, De La Soul, MC Lyte too? I’m also excited to see Dave Chappelle hosting it all after missing him the last couple times he’s made it to the Chi. Best believe we’ll be there, you should be too.