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.
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.
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”.
(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.)
Joe Sample, legendary jazz/funk keyboardist, has passed away at age 75. The music industry today mourned Sample all over social media, speaking to his legacy that included collaborations with Marvin Gaye, B.B. King, Anita Baker, and Steely Dan to name a few. He broke through with his high school jazz group the Jazz Crusaders and even toured with his Creole Joe Band through last year when he started a battle with pneumonia.
Hip hop fans, you may not know who Joe Sample is, but really you do. One press of the play button below and you’ll recall one of 2Pac’s biggest songs (today being his death anniversary, crazy), as well as one of De La Soul’s too.
You have to have the feel of the music. If you don’t feel this music, you won’t ever be able to perform it.
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.