While now a couple of days later after a few of us have finally started to fully recover from this year’s Lollapalooza at Chicago’s famed Grant Park, I decided to put together a list of the top five performances I seen at the world-renowned music festival this year. Hip-Hop really taking over the forefront of the festival this year, it should come as no surprise I have a good amount of my list compiled of Hip-Hop acts or in the R&B/Soul area, which is really also in the element of Hip-Hop.
I also compiled a list of, who I thought was the newest emcee likely to breakout nationally, the newest emcee with the most potential and the emcee who went under the radar before Lollapalooza, but wouldn’t anymore.
So without further ado here is TheHipHopDemocrat’s best of lists compiled for Lollapalooza 2018. Starting with the top performances: At number one, as the best performer of the whole weekend was LL Cool J for his mid-Saturday afternoon set he did with DJ Z-Trip. You want that raw real Hip-Hop. Old-School, just an emcee with his mic and his DJ with two turntables. His DJ knowing how to actually spin and scratch the way an emcee is supposed to have the DJ at the forefront to complement him and bring out the best of him on the mic. That’s what you got from LL and Z-Trip, a seamless and perfect chemistry that works so well together. Which brought that hunger and fierceness out of LL that he came in the game with back in the late 80’s, like he still had something to prove.
A very great performer and entertainer in his own right, who’s known as one of the greatest entertainers of this generation. R&B/Pop mega world-renowned superstar, Bruno Mars, took the crowd in the main Grant Park stage for a ride of dancing, grooving, moving, sweating and singing along with him and his bandmates, which lasted nearly from the very beginning of the set to the end, just enjoying themselves and having a good time. Showing why he and his bandmates are known as some of the greatest musical players of all-time, Bruno, delivered a set that even if you aren’t a fan, you could say you found a new-found respect for after seeing how much he put into his performance and what was easily the second best performance of the festival. Really also if not for LL giving such a killer performance of his own, would’ve been number one too.
Coming in at number three is homegrown Chicago emcee, G Herbo. Who took the hometown crowd and what was easily the biggest crowd of the first day for a ride like no other. The crowd for his set being so crazy, that he was really the first one where it was so packed that fans started climbing trees, just to get a view. While Herbo’s presence of commanding the stage and mic was more like a veteran, rather than someone who was just playing Lollapalooza for the first time. The emcee with good reason is also our pick for new emcee likely to breakout nationally. The way he was able to really interact with the crowd and his fans, helping him deliver a performance that will elevate him to where he really should be as a more nationally recognized emcee, in much the same way Chance was really able to not long after his first Lolla performance in 2013, really blowup a few months later to the beginning stages of where he’s now.
Two out of the first three of my top performances from the weekend being emcees, we now go to the really soulful R&B/Soul sounds of rising singer, Sabrina Claudio, as our fourth best performance all weekend. Living very much up to our expectations of highlighting her as our can’t miss performer. The singer took the pretty sizeable large late afternoon into early evening crowd on a journey throughout much of her nearly 45-minute set. Which had them truly singing along with Sabrina and her backing live band so seamlessly and beautifully. The thunderous applause and positive reaction that the singer got from the crowd, as she premiered a new record for the first time towards the end of her set, really solidifying her spot as one of the top performances of the whole four-day festival.
Something you wouldn’t expect from an artist playing Lollapalooza for the first time too.
Which is quite ironic since rounding out our top five performances of the whole world-renowned music festival here in Chicago is Compton emcee and singer, Buddy, who like G Herbo, and Sabrina, as well as surprisingly even, Bruno, were all playing Lollapalooza for the first time. Buddy’s set on the BMI stage really showing what a great breeding ground for new talent BMI has been for artists over the years and a lot of times playing the festival for the very first time. With such a small space that’s more intimate than all of the big stages, I think that’s one reason why there’s been so many great performances on that stage over the years. Which includes fellow Compton emcee, Boogie, doing so last year and me even kind of predicting him being the newest emcee with the most potential, not even a few months before he signed with Shady Records. With the very stellar performance he gave showing his own potential as the newest emcee with the most potential to emerge from this year’s crop. I definitely see the CPT native not only eventually being brought back to play the festival again in a few years, but one a much bigger stage as well. Especially seeing as that he’s not a great emcee, but singer as well.
Also before I close out, I would also like to highlight homegrown Chicago emcee, Femdot, who I got a chance to both interview and see his performance over the weekend, as our emcee who went under the radar before Lollapalooza, but wouldn’t anymore. The way he commanded the stage and really engaged with the crowd during his early afternoon set on Saturday along with his band and backing singers and really moved around on stage, showing he really has a lot of potential to be even more recognized and no longer under the radar in the currently very burgeoning Chicago Hip-Hop scene.