In the wise words of one Mr. Kanye West, "We culture! Rap the new rock and roll!"
Whether that's true or not (it is) is not the point. Hip hop is the States' last great gift to the world, so it only makes sense that they celebrate it properly.
Here are the top 10 festivals to get your hip hop fix in the grand US of A.
Festival Lineup (2019): Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, FKA Twigs, Jill Scott, Danny Brown, Brittany Howard, Death Grips, Kamasi Washington
AFROPUNK is more than your standard music festival, it is a cultural deep dive. A hub for a wide range of things like music, film, fashion, visual arts, activism, politics, and gender and racial studies, the festival is a platform artists and thinkers from the African diaspora. The first edition took place in 2005 in Brooklyn and since then has skyrocketed, hosting festivals across three continents and racking up critical acclaim along the way.
When & Where: TBA August 2021, Brooklyn, NY / TBA October 2021, Atlanta, GA
AFROPUNK Brooklyn 2021 Guide & Mailing List
AFROPUNK Atlanta 2021 Guide & Mailing List
Festival Lineup (2021): A$AP Rocky, Travis Scott, Post Malone, 21 Savage, Young Thug, Lil Uzi Vert, Megan Thee Stallion
The biggest hip hop festival in the world, Rolling Loud is a must for any rap head. One of the main reasons for Rolling Loud's quick ascent to the top is that it was the first to really represent the new generation of influential headliners and energetic newcomers. Much like Tomorrowland for EDM or Hellfest for metal, Rolling Loud's annual lineup poster is essentially a portrayal of the hip hop's current hierarchy.
Started in 2015 with the festival's flagship event in Miami, Rolling Loud has expanded into a global brand, with editions taking place all over the world.
When & Where: February 12-14 2021, Miami, FL / TBA September 2021, Oakland, CA / TBA October 2021, Queens, NY / TBA December 2021, Los Angeles, CA
Rolling Loud Miami 2021 Guide & Mailing List
Rolling Loud Bay Area 2021 Guide & Mailing List
Rolling Loud New York 2021 Guide & Mailing List
Rolling Loud LA 2021 Guide & Mailing List
Festival Lineup (2020): A$AP Rocky, Lil Uzi Vert, Playboi Carti, Lil Tecca, Don Toliver, Lil Tjay, BBNO$
A throwback to the days of touring festivals, JMBLYA has been building a loyal following in its home state of Texas since it began in 2013. Hitting Dallas on Friday, Austin on Saturday, and Houston on Sunday, the festival even had a stop in Arkansas in 2019. The JMBLYA experience is witnessing the hottest young acts from hip hop's new golden age alongside a curated selection of some of the biggest names in the game with a crowd full of hardcore fans ready to let loose.
When & Where: TBA May 2021, Dallas, TX / TBA May 2021 Austin, TX / TBA May 2021 Houston, TX
JMBLYA Dallas 2021 Guide & Mailing List
JMBLYA Austin 2021 Guide & Mailing List
JMBLYA Houston 2021 Guide & Mailing List
The Roots Picnic
Festival Lineup (2020): The Roots, Meek Mill, Summer Walker, DaBaby, Burna Boy, Thundercat, Snoh Aalegra
Celebrating its 10th edition back in 2017, The Roots Picnic is your favorite rapper's favorite festival. Essentially just a chance for hometown heroes The Roots to play music with their famously talented friends, the festival has a gleefully celebratory atmosphere.
The Roots play their own headlining set and act as a backing band for others, so the festival is a unique chance to see some of the biggest names in hop hop perform together.
When & Where: June 5, 2021, Philadelphia, PA
Roots Picnic 2021 Guide & Mailing List
Hot 97 Summer Jam
Festival Lineup (2019): Cardi B, Meek Mill, Migos, Megan Thee Stallion, Tory Lanez, Rich The Kid, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie
Hot 97's Summer Jam is a time-honored tradition in the hip hop and R&B scenes. Put on by the culture defining Hot 97 FM New York radio station, some of the biggest musical moments in recent history have gone down here. Every year the station curates a lineup of acts that have made the biggest waves in the last year, ensuring only the best and brightest take their stages.
When & Where: TBA June 2021, East Rutherford, NJ
Hot 97 Summer Jam 2021 Guide & Mailing List
Something In The Water
Festival Lineup (2020): Pharrell Williams & Friends, Foo Fighters, Tyler, The Creator, A$AP Rocky, Chance The Rapper, Migos, Major Lazer
Something In The Water is the brainchild of superstar producer, singer, artist Pharrell Williams. A love letter to his hometown of Virginia Beach, the festival packs an eclectic punch, tabbing headliners from across a wide range of sounds for three days of musical love. That being said, SITW is clearly anchored by its hip hop lineup, making this a must for this list.
When & Where: TBA April 2021, Virginia Beach, VA
Something In The Water 2021 Guide & Mailing List
Made In America
Festival Lineup (2019): Cardi B, Travis Scott, James Blake, Lizzo, Juice WRLD, Rosalía, KAYTRANADA
Founded by Jay-Z, aka the greatest rapper of all time (yes that's right, I said it), Made In America started off as a kind of more professional version of The Roots Picnic. And interestingly enough they both take place in Philly.
These days though the festival has transformed into an ahead-of-the-curve zeitgeist showcase, having a knack of tabbing artists right before they blow up.
When & Where: TBA September 2021, Philadelphia, PA
Made In America 2021 Guide & Mailing List
Day N Vegas
Festival Lineup (2019): Kendrick Lamar, Future x Metro Boomin, Migos, J Cole, Tyler, The Creator, BROCKHAMPTON, 21 Savage
Born out of the short-lived Day N Night Festival in California, Day N Vegas burst onto the scene in 2019 with perhaps the strongest hip hop lineup anywhere on the planet. It seemed pretty much every hip hop artist making waves was passing through for three days in November. Add to this that the festival takes place in the world's adult playground and have yourself a truly special experience.
When & Where: TBA November 2021, Las Vegas, NV
Day N Vegas 2021 Guide & Mailing List
Festival Lineup (2020): Travis Scott, Frank Ocean, Rage Against The Machine, Megan Thee Stallion, Run The Jewels, Lil Uzi Vert, Lana Del Rey
Heard of it? The most famous festival in North America showcases talent across all popular genres, but as hip hop rose to become the sound of The States more and more of its artists started showing up on the bill. So much so that now you can make the argument that hip hop is the most represented sound at Coachella. Do you really need convincing that the pride of American festivals needs to be on any music lover's bucket list?
When & Where: April 9-11 & April 16-18 2021, Indio, CA
Coachella 2021 Guide & Waiting List
Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival
Festival Lineup (2019): Tyler, The Creator, Solange, BROCKHAMPTON, Earl Sweatshirt, Thundercat, Juice WRLD, Blood Orange
Created and hosted by Odd Future alum Tyler, The Creator, Camp Flog Gnaw certainly has a unique feel to it. Started in 2012, the festival has grown bigger and bigger each year, and has moved from a quirky boutique experience to a full on, heavy hitting festival with some serious star power.
When & Where: TBA 2021, Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
Camp Flog Gnaw 2021 Guide & Mailing List
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