Where do I even start…?
Have you ever had those moments in life where everything is just perfect? Well, I just had a whole long weekend of that exact perfectness. Great weather, delicious food, awesome people & all-access to the most amazing music…
I woke up Saturday morning and rushed to the airport to catch a flight to Minneapolis. I was going to spend Memorial Day Weekend out in Minnesota to catch Soundset, the annual hip hop festival held by Rhymesayers Entertainment at Canterbury Park. I’ve wanted to go to Soundset for a few years, now. This year, it finally happened… on Sunday, May 25, 2014, I spent the day with 30,000 other music lovers at the sold out event…
During my flight, I met a few people who were headed to the festival for the Bboy Competition. I didn’t have any set plans during the day, so, they invited me along. We stopped at The Mall of America and rode a crazy roller coaster. Then headed to the 5-8 club for a famous Juicy Lucy burger.
After lunch, I met up with the famous, Eddie Sancho, for some drinks before the Soundet Pre-Party . (I’ll share more about Eddie someday soon. Chances are, if you’re a fan of hip hop, you’ve heard his work).
We’re having drinks at the hotel when Eddie asks if I’d like to check out the venue for tonight’s show… It’s at the legendary First Avenue – The house that Prince built – which has been around since 1970 and was featured in the film, Purple Rain. It’s stage has been graced by countless amazing musical acts. Of course I want to see it!
When we get there, they’re setting up for the #BeforeSoundset show. It’s cool seeing the empty space & witnessing the calm before the storm.
From there, we head over to the Rhymesayers offices. I’m so excited! This is where a lot of the (behind the scenes) magic happens… We get a private tour of the facilities, have some delicious local beers and grab some gear from the Fifth Element Store. Not to mention, I got to meet some super cool people!
We have dinner near the venue, and get ready for the show. Thanks to Eddie & the amazing team at Rhymesayers, Here’s a little glimpse at how the night went…
Slug (Atmosphere) made an appearance to introduce Step Brothers
Eddie & Ali
The pre-party definitely set the tone for Sunday… aka Soundset Day. I woke up so excited!
Let me start with the line up…
from Veterans, to fresh new artists, to some of today’s heavy hitters, the wide range of acts consisted of both, men & women, representing various ethnical backgrounds. With DJ’s, B boys & MC’s on three different stages, a car show, graffiti wall, and skate ramp, there was something there for everyone.
I’ve attended a lot of hip hop festivals before this & I gotta say, this was, by far, my favorite one ever. (Ok, maybe the accommodations and all access pass had a little something to do with that). But, nonetheless, the guys at Rhymesayers really know how to throw a party. I’ll let my pictures do (most of) the talking…
After a fun shuttle ride with a great group, we got there just in time to catch Snow Tha Product rockin’ the stage. I learned about her when I saw her on the line up a few weeks before. She’s a young Latina from San Diego and I love what she stands for. Don’t let the pretty face fool you, either, this girl can spit rapid fire!
Eddie and I enjoying Snow’s set. In the background, (from our fun shuttle ride) is the talented G Koop, the man behind the live instruments on Atmoshpere’s Southsiders.
Eddie introduced me to Maria Isa, another proud Latina, sharing her message through her music.
It wasn’t long before I caught up with my favorite Instagram Photographer… Mr. Evidence was hard at work, running the Soundset ig account .
And of course, these guys weren’t too far behind… Alchemist and DJ Mishaps
Golf Carts were the preferred mode of transportation… Check out our driver! 😉
This girl, Alicia, made me feel like the ultimate VIP and took good care of me. She has a great heart & we became friends instantly.
Even though we got there too late to catch their set, I had a chance to meet up with two of my favorite California kids, The Grouch and Eligh
Monica, another find from the fun shuttle, introduced me to the sounds of (& the man himself) DJ Q Bert
I also had the chance to catch Rapsody move the crowd.
Sky made sure we got to see the view from the side stage…it was amazing!
I gotta admit, there were moments when I pretended the crowd was cheering for me… I felt like Selena! 😉
We caught the legendary Cypress Hill from the side stage…
took a few pics…
& made some new friends.
This girl, Taylor, got lost from her group…she was all alone & one of the members of security allowed her access to the side stage so that she could try to spot them. How cool is that?
I was 2 excited to see 2 Chainz! (See what I did there)? 😉
Cool shirt, bro
Open container situation with Alc
My fellow San Diegan & world traveler, Cros One was judging the Bboy battle.
Ran into my ladies from the plane…
Wiz Khalifa didn’t let being arrested in Texas earlier in the day keep him from performing for his fans. The crowd went absolutely wild when he took his place on stage!
Eddie and I caught Nas‘s set from the Monster Tower…
along with this unbelievable view of the festival!
Then, we caught up with Mr. Jones backstage.
*Eddie actually worked on Illmatic. The classic album celebrated it’s 20th anniversary this year. Pretty cool stuff, right?
Maggie, my doll for the day, was another one from the fun group on the shuttle. I had a blast with her.
*Shout out to DJ Abilities
Soon, it was time for the main event… the hometown heroes from Minneapolis, Atmosphere, closed the show like only they could.
Posing with the host of the event, Sway Calloway, before heading back to First Avenue for the official Soundset After Party…
I’ve seriously always dreamed of experiencing a music festival in the capacity in which I experienced Soundset. Just hanging out with the artists, behind the scenes, in their element, among friends, family & comrades. I am so glad it finally came to be!
From this (once) small town girl, with big dreams, I encourage each & every one of you to follow your heart & seek out your passion in life. Chase it, hunt it, run after it with all your might. Your heart will never lead you astray… Once you know what it is that you really want in life, the universe will conspire to give it to you. Go after it!
Shout out to the girls at Glam Doll Donuts for following their love & passion for music (and baking) & turning it into a successful business in such a sweet way!
Thanks for reading along, everyone. What is it that you really want in life? What’s your dream? Or has it already come true…?
*Special thanks to Eddie Sancho, Ashanti Abdullah, Siddiq, & the entire staff & crew at Rhymesayers Entertainment for an unbelievable, unforgettable weekend. Much love. Let’s do it all again next year!
Check out the Soundset 2014 Wrap Up here…
*at 1:39 in…don’t blink! 😉