Soundset 2019

Soundset 2019

Soundset 2019 has come and gone yet the tanned skin as a result remains! On Memorial Day weekend, hip hop lovers, art enthusiasts & simply anyone who didn’t want to experience FOMO found themselves gathered at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds for another round of Soundset: our very own kickoff to festival season! Even though I sent y’all out with my handy dandy Guide to Soundset 2019, it seems like some of y’all didn’t take notes based on the amount of people I seen passing out and dehydrated everywhere lmao! Despite all that, everyone always seems to have a great time and luckily Culture Piece was there to cover it all!

Rap group,  FreeWifi  and friends

Rap group, FreeWifi and friends

This year’s Soundset I was going in a little differently…and by differently, I mean this was the first time I wouldn’t be sneaking in 10 blunts under my shirt for enjoying later on. That’s right everyone, I was going to be sober for Soundset for the first time! I didn’t know how this would go considering I’d be fenced in with 10s of thousands of high and drunk people lmao! Needless to say, Soundset never disappoints…even when some of the performers do. It’s of no surprise when I say that Lil Uzi Vert cancelled again at the last minute without explanation, we all called it haha. Soundset came through with quick thinking and brought on two more acts to replace the one we were missing out on: Da Baby and Lil Nas X! I have to say, I was way happier to see these two perform!

Da Baby

Da Baby

Lil Nas X

Lil Nas X

I was definitely the most excited to see the gem that is SZA perform. When I first saw SZA perform at AFROPUNK Brooklyn in 2017, it was amazing! It was right after the release of her album and she just started her tour. Simply put, everything was on point! If you’ve been following SZA and her performances as the tour went on, you’ll know that our beloved singer-songwriter was beginning to strain her voice in someway and a chunk of her performances were negatively affected. I was really hoping that things were looking up for her and her vocal chords, especially because the concertgoers of Soundset aren’t always the nicest haha!

Honestly, there were a few moments where I could tell that her vocals weren’t at the place that we know and love but she redeemed herself by the end of the set. When I went into the pit to take photos of her I was so mesmerized and in awe of it all. Although there were a couple rough spots, her set was amazing & I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who was elated that Soundset put her on the lineup this year.

SZA

SZA

I think the biggest surprise of the entire day was the fact the Lil Wayne did in fact show up AND perform! If you know anything about Lil Wayne’s track record with Minnesota, you’ll know that something always seems to happen last minute that prevents him from actually coming out on stage. As the headliner of the festival and closing performer, I was definitely exhausted and over it by time he came out, as I always am around this time every year for Soundset. I stayed for the first few songs and to be honest, I wasn’t that impressed although it was cool feeling the presence of such a legendary rapper.

All in all, Soundset 2019 everything I expected it to be: it was hot, it was entertaining and the ever present scent of marijuana was nostalgic. I say this every year but I honestly don’t know how Soundset will top all of the artists they’ve brought to the Twin Cities thus far. We’ve had so many legends and living icons grace the stages, that it’s difficult to image what’s next. Maybe a “Best of Soundset” for 2020 featuring the best and most iconic musicians that have performed at Soundset?

Highlights of Soundset 2019:

  • The locals: I swear it’s like a reunion every year at Soundset. You’ll see everyone you know and people you haven’t seen in years.

  • The FOOD: The food trucks were amazing this year! I had some of everything it seems like: footlong corndogs, cheese curd tacos, jerk chicken, Sweet Marthas, smoothies, the list goes on lmao!

  • SZA!

  • Lil Nas X: I surprised myself at how excited I turned out to be to see Lil Nas X perform! Even though he only had a 2 song set, it was the littest 2 song set!

  • The fashion: It was dope to see the locals that go above & beyond with their festival fashion and this year was no different!

Words by Maya Clark // @mayaexplains

Photographs by Maya Clark // @mayaexplains