This year’s annual multi-genre festival known as FYF Fest seemed to have delivered a theme of surprise this year as they added a more heavy Hip-Hop/R&B elements to the festival line-up than last year. This year’s line-up focused more on the memorable live performance than just simply belting out a crowd pleasing set list.
Lead by Hip-Hop legendary hit-maker Missy Elliot and the incredible hit making singer/songwriter Frank Ocean, the three-day festival rounded out it’s headliners with a 71 act roster including Hip-Hop’s underground favorites including: Run the Jewels, Anderson .Paak, Solange, Princess Nokia, Joey Purp, Kehlani, A Tribe Called Quest, Majid Jordan, Kirk Knight, Mura Masa, 6lack, current XXL Freshman Kamaiyah, and more.
The three-day event kicked-off with both a look at the past and the future of female Hip-Hop as Bay Area’s Kamaiyah and Miss Super Dupa Fly herself Missy Elliot welcomed concertgoers to Exposition Park Friday night. Kamaiyah performed her two current hit singles “Why You Always Hatin'” and “Build You Up”. Her set was very intriguing as comedian Hannibal Burress introduced her with a slur of jokes; jabbing at concertgoers and speaking on his supposed failed recording artist career.
While Kamaiyah presented more of a gangsta lean during her set, the multi-platinum selling artist, Missy Elliot closed out the evening with a late night dance battle. In her only live show performance this 2017, Missy brought out the length hit throwbacks with a set including “Work It”, “Get Your Freak On”, and “I Can’t Stand the Rain”. The award-winning veteran entertained the masses with some dance moves of her own.
Day Two – Saturday, the line-up continued to heat up with performances from King Krule, Joey Purp, and Majid Jordan; however, exploded with full surprises as Hip-Hop unleashed the secret gifts. Amid break up talk, A Tribe Called Quest surprised fans with a final performance that included Busta Rhymes and Ralphael Saadiq. The performance paid tribute to fallen member Phife Dawg who died in March 2016. Although a tribute, ATCQ gave the concert a history lesson in Hip-Hop that will definitely lift the streaming catalog.
Erykah Badu continued the Hip-Hop renaissance following the Tribe. Warming up the headliner, Erykah played to the crowd and dropped knowledge on the fans while performing her catalog of hits. A tough act to follow that only could be topped by a brilliant act as Frank Ocean.
Saturday’s finale continued the reveals as headliner Frank Ocean took the stage performing all of his signature hits including, “Pyramid”, “Nike”, “Novacane”. The New Orleans singer surprised the crowd with a facetime call from high-profile actor Brad Pitt (Ocean’s Eleven). Not only facetime, Brad also provided an erupting duet as him and Ocean sing “Close to You”. It was impossible to hear the performance with concertgoers were uncontrollable with standing ovation screams.
While everyone was discussing the Tribe Called Quest and Frank Ocean respective sets. The best act of the bill has to go to Solange closing out the final day. Sunday, her performance of last year’s acclaim album, A Seat at the Table was nothing short of magnificent. Although her set started late, Beyonce’s baby sister took after big sis with her well-designed performance of pink, orange and magenta hues with a heavenly backup vocals, and energetic choreography that was performed with precision. Fans adored every minute of the set as they poured on the stage. This performance marked the first time Solange had performed in Los Angeles in several years.
Kehlani and 6lack closed following Solange on Sunday Night. 6lack was ahead of his time, but Kehlani was phenomenal as she dedicated her set to the LGBTQ community.
Surprises, first-times, and throwbacks, this year’s FYF Fest could easily be debated as the best line-up to date. FYF Fest is a great festival to attend and a great make-up for those who missed out on this year’s Coachella. Looking for a blend of Hip-Hop and inviting taste of other musical elements, Exposition Park is the best option.