Entering the festival there are 6 God shirts everywhere. People shouting ‘Woes’ round every corner. This line up arguably boasts the best mix of modern hip hop and RnB to hit the UK this summer, but something tells us it’s only going to be remembered for one man.
First up was Long Beach native Vince Staples. Fresh off the release of his debut album Summertime 06 he reeled off a number of hits off the album including Lift Me Up and Señorita. For an album which takes place in a summer nine years ago, Vince gave the crowd a humid and tension filled slice of life in his hometown.
This was followed up immediately by the super Chef himself, ILoveMakonnen. After signing to OVO he has remained relatively low-key and his performance mirrored exactly that. Opening with I Don’t Sell Molly No More, the set worked as a victory lap for what Makonnen has achieved so quickly. The pinnacle moment being surprise guest Father coming out to perform their viral hit Look at Wrist. As the whole crowd flicked their wrist in sync, Atlanta was most certainly in the vicinity.
As the day went on the temperature rose just in time for a sweltering set courtesy of OVO’s prince-in-waiting PartyNextDoor. Although 15 minutes late he came out to masses of screams and effortlessly flowed silky cuts like Break From Toronto and Options often letting the crowd sing the whole song back at him. Although not the most polished of performances it cemented his status as an artist worthy of his own triumphs and not just his OVO affiliation.
Travi$ Scott shows always have a reputation surrounding them, and he certainly delivered. From the second he stormed onto the stage mosh pits sprung up everywhere – no one was safe yet everyone was in it together. He raced through a run of his gothically theatrical anthems like Upper Echelon and Skyfall as he hung from the side of the stage screaming “You some real motherfucking rangers.” This was most certainly the case with a crowd invasion causing the announcement of “Security to stage three” which was met by a hoard of boos from his loyal followers.
A$AP Rocky proved to be the first – and only – major disappointment of the day. With constant mic problems throughout, Rocky was constantly apologising and desperately trying to get the crowd back on his side. Technical problems aside, what needed to happen was a more more focussed and streamlined performance. A pared-down rendition of L$D was followed by a lacklustre performance of Wild for the Night creating the sense that the Harlemite might still need to decide exactly where his sound lies.
With the words “If You’re Reading This We Made It” blown up behind him, Drake performed a show which warranted the statement. Extravagant and over the top, yet it suited the absolute masterclass that was taking place. While videos of him and his friends played on a screen he continued to roll through the club-raiding hits from his most recent LP including 10 Bands and Energy. Throughout the set the gunshots and airhorns connately blasted out, which could be seen as a gimmick but has never felt more at home.
If he didn’t already have the hearts of everyone in the crowd he brought out Skepta to perform Shutdown. Both dressed in Boy Better Know t shirts, Aubrey was one of us for the night. Before he played the song that everyone was waiting for he confessed, “This song belongs to Toronto but tonight it belongs to you London.” Mayhem ensued as thousands of people grabbed their friends and ran through the 6 with their woes, Drake being one of them.