Sometimes, the best projects are the ones that just happen organically. Especially when they involve a genuine interest you have. See, a few months back, I was asked by Evidence if I would be interested in possibly being a guest photographer for the SoundSet festival out in Minnesota. In case you haven’t heard by now, this is one of (if not) the biggest hip-hop festivals in the U.S., and has been going strong for about eight years now. Soundset was started by Rhymesayers, which is based out of the same area it was able to provide an experience for a lot of people: the midwest.
With this year’s lineup consisting of a number of amazing performers like Dem Atlas, Vince Staples, Logic, Yelawolf, Atmosphere, Big Sean, Ludacris, J. Cole, and Ice Cube (and that is to name a few), it probably would come as no surprise that the tickets would sell out prior to the day of the event. But what really caught my attention was what it offered. This wasn’t just merely a music festival, but rather the bringing together of a community. From hip-hop to graffiti to skateboarding to breakdancing, Soundset culturally pulls together the youth and people who share at least one of these common interests. When you looked out into the crowd, you saw people from all walks of life, which is always a rad sight to see. I think Slug said it best, since it had been raining all day, “Everyone’s shoes are fucked up, everyone’s hair is fucked up, so we are all the same.” Which, when looking out into the crowd, was spot on. To see 30,000 plus people come together and stand in the rain all day to simply have a good time was beautiful to witness in person.
To be able to be there with my camera and a few all access passes was awesome. I loved having the chance to see some classic groups live as well as experience some newer ones. With that said, I have to give a big thank you to Ev,Rhymesayers and SoundSet for having me. For my first experience in Minneapolis, I was able to leave with nothing but good memories and a desire to go back. I would highly recommend that if you love a good festival with a positive experience and an amazing lineup, do yourself a favor and make it out to SoundSet next year. They seem to have been doing something right for the past eight years, and I doubt 2016 is going to be any different.