Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller will perform at the grandstand Sept. 3.
For only the second time, a rap act will headline the Minnesota State Fair grandstand -- and you might even call it a first, depending on where you stand on Vanilla Ice's rapper cred.
Pittsburgh star Wiz Khalifa, whose 2011 hit "Black & Yellow" earned two Grammy nominations, will play the fair's final day, Sept. 3, along with his hometown pal Mac Miller. Tickets ($29-$39) go on sale May 19, as do seats for two other newly announced grandstand concerts: Classic-rock standbys Journey, Pat Benatar and Loverboy Sept. 1 ($38-$58), and smooth-R&B singer Anita Baker Aug. 26 ($38).
The only other rap act to ever headline the grandstand was Vanilla Ice in 1991, the year he hit it big with "Ice, Ice Baby." Hip-hop pioneers the Fat Boys also opened for Nu Shooz at the grandstand in 1986, and a few local rap acts have also appeared on the fair's free stages over the years.
Fair entertainment director Renee Pearson said the fair has not been avoiding hip-hop acts, but rather it has sometimes been the other way around. "There's a stigma in the industry that state fairs are only about classic-rock and country acts," she said.
Khalifa and Miller each made their first big impression in the Twin Cities at Soundset, the annual all-hip-hop festival happening again May 27 at Canterbury Park. Soundset's impressive attendance of around 20,000 young fans last year was an eye-opener on rap music's local drawing power.