Year 11 might be the craziest one yet for Soundset, based on the lineup announced Wednesday morning for the consistently popular Twin Cities hip-hop festival.
Among the names listed for the May 27 rap marathon: Top 40 hitmakers Logic and Migos; pioneering legends the Wu-Tang Clan and Ice-T; influential neo-soul hero Erykah Badu; rabble rousers Tyler the Creator and Prof; buzzing newcomers Russ, Brockhampton, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and Young M.A.; and enduring indie faves Hieroglyphics, Murs and, of course, Atmosphere.
The 2018 installment will mark the festival’s third year sprawled out in the Midway area of the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, where it set another attendance record last year with around 35,000 attendees. That number once again sets Soundset apart as the biggest music festival in town, and arguably the largest annual all-hip-hop fest in the world — all of which will probably hold true again in 2018.
Where to start…?
Logic and Migos will bring out the younger, less diehard fans this time around. A repeat Soundsetter, Logic returns hot off the success of “1-800-273-8255,” an ode to suicide prevention with Alessia Cara nominated for Song of the Year at the Grammys. And Georgia trio Migos of “Bad and Boujee” fame is fresh off the cover of Rolling Stone and played a surprisingly tight, fluid set at the magazine’s Super Bowl party last month.
Old-school fans will no doubt be delighted by Ice-T’s return to the stage from the acting world, but the Wu-Tang set will be an even bigger draw. The nine-man Staten Island crew are touring this year to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its seminal debut album, “Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers.”
Dallas queen Badu is a big coup for the fest since she hasn’t performed in the Twin Cities since the early-2000s, and she proved she’s still a mesmerizing force at the nearby Eaux Claires fest in 2016 — once she finally got going, that is. She heads up another decent turnout of women on the often way-too-manly lineup, also including Young M.A., Rapsody, Kamaiyah, DJ Livia and local stalwart the Lioness.
Other hometown reps on the lineup include Sick Trim (aka Doomtree beatmakers Lazerbeak and Paper Tiger), Dem Atlas, Willy Wonka, OG Grip and Mike 2600.
One curious footnote: Both Jaden Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff are also on the lineup. Smith is the teenage son of Jeff’s former partner-in-rhyme Will Smith, aka the Fresh Prince. So maybe Jaden’s parents do understand?
Tickets to Soundset 2018 go on sale Friday at 11 a.m. via Soundsetfestival.com or in person at Fifth Element record store in Uptown. Prices got bumped up a bit from last year, starting at $86 for general-admission and $208 for VIP (the latter only available online).
Soundset’s organizers at Rhymesayers — the Minneapolis hip-hop label behind Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Prof, etc. — offered up a cool recap video from last year’s event, in case you still don’t believe a hip-hop fest could be the biggest thing in town year after year.
Here’s the full list of acts confirmed so far for Soundset 2018:
Logic, Migos, Atmosphere, Erykah Badu, Tyler the Creator, Russ, Wu-Tang Clan, Brockhampton, Ice-T, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Hieroglyphics, Prof, Jaden Smith, Grieves, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Murs, Rapsody, Evidence, Kamaiyah, Westside Gunn & Conway, J.I.D, Young M.A, deM atlaS, DJ Scratch, Pell, Jack Harlow, Skratch Bastid, DJ Livia, Bugus, Quincey White, the Lioness, OG Grip, Lazerbeak and Paper Tiger are Sick Trim, Willie Wonka, DJ Rowsheen, Mike 2600 and DJ Bles One.