Goldenvoice rolls a fatty: Smokers Club Festival
The relationship between music and marijuana has a profound history that has shaped the course of music throughout the past century. Central and Southern American sailors were introduced to marijuana by the Hindu immigrants in the West Indies. After their discovery, these sailors brought that ganja over to the shores of the birthplace of jazz, New Orleans and it’s been lit ever since. Around the same time of the introduction to marijuana, jazz music skyrocketed in popularity. With old racist folks not digging the sudden idolization of “black music” too much, they created negative propaganda of the culture. Insanely exaggerated horror stories such as crazed homicides at the hands of marijuana-crazed lunatics spread like a virus. The legendary jazz musicians of the 20s and 30s truly lived through the harshest times of hash and history didn’t fail to repeat itself when it came to the rise of Hip Hop in the 70’s.
Through the smoke rings of Louis Armstrong and John Coltrane and into the clouds of artists like Schoolboy Q and Wiz Khalifa, we’ve progressed a long way when it comes to the evolution of weed in music. Looking back at the struggle, it can really make you appreciate dope events like Goldenvoice’s SMOKERS CLUB FESTIVAL! Headlining the sold out two-day Smokers Club Festival at the Queen Mary were some of the most respected artists in the game including Schoolboy Q, Kid Cudi, Mac Miller, and Wiz Khalifa. Thicker than the smoke layer that formed above the festival grounds were the absolutely massive crowds gathered at both stages. The merch booth had lines for days and parking was so packed that many had to park on the whole other side of town and take a shuttle ride in! Although it was a mission bouncing back and forth in between stages, the masses of people that came out to support these artists were not only the highest but the nicest. With 10,000 stoners packed in this festival, the experience was like a mini hip hop Woodstock!
Not all heroes wear capes, in this case he was iced out and sported a tie-dye shirt. Filling in the spot after Trippie Redd canceled was one of the most innovative and different voices of rap, Young Thug. No one was mad at it, in fact the audience seemed totally relieved and filled with excitement as he walked out on stage to save the day. Compared to other artists in this industry, Young Thug stands out for being the most experimental when it comes to not only his extreme vocal ranges but sense of fashion. With an incredible amount of energy and style he performed all the favorites like “Pick Up the Phone”, “Lifestyle”, and T.I. track “About the Money”. Whether you think he’s a rap weirdo, a fashion icon, or the most avant-garde of all time, you can’t argue that he puts on a dope set.
Tauheed Epps (aka 2 chainz) has been in the game since 1997, he came up with all those early 2000s artists like Ludacris, T.I., and Lil Wayne. The only difference between him and all of them is he’s still killin it. Epp’s mind is a factory for top chart bangers and he still produces them to this day. 2 Chainz performed day one of the festival preceding Schoolboy Q during a beautiful Long Beach sunset. After expressing to the audience his love for his mama, 2 Chainz performed “Proud” and even old-school fire like “Duffel Bag Boy”. Seeing a legendary rapper like 2 Chainz hyping up the crowd at Smokers Club Fest was unreal considering all the work he’s done over the years and other creative minds he’s collaborated with like Nicki Minaj, A$AP Rocky, J.U.S.T.I.C.E., Drake, and more.
Witnessing Top Dawg Entertainment’s Schoolboy Q and his DJ do their thing was definitely one of the main highlights of the weekend. From making fun of the “high as fuck” audience to playfully dissing his own DJ, Schoolboy Q put on one of the realest and intimate sets of the festival. Dressed in an orange beanie and a pink sweater, Schoolboy joked that he was only wearing pink to throw off all the cops walking around the festival. Q performed his freshest and most classic tracks and even covered Kendrick’s “M.A.A.D. City”! Schoolboy performed his track “X” off of the Black Panther soundtrack that had everyone going hard, but the audience lit up even more as soon as the first few seconds of “Collard Greens” began to play. He performed material from his amazing Blank Face LP but didn’t mention anything about upcoming releases or new work he might have up his sleeve.
After much anticipation, one of the biggest smokers in rap, Wiz Khalifa finally appeared on stage and began his performance in front of an enormous inflatable orange with a fat blunt in hand. Wearing his sunglasses and puffing in between bars, Khalifa put on a set that made the whole festival feel like a raging house party. The audience that had waited for this moment of the festival went wild as he performed throwbacks off of Kush & OJ. Along with the large inflatable orange on the stage were inflatable blunts that were being thrown and passed around in the ocean of fans. Wiz put on an energetic set, leaving everyone elated and incredibly stoned. On top of all that excitement, he surprised everyone by bringing out the one and only Big Sean! One week after Smokers Club Fest, Wiz just dropped a new track featuring Gucci Mane. “Real Rich” is sure to be yet another banger by this rap star weed enthusiast!
Day two performances included Kid Cudi, Mac Miller, Isaiah Rashad, Earl Sweatshirt, and many more big names in rap and hip hop. Keeping the stoney vibes going, every performance took the party higher than the last. By the end, the crowd had totally succumbed to the reefer madness. Everyone who was there can’t wait to return to the haziest party in LA, and those who missed out can’t wait for their next hit of Goldenvoice’s most lit joint of the year. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Long Beach.
Coverage by Sade De La Espriella
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