It’s that time of the year again, and you have exactly three weeks and five days to prepare for the greatness that is Broccoli City Festival. For those who don’t know: “Broccoli City builds thriving urban communities that sustain future generations. Since 2009, Broccoli City has been executing its mission through varied blends of media, programs, events, and partnerships with non-profit organizations, businesses and city government agencies, while empowering communities to make informed decisions about their health and environment.” (via Broccoli City’s Facebook page).
Broccoli City established this awesome music festival/social awareness event/artists exhibit as one of the many outlets used to accomplish the aforementioned mission. While I’m definitely a supporter of recycling, renewable energy, and healthier, more environmentally sustainable lifestyles, I’m of course most excited about the music, and this year’s lineup is EPIC! Future as the headliner, followed by Jhene Aiko, The Internet, Anderson Paak, BJ The Chicago Kid and Sango (not in that order). I realize that some of you are probably confused by my excitement and wondering who half of these artists are. For that reason, I’ve come up with this two-part Broccoli City Festival 2016 Music Guide. As I said before, you have roughly a month to get hip to this lineup of super talented artists and truly enjoy the festival for all that it has to offer. Shall we begin?
Also known as Future Hendrix. I’m sure you’ve heard of the guy. All I know is, ever since hearing “Itchin'” back in 2011 he’s been on. If not that, then you may be familiar with the 2012 hits “Same Damn Time” or “Tony Montana.” There are literally too many popular Future songs to even continue title dropping. A lot of us can’t really relate to drinking purple activist, talking stick talk, fucking bitches in Gucci flip flops or balling like the March madness, but fuck it. The beats are head-banging, the lyrics are catchy, and with great vocal tone and timbre, you can’t help but like at LEAST one of Future’s song (most likely more than that). He has taken the music game by storm with collaborations from Drake (What a Time to be Alive mixtape – with songs currently in heavy rotation on the radio), Rihanna, Ty Dolla $ign, Miley Cyrus, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Kelly Rowland, Pharrell, Pusha T, and the list goes on. In layman’s analogical music terms: Future is to males, as Beyoncé is to her BeyHive. Not to mention he has a child with Ciara’s fine ass. Need I say more? Since there are a million Future songs to choose from, I’ll stick to his most recent visual: “Low Life,” featuring The Weeknd with a cameo appearance from French Montana. Check it out.
BJ THE CHICAGO KID
Bryan James Sledge, but you know him as BJ the Chicago Kid. The versatile singer-songwriter has an amazing, velvety smooth, soulful voice. It comes as no surprise that his parents were church choir directors, as his vocals will remind you of your favorite gospel singer…but on R&B, soul, hip-hop steroids. It’s beautiful! His music career began at the age of 19 when he moved to Los Angeles, California and became a backup singer for American gospel duo, Mary Mary. Since then he became known for frequent collabs with TDE artists Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul and Jay Rock. His array of impressive collaborations doesn’t stop there as the gifted artist has offered his writing and vocal talents to a number of music acts (Kanye West, Freddie Gibbs, Warren G, Big K.R.I.T., Shirley Caesar, Joe, Kehlani, etc.). His popular hit single “Church” (featuring Chance the Rapper and Buddy) off of his recently released full-length debut on Motown, In My Mind, receives frequent airplay. I’m truly excited about this album, as the soul record intertwines the feels of hip-hop, R&B, jazz, pop, blues and gospel. It showcases BJ’s skills and dissects topics that are much too familiar to listeners –love, sex, infidelity, faith vs. worldly pleasures. I won’t write your eyeballs dry with an entire album review, but know it’s definitely worth listening to. For now, I present to you his most recent visual off the album: “The New Cupid,” featuring Kendrick Lamar and a sample of Raphael Saadiq’s “Oh Girl.” BJ proclaims that Cupid has officially called it quits, so he’s taken it upon himself to bring love back. Who better to play Cupid than Chicago native and comedian Hannibal Buress? Check it out.
Sango, where the hell did you come from?! I don’t mean that in literal terms because I’m aware he was born in Seattle, Washington and his name derived from the badass lead female character in Japanese manga series turned TV show, InuYasha. But my goodness, the 20-something-year-old’s production skills are completely mind-blowing. For lack of better words to describe my astonishment…he’s amazing. If you haven’t guessed by now, Sango is a producer. His work is heavily influenced by Timbaland, although he’s come up with a distinctive sound of his own meshing hip-hop and soul beats with electric touches and rare Brazilian samples. Being raised in a household where his mother made music and grandfather played the congas, the harmonious gifts became contagious. Sango has been producing music alongside his older brother since the young age of 12. Not only is he a soundsmith, but a graphic designer who designs the cover art for all of his releases. Ladies, if your hearts weren’t throbbing before I’m sure that just got your panties a little teary. We all know how attractive raw talent is. Most known for his remixes of Aaliyah, Nas, Drake, The Weeknd, Little Dragon and his debut album “North,” the artist is certainly making a name for himself with features in several publications (The Fader, Complex Music, and Drake’s OVO blog just to name a few). Since it’s been relatively difficult to find actual Sango music videos, check out this cool visual produced by XVSound for the song “Agorinha” off Sango’s latest release in November 2015, Da Rochina 3.
Broccoli City is set to take place on Saturday, April 30, 2016. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: www.bcfestival.com.