It was clear from the lineup that there would be some huge hip-hop stars performing at this year’s Governors Ball but there was definitely a strong lean towards the rest of the genres when you broke it down over the four stages and three days. Regardless, the acts that they booked represented the culture on many levels and there was plenty of head nodding and hand waving side to side throughout.
Atmosphere was the focus on Day 2 for us. Slug, with a “Black Lives Matter” t-shirt on, was joined by Ant as well as another DJ who would scratch on a turntable. The set was a mix of positive and solemn vibes as Slug shared some inspiring words that everyone is special in his/her own way while dipping into his own life and his hardships. The set list drew from their extensive discography but the crowd was definitely jumping when they pulled out “Road to the Riches.”
Our Unsigned Hype alum, Bishop Nehru, had the early slot on Day 3 at 12:45 PM. Although the set started slow with Hot 97’s DJ Juanyto on the 1’s and 2’s, more and more people slowly made their way to the stage and rock out with the young emcee. The sound had an odd echo from the start but the stage engineer fixed it as the set continued. Towards the end of his 45 minutes, one member of the crowd shouted out “Light Leaks!” and Bishop caught ear of it. Unplanned, he had Juanyto play the instrumental for the track so he could perform it live for the crowd. The majority of his set was composed of Strictly Flowz and Nehruvian DOOM.
Logic proved that he’s not only one of the quickest on the mics but he’s also one hell of a live performer. You should already be familiar with his rapid flows that rival Twista, which he showcased confidently without a beat during his set a few times. Logic took moments in between songs to interact with the fans near the stage and lightheartedly make fun of the way they would tell him their names. He and his DJ also took a break to decide which half of the crowd was louder with the instrumental of DJ Kool’s “Let Me Clear My Throat” playing. He also decided to freestyle a few lines to mention the fact that he was in NYC for Governors Ball (#OnBrand). Near the end of his set, he performed one of his favorite tracks, “Gang Related,” and you could feel the emotion in his voice.
Other notable happenings include Kendrick Lamar making a brief appearance during Mayer Hawthorne’s set and A-Trak spinning mostly Dance music with super trippy visuals and occasionally doing short scratch routines. Overall, the Governors Ball proved yet again that other summer festivals should strive to have the diversity and execution it did in 2015. Until next year…