Tick tock folks--Bumbershoot is just mere days away. To further prepare yourselves, we've put together an all-encompassing 2010 Guide that will give you the rundown of everything you could possibly experience. And because I know that's a lot to get through, I'll give you my top three picks for the weekend that aren't local hip-hop (i.e. Grynch, Fresh Espresso, The Physics, Fatal Lucciauno, Helladope, THEESatisfaction, Victor Shade)--because, let's be honest, their ability to blow your minds go without saying.
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, Saturday, 7:30-8:45, Broad Street:
Of all the things I was heartbroken to miss at this year's Sasquatch! (seriously, what was wrong with me?) I still kick myself hardest for missing Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes. Known to be amusingly unpredictable with their live performances, the Alex Ebert-led 10-piece is responsible for honest, sing-along-status catchy tunes that take on the slightest of Western leans--this summer's anthemic "Home" as case in point.
J. Cole, Monday, 6:00-7:00, Mainstage:
If it weren't for Jay Electronica (see below), J. Cole would be my hands-down number one pick for Bumbershoot hip-hop. It's hard enough to catch the eye of a guy like Jay-Z doing just about anything, but to be the first artist signed to Roc Nation as both an emcee and producer--that's impressive. To be fair, North Carolina's J. Cole deserves his own spotlight out from the mentor's shadow; as an emcee Cole can drop an aggressive 16-bar flows and cerebral verses without succumbing to tired-sounding lyrical laziness, and as a producer his sound is consistently smooth and impressively nuanced.
Jay Electronica, Sunday, 5:45-6:45, Fisher Green:
This is a guy I've been waiting a long time to see. Now, don't let his name distract you--Jay Elec is a lyrically and sonically brilliant hip-hop head. Hailing from the Magnolia Projects of New Orleans but sporting a New York flow that could pass for the Marcy Houses, the dude's been building buzz for a few years but his debut album is still forthcoming. Luckily, he's also let fly a constant stream of Internet leaks, including the instant classics "Exhibit A (Transformations)" and "Exhibit C" that reflect an ambitious complexity and draw instant comparisons to Nas. Electronica has the kind of flow and verbiage most rappers can only dream of, but it seems he's just getting started.