21 Savage, Moon Taxi to headline Rites of Spring 2019

Dallas Shatel, Deputy Editor in Chief

Vanderbilt Programming Board has announced the full lineup for Rites of Spring 2019. Atlanta rapper 21 Savage and Nashville’s own Moon Taxi will headline the festival this year, with Mississippi rapper Big K.R.I.T, Chicago’s Soulja Boy and Jamila Woods will provide direct support. The annual festival will be on Alumni Lawn on April 12 and 13. The full lineup is pictured below, as well as what you need to know about the artists.

21 Savage

Easily the  most talked about rapper right now, mostly for his recent detainment at the hands of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for being an undocumented immigrant from London. He was recently released on $100,000 bond and spoke about how he plans to stay in the U.S.

Atlanta-raised rapper already had a strong following prior to his arrest, and for good reason. 21 is a rapper who improves with each release, learning to use his cold, deadpan deliver and blunt lyrics to his advantage more and more, while his flows and production grow more interesting and varied each year. 2018’s i am>i was demonstrates this as he goes toe-to-toe with greats like J. Cole and Childish Gambino. 2017’s Without Warning, a collaborative album with producer Metro Boomin and Migos’ Offset is also a highlight, contrasting his simple, monotone deliver with Offset’s lyrical acrobatics, backed by Metro’s dark, horror movie-esque trap beats. Earlier projects like 2016’s Savage Mode have some hits and show much promise.

Moon Taxi

Originally hailing from Alabama, the Nashville based Moon Taxi have been at it for over a decade, playing festivals, late-night TV and all over the country. The group originally formed while attending nearby Belmont University back in 2006 and has since made it onto Sony-subsidiary RCA Records. Their music is easy, breezy and infectious, garnering them hits with tracks like “Too High” and “Morocco”. Their laidback, reverby alt rock brings to mind bands like Bad Suns, COIN and Coast Modern.

Big K.R.I.T.

This Southern rapper/producer is absolutely deadly with both his pen and his production. K.R.I.T. (King Remembered In Time) makes bass-heavy Southern rap that fans of UGK and early Ludacris will recognize instantly. With three studio albums and several mixtapes under his belt, K.R.I.T.’s artistic peak came in 2017 with 4eva Is A Mighty Long Time, a double album featuring one side of in-your-face, gritty tracks full of punishing flows, while the other side showcased K.R.I.T.’s more soulful side, allowing him to talk on some more personal topics over beautiful, jazzy production. Earlier projects such as Live From The Underground and 4eva Na Day demonstrate this range as well, and contain several of his best and most favored tracks.

Soulja Boy

A man who really needs no introduction, Soulja Boy’s music defined late-2000’s middle school dances. Tracks like “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” and “Kiss Me Thru The Phone” were absolutely massive in their popularity, with the accompanying dance of the former arguably starting the trend of viral dances set to popular hip-hop songs. Though much of his recent popularity owes more to attention-seeking antics than his music (though he is still releasing mixtapes, believe it or not), this set promises to be entertaining.

Jamila Woods

This Chicago-based soul/R&B singer only has one album so far, but don’t let that deter you from her. 2017’s Heavn is a star-studded event, with features from fellow Chicagoans Chance the Rapper, Noname and Saba. Her music largely covers themes of Black feminism and Black identity (unsurprising considering her Brown University degree in Africana Studies, as well as Theater and Performance Studies). Her music is largely sparse and blends loungey jazz, hip-hop and some indie rock, while her voice shines through with beautiful melodies and arrangements.

Other artists featured on the bill include R&B singer Ari Lennox, Nashville rock band Nordista Freeze and rapper/Vanderbilt student Aly “Lackhoney” Lakhani. Check out our playlist of these artists below and get ready for a fun April weekend.


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