Introducing Spring Weekend 2017 — a line-up bursting with so much talent, energy, and power that a little bit slipped out early. But there’s plenty more where that came from. This year we set out with a very particular goal — to use our position of privilege to disrupt the disparities in the music industry and use our platform to feature artists who identify as women and people of color. We are under no illusion that this is a perfect or sweeping antidote — we simply saw the opportunity to change something within our control and took it.
Princess Nokia hails from Spanish Harlem as an Afro-Nuyorican rapper, and alternative R&B artist. A self proclaimed Bruja, Princess Nokia raps about life growing up as an Afro-Indigenous Puerto Rican woman from the hood. Her music combines 90’s hip hop and rap with a present day politic. Fusing different musical styles and influences with narratives of her personal experiences, Princess Nokia is an innovative artist with a strong vision. From the softly invigorating “Young Girls” to the powerful anthem “Brujas,” Princess Nokia is tearing up the music industry by creating music that speaks to the empowerment of women of color from the hood.
Empress Of, the synthpop project of Lorely Rodriguez, burst on to the scene with 2015’s “Me’”– a stellar collection of dance-driven pop songs anchored by two phenomenal tracks, “How Do You Do It” and “Standard.” Both tracks feature Rodriguez doing what she does best — floating her immaculate vocals over beats that refuse to let you sit still. Rodriguez’s one-woman live show highlights her unbridled energy as she leads the crowd in a dance marathon while she mixes live on stage. We can’t wait for her to work her magic at SW17.
Surprise! You heard it here last. Atlanta rapper Young Thug is undeniably one of rap’s most bizarre characters. Notable for his eccentric and unique vocal style and delivery, Thugger has made a name for himself with songs like “Stoner,” “Best Friend,” and “Check.” Apart from his critically acclaimed mix-tapes, Young Thug steals the spotlight with his endlessly catchy hooks on features ranging from Travis Scott’s “Pick up the Phone” to Rich Gang’s “Lifestyle.” Most recently, Young Thug has dominated twitter feeds and timelines with 2016’s “Jeffery.” Thugger began identifying as Jeffery and graced the album’s cover in an Alessandro Trincone dress, garnering praise for challenging normative ideas of masculinity in rap. On April 28th, Young Thug will bring his high-energy live show to Brown, and if there’s one thing you can expect from rap’s reigning eccentric, it’s that anything could happen.
WHAT CHEER? BRIGADE
The 20 piece brass band returns. As usual, they’ll be kicking off Saturday with their thumping beats and legendary horn section. Come early and catch C-Pax dancing along to this Spring Weekend classic.
Led by front-woman Clementine Creevy, Cherry Glazerr is ringing in a new era for punk rock. After making a splash in the Los Angeles DIY scene, the band signed to LA’s acclaimed Burger Records and released their first album in 2014. After Creevy’s graduation from high school, the band’s lineup grew to include two full-time rockers, Sasami Ashworth and Tabor Allen. The trio has been consistently outspoken in their desire to operate outside the norms of the music industry. From making funky songs about sandwiches to drawing attention to the way young women are portrayed in the music industry with “Teenage Girl,” we think they’ve made their point.
In 2009, the internet brought together English singer-songwriter Aluna Francis and producer George Reid under the name AlunaGeorge. After earning their stripes on Soundcloud, AlunaGeorge broke into the mainstream with their feature on Disclosure’s hit single, “White Noise.” In 2013, their smash hit “You Know You Like It” which garnered over 242 million plays. With help from a range of collaborators, including Grammy-winning electronic artist/producer Flume and legendary dancehall artist Popcaan, their most recent album, I Remember, showcases their signature down-tempo beats and innovative, genre-defying sound.
“Godmother of Soul” and legendary singer-songwriter, Erykah Badu made her definitive mark with the release of her first album “Baduizm” in 1997, selling millions of copies and earning the Dallas native a shining pair of Grammys. From her eclectic fashion sense to her lyrical genius, Badu is truly “Q.U.E.E.N.” While Badu’s music has been classified as neo-soul, her unique sound defies simple categorization. Most recently, a spontaneous cover of Drake’s “Hotline Bling” culminated in an avant-garde collection of songs about phones, landing Badu with a No. 2 hit on the iTunes album chart. Once a rapper, and before that a singer, Badu first excelled as dancer — a combination sure to guarantee an unforgettable performance. Come through on Saturday to watch the sun set on Badu as she takes us on a journey guaranteed to make you put your “Phone Down.”