In our current day and age, I’ve always voiced my opinions on the state of popular culture; how it moves, how it changes and how it grows. I think that popular culture is at its most fluid in its progressions, and it isn’t limited and restricted by race, color, sexual orientation, or religion. Everyone is making everything for everyone. One example of my views that I’ve always referred to was the Music section of the South By Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, and now I can assuredly add the Trillectro music festival, which takes place in Washington, DC, to that list.
I landed in DC on Friday afternoon and after connecting with my fraternity brother and getting a DMV staple of Chicken and their popular “Mumbo Sauce”, the night fell and we ventured out to Capitale Lounge, which was the location of the Trillectro- leading “Surprise Party”, an event series that travels the country capitalizing on their “pop-up-party” theme. This party definitely set the tone for the weekend as it served as a reunion of sorts for all the festivalgoers who traveled from across the country to enjoy the weekend’s festivities. Old friends quickly introduced each other to new ones, further connecting the social circles that serve as the connector of our culture. If it was one thing the “Surprise Party” did, it let everyone know that the energy of tomorrow’s show would be a surprise to no one.
Saturday came and you could feel the excitement all over. From the streets to the social networks, the people were quick to say who they’d be looking forward to see perform throughout the day. After arriving to Half Street Fairgrounds, which serves as a event venue for the Washington Nationals and strongly resembles a freight shipyard, I was served my media credentials by the courteous and professional Trillectro staff. Entering the venue was like walking into a hipster fun zone; two different stages both blasting bass-heavy trap music sounds, food trucks that were easy on the eyes and the wallet, clothing vendors displaying the future of streetwear fashion, and an artist zone where live paintings were being created. From the first performer, Atlanta native KE On The Track (of Future, Roscoe Dash, and “Swag Surf” fame), you got the feeling that there was one level set for the energy of the day: up. Walking from the artist entry to the VIP section to the stage was an experience itself, where you’d literally walk into some of the rising stars in the Hip Hop and EDM genres. From high tempo DJ sets by EDM artists such as Alex Young, DJ Sliink, Nadastrom, and Tittsworth, to stand out performances by King Chip, DC natives Shy Glizzy, Phil Adé, and Atlanta super group Two-9, I can say that I knew that the next 9 hours would be some something I’d remember for a long time.
As dusk fell upon Southeast DC, one might have gone into sensory overload with all that was going around. Pungent smells lifted into the nighttime air, and as Grand Hustle artist took the stage, I saw that the energy of the venue was steadily climbing. Having the opportunity to view his performance (and almost every other henceforth) from the stage, looking into the sea of people with every eye fixated on the artist performing, almost literally feeding off of their vibe on where to go. Dropping singles such as “Quintana” and “Upper Echelon”, Scott and his DJ (and Howard University Alum) Chase B set the tone for the rest of the evening. Casey Veggies quickly followed suit as the Peas And Carrots crew filled the stage to the sound of “Everything Wavy” and “Ride Around Town” while having R&B singer Raheem Devaughn woo the crowd with several Go-Go music-sampled tunes. Scott and Veggies took the stage together to perform their hit “Up”, but for some reason, it didn’t happen. One of the most talked about performances came from one ASAP Ferg, who brought out ASAP Rocky in as a special guest to perform songs like “Work”, “Work (Remix)”, and his new single, “Shabba.” The night was closed out by performances by Maybach Music’s own Wale, who brought out fellow DC local Fat Trel and performed a majority of hits that’s propelled him to this point of his career, and EDM giant DJ Carnage, who sent the Trillectro crowd home in a frenzy with songs like “Michael Jordan” and “Kat!e.” And as quickly as it began, it ended, this time with people recapping memories to tell all their friends.
Sunday served as the grand closing of Trillectro weekend with “The Boozy Brunch”, allowing the festival’s attendees to come together in the bond of breaking bread and taking shots. It allowed us to recap our favorite moments of the festivals before we all went our separate ways. Talking to DCtoBC founder and Trillectro spearhead Modi Odewole, he spoke of a man that was happy that the people were happy. “To see all those people out there having a great time is what it’s about. If something comes from a relationship, whether professional or personal, that’s what Trillectro is all about; our cultures have converged.” As I got into my car and took the two-hour drive back to Philadelphia, I thought of all the people I met, and the organic feeling of meeting people because of the music. I also came to the conclusion that Trillectro is an event that as long as I’m free, I will attend it. If you were there, I’ll see you soon. If you missed it, beat me there next year.
Cory Townes is a Digital Content Producer born and raised in Philadelphia, Pa. His work has been featured in Vibe.com, The Grio, and other media publications. For more of his work, visit www.CoryTownes.com and follow him on Twitter at @CoryTownes.