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Jason Chandler

The Incredible Highs & Unfortunate Lows Of The 2017 Governors Ball Festival

Other festivals might want to take notes from Gov Ball, who presented an enjoyable experience for both the fan and the artist.

Governors Ball Festival is considered to be the calmer presentation of artists, food and brands during festival season, but this year’s mix of rap, pop, alternative and rock acts made it one of its most unique and dynamic rollouts ever.

The high octave energy was dispensed evenly thanks to the die hard fans who showed up every day (June 2- June 4) to see acts like Chance The Rapper, Lorde, Childish Gambino, Logic and Wiz Khalifa. Ferry and bus rides helped transport fans from Harlem to Randall's Island, a relatively quiet space with an eerie origin story. While the weather wasn’t completely cooperative, it didn’t stop festival goers from breaking out the fringe, the glitter and noticeably, the Chance’s signature “3” hats.

With so much to cover, like Logic pointing out his fans by name from the stage, Wu-Tang’s celebration for the 20th anniversary of Wu-Tang Forever to Donald Glover announcing his soon-to-be retirement from his artist moniker Childish Gambino, here are the best moments from the festival.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention some of the moments that left us shaking our heads and at times, leaving us speechless.

Check it out below.

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Highs

Kehlani Sends Love To The LGBTQ Community

Kehlani, the R&B incarnation of a warm hug, blessed the Gov Ball stage on Friday, bringing nothing but good vibes. The Cali songstress delivered hip-hop soul to the masses with jams from her critically-acclaimed studio debut, SweetSexySavage. From “CRZY,” “Distraction” to “Do You Dirty” the singer had the attention of many, including her LGBTQ fans. With June declared as Pride month, the singer took a moment to show love the devoted community and reminded everyone to keep spreading love.

Hip-Hop Mosh Pits Just As Great As They Sound

Believed to be just a practiced nuance at rock concerts, the art form found life throughout the entire weekend. Schoolboy Q’s Honda Stage set was the place to be for those looking to push and shove to “Gangsta” and “Collard Greens.” On the grand scheme of things, it’s truly refreshing to see carefree folks jam hard to the music that normally floods aux cords at house parties.

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The mosh pits didn’t stop there as they continued through A$AP Ferg, Stormy, Danny Brown and Skepta’s sets. The Bacardi stage also brought waves of pleasant chaos thanks to Rae Sremmurd. The duo brought a significantly larger crowd than their 2015 Gov Ball debut, thanks to to the success of SremmLife 2 cut, “Black Beatles.” Spreading across the grounds, Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi brought their own Shrem-mania as fans climbed fences, pillars and even each other to be apart of the moment. It may seem minutiae compared to hip-hop’s latest triumphs, but it’s still an feeling like no other.

Wu-Tang Clan Celebrates Wu-Tang Forever’s 20th Anniversary

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RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Masta Killa and Cappadonna helped bring the same amount of boisterous spirits to the Gov Ball stage on Saturday with the celebration of the 1997 classic, Wu-Tang Forever. Deep solo cuts like Ghostface Killah’s “Fish” (Ironman) and GZA’s “Duel of the Iron Mics” (Liquid Swords) also filled the set lists to fans’ surprise. RZA and Method helped sent verbal memos heard over the festival, reminding those unaware of Wu’s influence.  Classics like “C.R.E.A.M.” and “Triumph” were also performed on the stage that included an homage to the late Ol' Dirty Bastard via “Old Dirty Bastard’s Chinese Restaurant.”

Special guests included ODB’s son Young Dirty Bastard and Redman, who joined Method Man for a take on their 1999 classic, “Da Rockwilder.” It was a trip back in time any music fan would’ve loved to be apart of.

Lows

White Young Adults Saying The N-Word In Drunken Glee

Sure, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard the slur at a festival, let alone hip-hop shows by a predominantly white crowd. Nonetheless, it was pretty awkward for presumably liberal whites to chant “n***a” during the sets of Schoolboy Q, Chance The Rapper, Rae Sremmurd and YG. After peeping disrespect in Harlem (a group of white fans refusing to make space in the MetroCard line for an older black blind man to walk by), the blanket of love heavily promoted during festivals was burned in a matter of minutes.

While jamming to Schoolboy, I witnessed “n***a telephone” happen in real time. A group of friends trying to leave the front of the crowd repeated it during “That Part” with one girl getting permission after only seeing her gal pal say it with sheer happiness. From there, the group of white women in front of me jumped on the line to say “n***a” as their fringe sashayed from left to right. Wu’s set had the same amount of white fans but not many eager to say the n-word.

Chuck it up to the generational gap in white hip-hop fans we suppose.

Kendrick Lamar and the Surprise That Could've Been

This isn’t so much as a low as it is a moment that probably happened in another timeline. Schoolboy Q announced Kendrick Lamar was supposed to be his special guest, but sadly had to pull out at the last minute. Citing a family emergency, Schoolboy Q played “Humble” in his honor. We can only wonder the magic that K.Dot and Groovy Q would’ve shared on stage.

Highs

Chance The Rapper Takes Us To Church

Surrounded by a live band and fashionable backup singers, Chance The Rapper’s set on the Gov Ball stage was just a peek into the artist’s “Be Encouraged Tour.” Several renditions of “Blessings” were performed throughout his set, alluding to his recent career highs. Friendly and and inviting, The Coloring Book creator did his new fans a favor by taking it back to his Acid Rap cuts, “Cocoa Butter Kisses,” “Lost” and “Juice.”

Several shout outs to the man upstairs were heard from Chance, especially during his performance of “Angels.” He also joked that critics call him a “Christian rapper” for his Grammy-winning project. It didn’t stop him from showing love as he jumped into renditions of “Waves” and “Ultralight Beam,” his contributions to Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo.

After an intermission led by Francis and the Lights, Chance brought out Ty Dolla $ign to close the show with “Blessings.” “You should be hearing your own voice,” the rapper reminded everyone. Pyrotechnics filled up the once-clear night sky with much adored melodies from Ty in the background.

As it turns out, Chance was the stamp of happiness we needed.

Childish Gambino Creates A Safe Space For Lovers

The fact that the field was nearly filled to capacity two hours before Childish Gambino took the Honda stage tells you everything you need to know about the mesmerizing set. Waves of Gambino fans with memorabilia from his 2011 “IAMDONALD” and 2014 “Deep Web” tours were more than ready to see the “Redbone” artist perform what would be his only show of 2017. Jumping right into “Me and Your Mama,” the crowd was sent into a trance of celestial bliss with Gambino’s combination of soft and soul cleansing harmonies. After a few Awaken My Love! cuts, Gambino took a trip to Because the Internet with “Worldstar,” “Crawl,” “Sweatpants, “Zealots of Stockholm” and “The Worst Guys.”

Gambino enjoyed the crowd participation of “California” when several joints found their way on stage. Strangers broke into American Bandstand mode for “3005” and “Telegraph Ave,” continuing the sentiment with “Sober” and his viral cover of Tamia’s “So Into You.”

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Making a U-turn to Awaken My Love!, Gambino gave a tender shout out to his son Legend before breaking into “Baby Boy.” Music Director and producer of Awaken, Ludwig Göransson, let his guitar cry throughout the show, giving Gambino ample opportunity to grind and caress the air.

As a closer, Gambino played out one of the viral covers of “Redbone,” with a monologue about impressing the perfect girl. Endless make out sessions happened like it was New Year’s Eve in Times Square, even before Gambino could get to the hit song’s chorus. It was definitely the place to be if you wanted to share a moment of romance with a fellow music lover.

Lows

Donald Glover Announces His Retirement From Childish Gambino

As “Redbone” came to an end, Gambino thanked the fans and announced that his next Gambino album would be his last. Another bummer but not quite a low, Glover’s decision to close the chapter on Childish Gambino was evident, considering his artistic journey so far. "Last Childish Gambino album announcement. He will pursue an apprenticeship making pasta in north Italy," Atlanta writer and creative director Ibra Ake shared in his behind the scenes gallery of Gambino’s Gov Ball set. Glover is much less a master of none and more like the architect for the next phase in his innovative career.

Method Man’s Trust Fall Is A Fail

During Wu-Tang’s performance, Method Man proved to be the most interactive with the crowd as he encouraged everyone to feel powers of Shaolin during the show. His trust in the crowd was admirable, even when his stage dive didn’t go as planned.

YG & Rae Sremmurd Played At The Same Damn Time

Don’t make us choose between the two ever again.

Highs

Logic Spots His Fans By Name During Performance

Logic’s performance at the Big Apple stage was all about “love, peace and positivity” as he called out his biggest supporters by name. The moment, which happened at the beginning of his set, felt like a family reunion for the rapper and his die-hard fans. He also made sure to start the show with jams from his latest album, Everybody before taking a trip to The Unbelievable True Story and Under Pressure.

Gov Ball Special Guests Were Inflatable & Helpful

The festival brought music fans from all over and while some weren’t human, the ones who were seemed to be pretty helpful. Before joining Method Man on stage Saturday, Redman acted as a golf cart driver for Artist Transportation and helped guests avoid the crowds. He didn’t stop after hopping on the Gov Ball stage–he also transported Gambino’s Royalty collective to the stage.

Redman wasn’t the only appreciated special guest. A$AP Ferg brought out Flatbush Zombies and Ty Dolla $ign surprised both Wiz Khalifa and Chance’s fans. Eric Andre shared his love for Chance via his Instagram Stories and Kelly Osbourne hung out by the press tent after enjoying The Orwells.

Skepta kept an inflatable alien on the Bacardi stage as a reference to his “Banned From America” tour and Wiz passed inflatable joints from the Honda stage to the crowd. Other festivals might want to take notes from Gov Ball, who presented an enjoyable experience for both the fan and the artist.

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Issa Vibe: The Best Songs To Fit Your Different 4/20 Sessions

April 20th isn’t a national holiday, but it might as well be.

Although recreational marijuana use is only legal in 10 states, the U.S. is home to approximately 35 million regular users of cannabis, according to a survey done by Yahoo News and Marist University. That's 10.6 percent of the American population and while that may seem minuscule, the numbers are growing daily and it's understandable.

Weed has now become a staple of American culture; it's become a legitimate business in the states where it's legal, it's now part of the way people socialize, and better yet it's a theme in some of the hottest music out today. "Kush" has been included in some of the hardest verses that millennials and generation-z kids have heard in their lifetime.

Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg, amazing emcees in their own right, are also widely known for their love of the green plant. Wiz's biggest album, Rolling Papers is clearly influenced by weed and along with the Snoop Dogg-assisted "Young, Wild & Free" is all about that green positivity.

There's an endless list of hits about rolling up a joint, hitting it and passing it, but what about moods? Whether it's a bowl, a blunt or an edible weed, can leave people feeling a variety of ways and that all can be traced to a certain strand of weed someone's inhaling, or the mood they're already.

Regardless, it's important to be prepared and have music ready to match whatever feelings marijuana concocts; and that's why VIBE compiled an adequate list of songs for each of the main pot moods.

So on this 4/20, sit back, relax, smoke and find the songs that suit the vibe.

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The "Let Me Chill Out" Mood 

Sometimes the best way to come down from an over the top high is to play some tunes with a soft beat and a light voice. The best artists in the game right now, like Jhené Aiko for instance, have created that sound that's perfect for when relaxation is needed, so of course, she made the list.  These are the top four songs that can help anyone kick back and relax if a pull from a joint just isn't hitting the right way.

"Blue Dream" by Jhené Aiko "Muse" by Afro Nostalgia "Summer Games" by Drake "LOVE." by Kendrick Lamar (feat. Zacari) The Bad B*tch Hours or "Top Two and I'm Not Two" Mood 

You look around the room and realize: you're top two and you're not two in it. All it took was one or a couple of puffs and then a pass to make you feel pretty good about yourself. One of the main upsides to smoking that's constantly mentioned in the media is that it can help alleviate chronic pain, well, another positive to it is that it can leave you feeling sexy, sensual and everything in between.

This is that high that can make you feel that you're significant other is lucky to have you, and subsequently makes you hit them up, that tells you: you're single and ready to mingle. It's a smoking session that lets you know: if you shoot your shot now, you'll score and it's a session that you want music playing that only affirms how sultry and seductive you feel. If this is how 4/20 leaves you feeling, putting on some RiRi or even Young Thug can effectively get you 'in your bag.'

"Same Ol' Mistakes" by Rihanna "Tyrant" by Kali Uchis (feat. Jorja Smith) "Worth It" by Young Thug "Smoke Break" by Chance the Rapper (feat. Future) The "Head in the Clouds" Mood 

More often than not, edibles have the power of leaving people spaced out and speaking slowly, after consuming them. Sometimes smoking weed, or hotboxing with friends is a silent event. Either everyone's consumed by their phones, or every other person has been looking at a nonexistent spot on the wall for the past 15 minutes.

Regardless this isn't the high where people want to hear "Act Up" by City Girls, no matter how much they love them. No, this is the high where people need music that takes them on a journey. Songs where the production is out of this world and it seems like the artist specifically made the song for a smoke session like no other. Travis Scott's ASTROWORLD is full of tracks with that vibe, and Lil' Wayne, a weed connoisseur of his own, has songs that fulfill that need too. Smoke a bit and let the weed do its thing.

"ASTROTHUNDER" by Travis Scott "I Feel Like Dying" by Lil' Wayne "Hyyer" by Kid Cudi "St. Tropez" by J. Cole The "Got the Giggles" Mood 

This is when the blunt hits perfectly and there's nothing wrong in the world or when the bowl did its' job and leaves everyone feeling silly. A "feel good high" is the best way to describe and the best way to live through that kind of smoke session is to listen to some "feel good music." These are the songs that can have people swaying unknowingly to its' beat, or the tracks that leave people smiling from ear to ear. This is the session that lets people know that "this is it chief," and here are the best songs to go along with it.

"Pass the Vibes" by Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment "Dreamcatcher" by Metro Boomin' (feat. Swae Lee & Travis Scott) "It's a Vibe" by 2 Chainz (feat. Ty Dolla $ign, Trey Songz & Jhené Aiko) "Binz" by Solange
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Kush & Splendor: 5 CBD Beauty Products That’ll Take Your Self-Care Routine From 0 To 100

Lotions, creams, and salves—oh my! With cannabidiol (CBD) popping up in just about every product you can imagine, the cannabis-infused beauty industry is clearly on the come-up. In fact, analysts predict that the “wellness” movement—as well as the legalization of Mary Jane across the world—will help rake in $25 billion globally in the next 10 years, according to Business Insider. That’s 15 percent of the $167 billion skincare market.

And what better way to up the ante on one’s wellness routine than with all-natural CBD? Just ask Dr. Lana Butner, naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist at NYC’s Modrn Sanctuary, who incorporates CBD in her treatments.

“CBD is a fantastic addition to acupuncture sessions for both its relaxation and anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving effects,” Butner shares with Vixen. “The calming effects of CBD allows for patients to deeply relax into the treatment and really tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest, digestion and muscle repair/regeneration.”

She adds that CBD’s pain-relieving effects are “far-reaching,” from muscular and joint pains to migraines and arthritis—and even IBS and indigestion.

The magic lies in CBD’s ability to impact endocannabinoid receptor activity in our bodies. Without getting too wordy, our bodies come equipped with a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is the HBIC over our sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD teams up with this system to help reduce inflammation and interact with neurotransmitters. According to Healthline, CBD has also been scientifically shown to impact the brain’s receptors for serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating our mood and social behavior.

All that said, it’s important to note that not all CBD products are created equal. Many brands cashing in on the green beauty wave use hemp seed oil, sometimes referred to as cannabis sativa seed oil, in place of CBD... which doesn’t make them any less great! Hemp seed oil is actually high in antioxidants, amino acids, and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids—all of which are thebomb.com for your skin.

“It’s generally viewed as a superfood and is great for adding nutritional value to your diet,” Ashley Lewis, co-founder of Fleur Marché, told Well and Good last month. “In terms of skin care, it’s known as a powerful moisturizer and skin softener that doesn’t clog pores or contribute to oily skin.”

However, when companies start marketing CBD and hemp oil as one-in-the-same, that’s when things get a bit tricky.

“The biggest issue is that hemp seed oil and CBD are two totally different compounds that come from different parts of the hemp plant, have different makeups, and different benefits,” Lewis added. “Marketing them as the same thing just isn’t accurate and does a disservice to consumers who are expecting certain benefits that they won’t get from hemp seed oil and who are often paying more for what they think is CBD.”

So if you’re looking to benefit from the perks specifically attributed to CBD, make sure you’re reading labels before buying, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Hell, ask for a product’s test results, while you’re at it. It never hurts to be sure.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, are you ready to see what all the hype is about? For this 4/20, we rounded up a few CBD (and hemp!)-infused products to help give your self-care routine a bit of a boost. Looks like your holiday just got that much kushier. You’re welcome!

Note: Data and regulations surrounding CBD and its use are still in development. That said, please don’t take anything written in this post as medical or legal advice, and definitely double check the laws in your state. Also, please do your body a favor and hit up your doctor before trying any new supplements. We’re just tryna look out for you. Okay? Okay. Read on.

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Beyoncé performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California.
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Homecoming: The 5 Best Moments Of Beyoncé’s Documentary

Once Beyoncé became the first African-American woman to headline in its nearly 20-year history, we knew Coachella would never the same. To mark the superstar’s historic moment, the 2018 music and arts festival was appropriately dubbed #Beychella and fans went into a frenzy on social media as her illustrious performance was live-streamed by thousands. (Remember when fans recreated her choreographed number to O.T. Genasis’ “Everybody Mad”?)

With a legion of dancers, singers and musicians adorned with gorgeous costumes showcasing custom-made crests, the singer’s whirlwind performance honored black Greek letter organizations, Egyptian queen Nefertiti, and paid homage to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Aside from the essence of black musical subgenres like Houston’s chopped and screwed and Washington D.C.’s go-go music, the entertainer performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” also known as “The Black National Anthem,” and implemented a dancehall number, sampling the legendary Jamaican DJ and singer, Sister Nancy, to show off the versatility of black culture.

One year after #Beychella’s historic set, the insightful concert film, Homecoming, began streaming on Netflix and unveiled the rigorous months of planning that went into the iconic event. The 2-hour 17-minute documentary highlights Beyoncé’s enviable work ethic and dedication to her craft, proving why this performance will be cemented in popular culture forever. Here are the best moments from Beyoncé’s Homecoming documentary.

The Intentional Blackness

“Instead of me bringing out my flower crown, it was more important that I brought our culture to Coachella.”

Throughout the documentary, Beyoncé made it known that everything and everyone included in the creative process leading up to the annual festival was deliberately chosen. “I personally selected each dancer, every light, the material on the steps, the height of the pyramid, the shape of the pyramid,” says Beyoncé. “Every tiny detail had an intention.” When speaking on black people as a collective the entertainer notes, “The swag is limitless.” Perhaps the most beautiful moments in Homecoming are the shots that focus on the uniqueness of black hair and its versatility. What’s appreciated above all is the singer’s commitment to celebrating the various facets of blackness and detailing why black culture needs to be celebrated on a global scale.

Beyoncé’s Love And Respect For HBCUs

#Beychella — which spanned two consecutive weekends of Coachella’s annual festival — was inspired by elements of HBCU homecomings, so it was no surprise when the singer revealed she always wanted to attend one. “I grew up in Houston, Texas visiting Prairie View. We rehearsed at TSU [Texas Southern University] for many years in Third Ward, and I always dreamed of going to an HBCU. My college was Destiny's Child. My college was traveling around the world and life was my teacher.” Brief vignettes in the film showcased marching bands, drumlines and the majorettes from notable HBCUs that comprise of the black homecoming experience. In the concert flick, one of the dancers affectionately states, “Homecoming for an HBCU is the Super Bowl. It is the Coachella.” However, beyond the outfits that sport a direct resemblance to Greek organizations, Beyoncé communicated an important message that remains a focal point in the film: “There is something incredibly important about the HBCU experience that must be celebrated and protected.”

The Familiar Faces

Despite being joined by hundreds of dancers, musicians and singers on-stage, the entertainer was joined by some familiar faces to share the monumental moment with her. While making a minor appearance in the documentary, her husband and rapper/mogul Jay-Z came out to perform “Deja Vu” with his wife. Next, fans were blessed by the best trio to ever do it as Kelly and Michelle joined the singer with renditions of their hit singles including “Say My Name,” “Soldier,” and more. On top of this star-studded list, Solange Knowles graced the “Beychella” stage and playfully danced with her older sister to the infectious “Get Me Bodied.”

Her Balance Of Being A Mother And A Star

Originally slated to headline the annual festival in 2017, the singer notes that she “got pregnant unexpectedly...and it ended up being twins.” Suffering from preeclampsia, high blood pressure, toxemia and undergoing an emergency C-section, the entertainer candidly details how difficult it was adjusting post-partum and how she had to reconnect with her body after experiencing a traumatizing delivery. “In the beginning, it was so many muscle spasms. Just, internally, my body was not connected. My body was not there.” Rehearsing for a total of 8 months, the singer sacrificed quality time with her children in order to nail the technical elements that came with the preparation for her Coachella set. “I’m limiting myself to no bread, no carbs, no sugar, no dairy, no meat, no fish, no alcohol … and I’m hungry.” Somehow, throughout all of this, she still had to be a mom. “My mind wanted to be with my children,” she says. Perhaps one of the most admirable moments in the film was witnessing Beyoncé’s dedication to her family but also to her craft.

The Wise Words From Black Visionaries

Homecoming opens with a quote from the late, Maya Angelou stating, “If you surrender to the air, you can ride it.” The film includes rich and prophetic quotes from the likes of Alice Walker, Nina Simone, Toni Morrison, and notable Black thinkers, reaffirming Beyoncé’s decision to highlight black culture. The quotes speak to her womanhood and the entertainer’s undeniable strength as a black woman.

Blue Ivy’s Cuteness

Last, but certainly not least, Blue Ivy‘s appearance in the concert film is nothing short of precious. One of the special moments in the documentary zeroes in on the 7-year-old singing to a group of people whilst Beyoncé sweetly feeds the lyrics into her ears. After finishing, Blue says: “I wanna do that again” with Beyoncé replying with “You wanna be like mommy, huh?” Seen throughout Homecoming rehearsing and mirroring Beyoncé’s moves, Blue just might follow in her mother’s footsteps as she gets older.

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