Beyond Lit: 9 Unforgettable Moments From Billboard’s Hot 100 Fest
Over the weekend, the Billboard Hot 100 music festival brought together the young, the old and the lit as acts the from different spectrums of music turned Long Island into a colossal dancery.
During the course of two days (Aug. 19-Aug. 20) acts like Tinashe, Big Sean, DJ Khaled, Lil Yachty and Major Lazer commanded the stage with special guests such as A$AP Ferg, J Balvin, a very colorful Bella Thorne and the one and only Asahd Tuck Khaled shot attendees into the world of fandom. Since its formation in 2015, the festival has served as an open space for underage music lovers whose musical footprints assist artists to the top of the charts.
In those sizable 48 hours, plenty of moments commanded our attention and timeline like T-Pain’s comical, yet rightful demand for “respek on his name” to Khaled’s smooth dance moves.
Enjoy visuals from the festival along with 9 unforgettable moments below.
Ugly God Is A Cornhole Champion
The Houston native enjoyed a dose of chill time after his set Saturday by taking part in the classic lawn game of cornhole. Backstage at the Artist Village, the “Water” rapper exchanged his shades for reading glasses to keep his eye on the prize.
His set was also appreciated by fans of his latest project, The Booty Tape. Jumping from “F**k Ugly God” to “Stop Smoking Black & Milds,” God kept the crowd at a high level.
Gucci Is Black Boy Joy in Rare Form
With a mix between new and old jams from the vault, Gucci Mane was all smiles throughout his monstrous performance. With leaps and bounds from “Freaky Girl” to “I Think I Love Her,” Gucci brought it full circle with his new Hot 100 entries like “Both” featuring Drake and his guest verse on Rae Sremmurd's “Black Beatles.” With his smile hitting ear to ear, Gucci let loose his black boy joy to a very welcoming crowd.
The Artistry Of Ty Dolla $ign Should Never Go Unnoticed
The Cali native might’ve played the same time as Rick Ross, but his fans showed up and turned out to his bevy of jams. Building up to his monster tracks like “Or Nah,” “Paranoid” and “Blasè,” Ty smoothly slid into standout from the Beach House mixtape series and his the guest spots on Fifth Harmony’s “Work,” Kanye West’s “Fade” and “You and Your Friends” with Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg.
After removing his jewels and clothes (sorry ladies, only waist up) to perform “Blasè,” Ty crowd surfed and quickly headed back to stage to lay down a solo guitar set. Nayhoos present, Ty reminded fans about his creative genes can turn a festival stage into a an intimate set.
Tinashe, Demi Lovato & Camila Cabello Make Up Billboard’s Girls Club
Making up the festival’s small group of female performers, the pop starlets didn’t disappoint as live renditions of the their hits were recited in their respectable crowds. Tinashe and Demi’s sets featured plenty of boomkat dance moves as Camilla was welcomed with large arms to her first solo festival performance. The women, along with pop-indie darling Phoebe Ryan, were stark reminders on why we should continue to vie for female musicians on the bill.
Big Sean Drops Inspirational Vitamins From The Heart
Closing the Hot 100 Stage Saturday was Big Sean, who was happy to lend out words of encouragement to fans. The “Bounce Back” rapper reminded the crowd to stay true to the themselves even in the midst of turmoil. He also gave a shout to the power of resistance and ambition while performing “One Man Change The World.”
But it wasn’t all inspirational vitamins. The “Moves” rapper opened the show with “Mercy” with plenty of bass to follow. With the spirit of a giant, the Detroit native got fans to “Jump Out the Window” and get low to “A$$.” With flames and smoke emerging from the stage, Sean’s performance proves there’s levels to festival life.
DJ Khaled Actually DJ’d, Asahd Has A Young Simba Moment
After a 30-minute wait, DJ Khaled indirectly satisfied the crowd before hitting the stage Sunday. As guests like Lenny S. headed to the stage, baby Asahd peaked outside of his stroller to swarms of teens trying to snap a photo of the adorable executive producer of Grateful.
Khaled dropped hit after hit from his nearly 20-year career and reminded fans of his origins when he hit the turntables for a mix of the 97’ New York jam, “Wild From Da Night” by Rampage and Busta Rhymes. He continued the hood spiritual vibes with special guest and birthday boy Fat Joe. The two performed “All The Way Up” and the Terror Squad classic, “Lean Back.”
Khaled also enjoyed the riddims of his summer tune “Wild Thoughts,” making it a grateful moment for us all.
Cardi B’s Reach Is No Stretch Armstrong
Cardi B wasn’t in attendance at the festival, but it didn’t stop DJ’s from playing “Bodak Yellow” every hour. Proud Long Island tweens with mouths full of braces recited lyrics as guys created a hip hop mosh pit.
Since its release in June, the song has climbed the Billboard charts becoming a fave among artists like Bruno Mars, Demi Lovato and Nicki Minaj.The track is now the highest-charting single by a female emcee since Nicki’s 2014 hit, “Anaconda.” With “Bodak Yellow” entering the Top 5 at Number 3 this week, Cardi’s increasing fan base is bound to the take her to a festival stage soon.
Never Forget, T-Pain Has The Hits
T-Pain's dozens of singles and guest verses gave the artist a chance to drop a humble brag during his Sunday set. Before dropping some much needed vocals, the Florida native spoke out on his legacy. "I checked. I'm the n***a with the most No. 1s at this whole festival," he said. It was no stopping Pain as he performed nearly every hot record of the aughts.
Blending his records with guest features, Pain lead with “Up & Down,” “2 Step (Remix), and “All I Do Is Win” before diving into “I’m Spring,” “Bartender,” and “Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin.)” He also created a beat on stage laid it down on top of Chris Brown’s “Kiss Kiss.”
Fans had a chance to rest their vocals chords as Pain flexed his in an a capella add-on to “I’m Sprung.” Pain kept the party going from the sidelines of the Sun Stage where he watched Yachty and Young Thug’s performances. Thugger might not’ve taken Pain’s advice on falling in love with strippers, but it’s nice to the see Pain show respect to rap’s budding superstars.
Major Lazer Bring The Heat With Camilla Cabello & J Balvin
Closing out the final day was Major Lazer who came prepared with plenty of Confetti poppers, talented dancers and enjoyable surprises. Taking a page from Pain’s book, Jillionaire, Walshy Fire and Diplo took it back to the “Pon de Floor” days all the way to tracks from their Know No Better EP.
After blowing away fans hours earlier, Camilla returned to the stage to perform “Know No Better” sans Quavo and Travis Scott. Latin crooner J Balvin made it to the stage just in time to perform “Buscando Huellas,” another fan-favorite from the EP. With high octane energy, the group kept the crowd jumping all night as their dancers engaged in twerking contests, making teens (and some adults) falling in love on site.