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Meadows 2017: JAY-Z Breathes Life Into The Last Days Of Summer On Day 1

The legendary artist allowed us into his world for the second annual festival. 

Day 1 of the Meadows Music and Arts Festival proved festival season can stretch into the forefront of fall.

Created by the folks behind the Governors’ Ball Music Festival, day one of the second annual event brought together an impeccable mix of indie rock, hip-hop, synth pop and R&B in the extremely large parking lot of Queens’ Citi Field. Acts like Blood Orange, Migos, Lizzo and Run the Jewels enticed the crowd as the sun bounced off the promo shades on their faces.

As festival lovers poured into the area, it was clear most folks were ready to see Mr. Sean Carter. But before we get to the that, here are a few other memorable moments from Day 1.

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Marian Hill Honors Whitney Houston, Joey Bada$$ Commands Crowd With Militant Set

The world may know Jeremy Lloyd and Samantha Gongo from their massive hit “Down,” but the eclectic creatives took a portion of the set on the American Eagle stage to perform a cover of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” The pace was slow but soothing as fans grooved from side to side; much like the inflatable tube guys behind them.

Joey Bada$$ would end up on the same stage hours later to perform early jams and cuts from his recent album, All-American Bada$$. Opening with "Rockabye Baby," the Brooklyn native was anything but coy as he encouraged the crowd to denounced the "cheeto-in-chief."

His militant look also gave a boost to his already-revolutionary set. With hip-hop creating the soundtrack to today’s social activism, it’s safe to say Joey is a fine pick for a general.

That Lit Part: VICELAND’s Desus & Mero balanced out the music revolution with the network’s party bus. The Bodega Boys (with the help of viral sensation Pio La Ditingancia/I No F**king Baby) were adjacent to the Meadows Stage, giving fans the perfect balance of turn up and comic relief. Vitamin Water and Cafe Bustelo also had fun photo shoots set up along with beverages and everyone’s favorite thing–free sh*t.

21 Savage Doesn’t Let NYC Traffic Get The Best Of Him, Migos Gives Us An Update On Culture 2

As one of the Shea Stage’s hip-hop acts, 21 Savage did fans a solid after arriving late to his set. Before jumping into “All The Smoke,” the Atlanta-based rapper shared the same sentiments us New Yorkers have about the city’s traffic. “On three I need y'all to say, ‘F**k New York traffic'” he said.

Next up was Migos on the festival’s main stage. Jumping from modern throwbacks like “Fight Night” to Culture cuts like “Slippery,” the Atlanta trio almost made us forget we were dancing on very hot concrete. The group also gave us another hint on the status of Culture 2, meaning it can come any day now.

That Wack Part: Overlaps became the festival’s biggest downer, as Marian Hill performed at the same time as 21 Savage and Joey Bada$$ fell over into alternative queen’s Tegan and Sara’s set. If you were quick to every one of these sets, then salute to you in running across the parking lot. Also, the “I need to get to my friend” line still exists as a means of pushing to the front. It’s no longer a slick move, but folks are still using it to their advantage.

Migos’ warranted plenty of rap mosh pits, along with the opportunity for wyipo to utter out “ni**a” while no one was watching. Heads up, people have been watching.

Killer Mike Enjoys Meadows From The Stage & The Crowd

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NY!!

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Killer Mike and EL-P of Run The Jewels arrived early for their set on the main stage, allowing them to school festival kids on lyrical rap. Unlike other acts, the guys stuck around to watch other acts–from the crowd.

That Crazy Part(s): After enjoying the impromptu gig at Governor’s Ball, Redman returned as a golf cart driver, escorting artists to and from their stages. The legendary rapper enjoyed the job free of charge, telling VIBE he was happy to take part on the staff side of festival life. He also shared one of his favorite JAY-Z tracks with us.

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@redmangilla's warning ⚠️

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Gangsta Boo was a pleasant surprise to hip-hop heads during Run The Jewels’ set as was Lion Babe’s Jillian Hervey who was seen chilling in the artist lounge. Other pleasant surprises included Gym Class Heroes frontman Travie McCoy, who took photos with fans.

JAY-Z Closes With Tributes, Classics and “Blue’s Freestyle”

Last but certainly not least was Mr. Carter, who dived into every nook and cranny of his discography. Opening with “Run this Town,” the Tidal head honcho came with hit after hit with day one fans from Brooklyn, London and Czech Republic reciting every word around me.

Keeping up his new tradition created at Made In America, JAY brought out Damian Marley for “Bam,” paid tribute to the late Chester French for “Encore/Numb” and even let the crowd jam out to “Blue’s Freestyle.”

“That was the hook, you can’t cut off the hook,” he said to Young Guru in regards to his daughter’s “Boom Shakalaka” line.

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That Legendary Part: For “Story of O.J.,” JAY dedicated the political track to Colin Kaepernick, and the late Dick Gregory, for standing (or kneeling) for justice. While it was bittersweet for JAY to perform “Ni**as In Paris” without Kanye West, you could still feel the brotherly love in the air.

Check out a live stream of Day 2 of the Meadows Music and Art festival here.

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Gucci Mane, XXXTentacion, & More Friday Releases You Need To Hear

Another week, another list of Friday music releases. The week's of 2018 are dwindling, but there is a little more time left for some last-minute music releases. From Gucci Mane, to XXXTentacion, and Ice Cube, here are the albums and singles that you need to hear.

Gucci Mane – Evil Genius

Gucci Mane's 13th studio album is here. The rapper dropped his new project, Evil Genius, featuring an all-star list of talent, including, Quavo, Kevin Gates, Lil Skies and 21 Savage. The LP also features production by Metro Boomin, Murda Beatz and Southside.

The latest music drop marks the perfect finish to an eventful year for Guwop. He previously dropped DropTopWop, Mr. Davis, and El Gato The Human Glacier this year. Even so, the rapper suggested that he wants to make a bang with Evil Genius.

"I think this time, this album was like the first time I kind of had more fun making the records," he said during an interview with Beats 1. "With the intentions of just going in the studio and just had fun and this is what came out. But before, I was kind of going and expressing myself, talking through the mic, like I had a lot of my chest. This album was like, let's find the best beat, make the best song and put it out."

XXXTentacion – Skins

In celebration of XXXTentacion's posthumous album, Skins, his estate and friends through a livestreamed event at 9p.m. EST, featuring Trippie Redd, PnB Rock, Ski Mask the Slump God, Matt Ox and more.

There has been quite a bit of buzz surrounding the late rapper's new release. It's his first since his death in June 2018. The album features only one guest appearance from Kanye West. On the track, which is entitled "On Minute," Ye reportedly addressed abuse allegations brought against X. In support of the album, Kanye also released a Yeezy capsule collection, commemorating their single.

Since X's death he has been regarded as a young legend, gone too soon. His sophomore album ?  peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Listen to Skins below.

Ice Cube – Everythang's Corrupt

Ice Cube is make with Everythang's Corrupt. The album's only feature is OG rapper Too $hort.

Cube already got fan excited after released the one of the LP's single "Arrest the President." The track takes aim at President Trump's corruption and racist policies. The album's cover art features Cube holding a 100-dollar bill in his bloodied hands.

Everythang's Corrupt is Cube's tenth studio album and his first in eight years. It's a follow-up to 2010's I Am the West.

Sneakk Ft. YG & Tyga – "Spray"

New artist Sneak has joind forces with YG and Tyga to bring their new banger "Spray." It's Sneakk's first track released through Def Jam. The single definitely sounds like the new stripper anthem or the perfect track to ride down the block to.

Ahead of the single's release, the rapper's shared a teaser on social media featuring a behind the scenes look at their music video.

Michelle Williams – "Fearless"

Michelle Williams is back. The songstress – best known as a member of the popular girls group Destiny's Child – recently dropped a new solo record entitled "Fearless."

The pop record is an inspirational anthem, encouraging fans to face their fears and chase their dreams. This is a huge moment for Williams, as it is her first single in nearly four years. It also follows an overwhelming year for the singer, who got engaged in Apr. 2018, as well as publicly revealed her battle with depression and mental illness.

Listen to the new track below.

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Premiere: Fuego And A. Chal Take Over The Strip Club In "Dancin" Music Video

Dominican trap artist Fuego has created an ode to the art of stripping with his new single “Dancin,” featuring producer and R&B extraordinaire A. Chal. The visuals for the track are laced with bright blue club lights and brief salacious interludes of voluptuous young ladies dancing provocatively.

The two are seemingly in a never-ending party in efforts to promote strip club etiquette through their tantalizing lyrics. There's no denying that Fuego's sound is reminiscent of today's prominent trap artists like Migos and Future, but he packs in a Latino flair, like his contemporaries Bad Bunny and El Alfa. The Washington D.C. native's sound is similar, but it's worth noting he's been on the scene for a while, steadily etching his mark as his musical prowess rises within hip-hop and Latin audiences.

“For some reason, I've always wanted to do a sound that American hip-hop has, and then break that my way,” he tells VIBE. “When it comes to putting stuff together and making fusions of music, I've done it all my life. When I first started out, I did reggae beats, but I was rapping over them. There’s a little more urban, hip-hop sound in the Latin community. Before, it was mad reggae. It either had to be a tropical type song or reggaeton song. I've always wanted to come out with hip-hop music."

Watch the video for "Dancin" below.

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Noname Tells A Tale Of Black Boy Plight In 'Blaxploitation' Visual

Noname's first music video is better than expected as the artist takes on the topics of dangerous implicit biases toward young men of color.

On Tuesday (Dec. 4), the Chicago rapper/poet released "Blaxploitation," a standout from her critically acclaimed album, Room 25. Directed by Alex Lill (Sampha, Joey Bada$$,  Lil Yachty) and written by Noname, the short film includes homages to Blaxploitation films of the 70s through its the style of multiple frames at once as a toddler wrecks havoc on a small-scale version of Chicago.

The music video gives the metaphorical message of how the black boy is criminalized from the beginning of his life. Even in the joy of imagination, his existence is subjected to a criminal or as the townspeople deem him: a monster baby.

The 27-year-old singer will continue riding high off the critically and streaming success of her debut album Room 25 as she will embark on a 37-city trek across the country and Canada.

The Room 25 tour kicks off in Detriot on Jan. 2nd. Dates can be found here.

READ MORE: Noname To Replace ‘Room 25’ Album Art After Designer Abuse Accusations

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