In 2014, AAHH! Fest rivaled all other Chicago music festivals in just one day. The rap and R&B festival, led by Chicago’s own, Common, saw performances from Kanye West, Dave Chappelle, Jennifer Hudson and more. The next year however, the festival announced that it would be taking a year-long hiatus, hoping to return in 2016.
The festival surprised many and kept its promise, returning in 2016 with huge performances from J. Cole, The Roots, Vic Mensa, Common and a surprise appearance from Chance The Rapper.
Unfortunately for fans wishing to attend AAHH! Fest in 2017, history is repeating itself as AAHH! Fest abruptly announced that this year’s festival would be cancelled. In an official statement the festival announced that they are “retolling this initiative to create an experience that goes far beyond an outdoor music event.” And with that, the festival announced that it will return on September 15, 2018.
Be sure to save the date and hope that AAHH! Fest returns bigger than ever.
Chicago own, Common, is one busy man. From filming movies, putting on music festivals for his hometown, and of course recording music, Common is constantly working. And since his 2014 LP, Nobody’s Smiling, fans have been patiently awaiting for what Common had cooked up next.
But fans won’t have to wait too much longer, as Common has announced the release date for his upcoming 11th studio album, Black America Again. In just a few weeks, fans can download the new politically conscious project on November 4th, released by ARTium and Def Jam Records. And for his ATL fans, Common will pay a special visit to Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA on 10/24, to talk to students about important issues that the MC addresses on his new album.
Listen to the title track with Stevie Wonder from Black America Again below and pre-order the LP now.
Sunday marked the final day of Common’s (now 2-day) music festival, AAHH! Fest. Taking place at Chicago’s Union Park, Common brought some of the biggest names in hip-hop to his hometown festival. Following Saturday’s Community Day, where fans got to see some of the city’s young talent perform, as well as surprise guest appearances and sets from Chicago’s own, Tink, Taylor Bennett and Dreamville’s Omen, Sunday’s main stage lineup was stacked from top to bottom.
First up was a Chicago native and one of our favorite emerging artists, Sir The Baptist. With some huge co-signs, Jay-Z and Lil Wayne (just to name a couple), Sir The Baptist is making waves throughout Chicago and the rap world as a whole. Whether you’ve been hooked from Day 1, or were blown away by his moving performance at Lollapalooza this year, Sir The Baptist is one of the easiest rappers to root for right now and his single ‘Raise Hell’ will certainly get you on your feet.
Next up, AAHH! Fest saw a performance from another one of the city’s more conscious rappers, SAVEMONEY’s Vic Mensa. Another rapper who had a moving and memorable set at Lollapalooza this year, Vic Mensa brought performances of his politically charged EP, There’s Alot Going On. Following Vic’s performance, Odd Future’s Syd tha Kyd-led group, The Internet hit the stage, and delivered as always.
Moments later, it was time for another one of Chicago’s own to hit the stage, this time ‘Don’t Tell ‘Em’ singer Jeremih. Giving fans a half hour of some of his biggest hits, Jeremih’s set was definitely for the ladies in attendance tonight. Following his set, and some of music’s most talented young artists, was all for the hip-hop heads in the audience. Next, AAHH! Fest saw sets from The Roots, Common, Ice Cube, Bilal and a surprise appearance from R. Kelly, all legends in their own right.
But after a few legends in hip-hop stepped off stage, it was time for the night’s headliner, none other than J. Cole. Returning to Chicago, after a headlining performance for the opening night of Lollapalooza’s huge 25th Anniversary, J. Cole killed it, to no one’s surprise. While J. Cole is one of the few artists tonight without direct Chicago ties, you wouldn’t have guessed it by the audience’s reaction as Cole stepped on stage. Michael Jordan isn’t the only great name from North Carolina embraced by the Windy City, as J. Cole will always have a second home in Chicago, and that was more than evident tonight. AAHH! Fest will have a tough job matching this year’s performances in 2017.
Common’s huge hometown music festival, AAHH! Fest, is returning this month, set to match a legendary inaugural year in 2014 which saw performances from Kanye West, Common, Twista, Lupe Fiasco, Jennifer Hudson, Jay Electronica and more. Although fans shouldn’t expect a surprise performance from Mr. West this time around, as he is currently on his Saint Pablo Tour, AAHH! Fest’s 2016 lineup is just as exciting. AAHH! Fest will take place on September 24-25, with a community day showcasing young Chicago artists on the fest’s first day, and fans can get tickets now at AAHHFest.com.
Check our list of the most anticipated performers of AAHH! Fest 2016 at the jump!
AAHH! Fest, the Chicago music festival of the city’s own, rapper Common, just got a whole lot better as the final headlining performer has been revealed. Joining Vic Mensa, The Roots, Bilal, Common, Malik Yusef, Jeremih, Sir The Baptist and more will be Mr. Cole World, himself, J. Cole.
The two-day festival will run from September 24-25 at Union Park in Chicago, IL. And it isn’t just a great music festival either, as it’s also Common’s dedication to bringing education programs and jobs to Chicago, by raising funds to support the Common Ground Foundation and Donda’s House, the charitable organizations of Common, Kanye West and Rhymefest.
Get your tickets now at AAHHFest.com and check out our photos from 2014’s AAHH! Fest below.
After a hiatus in 2015, Common’s Chicago music festival AAHH! Festis returning to the Windy City’s Union Park, and this week the legendary rapper shared some names from the festival’s initial lineup. Teasing fans before the full lineup drops, Common told fans on Instagram that Odd Future’s The Internet, as well as Chicago’s own Jeremih, Sir The Baptist and Tink will all perform on the second day of the two-day festival (September 24-25). In 2014 the festival saw some huge performances from Kanye West, Common, Lupe Fiasco, Twista, Vince Staples, Jennifer Hudson and many more, so this year is already getting off to a great start.
AAHH! Fest isn’t just a great music festival either, as it’s also Common’s dedication to bringing education programs and jobs to Chicago, by raising funds to support the Common Ground Foundation and Donda’s House, the charitable organizations of Common, Kanye West and Rhymefest.
Get your tickets now at AAHHFest.com and check out our photos from 2014’s AAHH! Fest below.
Following a huge inaugural year in 2014, Chicago’s AAHH! Fest took a year hiatus and many wondered if the Common-led festival would return to the Windy City. With huge performances from big Chi-town names like Common, Lupe Fiasco, Twista, Jennifer Hudson, a superstar surprise headlining set from Kanye West, comedy from Dave Chappelle and other memorable performances from MC Lyte, De La Soul, Jay Electronica and more, AAHH! Fest had a monumental first year, which left many disappointed when news broke that the festival would not be returning in 2015.
But fear not! AAHH! Fest is returning this year, as Common will surely bring another great lineup to his hometown in 2016. Coming back to Union Park on September 24-25 (now a two day festival), we couldn’t be more excited to see what Common has in store. While the lineup has yet to be announced, you can now buy pre-sale tickets for the festival’s main stage, which will take place on Sunday, September 25th.
AAHH! Fest isn’t just a great music fest either, it’s also Common’s dedication to bringing education programs and jobs to Chicago, by raising funds to support the Common Ground Foundation and Donda’s House, the charitable organizations of Common, Kanye West and Rhymefest.
Get your presale tickets now and check out our photos from 2014’s AAHH! Fest below.
Yesterday marked the ninth night ofSummerfest‘s 49th Anniversary celebration. Unlike many other premiere music festivals, Milwaukee’s lakeside festival, Summerfest, brings an especially diverse list of performers to Wisconsin every year. Tonight the World’s Largest Music Festival had some big names in music, including Sir Paul McCartney, Common, Elle King, Young The Giant & more.
Check out our Summerfest Day 9 photos below and peep our Day 8 Summerfest photos here!
After the announcement that Miami rapper Pitbull would be the last announced Marcus Amphitheatre headliner for this year’s Summerfest in Milwaukee, many expected that the festival’s final cast of headliners was set in stone. However, to fan’s pleasant surprise today, Summerfest has released it’s official 2016 schedule and with it added some big names! And while one Summerfest’s slight weaknesses in its lineup this year was its light hip-hop presence, the lakefront festival not only added Milwaukee hip-hop collective New Age Narcissism (led by rapper WebsterX), but legendary rapper Common will be returning to Summerfest this year.
Also joining Common on the list of new acts are Moon Taxi, GGOOLLDD, Mayer Hawthorne, Gin Blossoms and more! With the new list of performers, we can’t remember the last time that we’ve been this excited for Summerfest. Get your tickets to Summerfest now and check out the official schedule here.
Summerfest will take place from June 29th to July 3rd and July 5th to the 10th, with general admission tickets starting at only $13!
There’s no denying Common’s royalty status in hip-hop culture. His street mentality combined with his complex lyrical divulging has made him one of the most respected emcees of all time. The appeal is similar to that of fellow rapper, Nas. They bend stories of love, drugs and watching (or partaking in) gangbanging from street corner to street corner and they take ownership of their words, making their experiences visible to those of us who never lived that lifestyle. Common has always been a strong proponent of social justice and education, often using his albums as outlets to depict the hypocrisies and tragedies inherent in society. This is no exception to his seventh and first number one album, Finding Forever.
No doubt following in the footsteps of his previous album, Be, Common again partnered with Kanye West to try and take their success in stride and keep a solid equation unchanged. And, for the most part, they succeeded. The best thing about Be when it came out, was its fusion of Kanye’s lively, soulful and aggressively sampled beats and Common’s staple vocal presence and wit. Apart, it was no secret that Kanye was an incredible producer and Common was next to none when it came to rapping. The experimentation with that album came only at the cost of however much time they put into it. There was no misstep to be found, it was as though they had found and pulled out King Arthur’s sword together. So naturally, why wouldn’t they think they could do it again?
This time around, it was as though they made the same album in a much grittier part of Chicago, where soundboards were missing knobs and studio walls were covered in mattress foam for insulation. The album sounds great and is produced fantastically, but the beats are harsh and Common is much more aggressive here. As he classifies it on, ‘The Game’, this time, Common is rocking “the demeanor of the ghetto”. The sample game is still strong with Kanye here. On ‘Drivin’ Me Wild’ with Lily Allen, he features a sample of her own voice behind her beautifully elevated chorus and Common’s depictions of a woman obsessed with the gold digger lifestyle and a guy who had no idea where his life was headed. Right after we get a Will.I.Am produced track that samples a classic Bob James song on the smooth, ‘I Want You’. It is darkened by the eerie sense of longing provided by the echoing sample. Words like “linger” and “gone” are released by Common with regret.
The dark grittiness is in full effect when Kanye and Common spit about their hometown in full-defense mode as though their is an army standing at the gates trying to take it, over a distorted guitar riff and separated drum hits. This defense switches to Common stepping back and having more of a realist’s perspective on, ‘U, Black Maybe’. He understands the adversity the black community faces and the obstacle thrown at them in this city they feel tied to. The Stevie Wonder sample is fantastic by the way and Common’s monologue at the end is inspiring, no matter what color you bare. An homage to J Dilla on, ‘So Far To Go’ provides that bit of light this album hasn’t seen much and while it is a great song, it just doesn’t entirely fit well here. Then we get back to West’s productions on ‘Break My Heart’ and its light horns match with Common’s lightly comical words about the journey a relationship takes.
Then we are taken back to the dark, ‘Misunderstood’, city streets of Chicago and end on and incredibly soulful note, where Common again acknowledges the darkness in the world but settles contently on the fact that it will all be alright. This is the beauty behind a person like Common. Time and time again he has put out albums that tread over gang-torn concrete and crumbling communities but knows it’s our city and our world and we are the only one’s who can change it. Through love, awareness and education Common tells us stories that teach, uplift and sound fantastic (Thank you too Kanye).
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