One week from today, thousands of students, alumni and curious hip-hop fans will pack Howard University’s main quad for Yardfest, the free day-long concert that has become a centerpiece of Howard Homecoming celebrations. Yardfest has become a rite of passage for aspiring music stars: P. Diddy, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nelly, Ludacris, Shaggy, Wale and Young Jeezy have all appeared there.
This weekend-long celebration of culture, from the step show and the pre-game parade to the numerous nightclub parties headlined by some of the biggest artists around, is a must. Just remember that last-minute updates are inevitable, and if you go to Ibiza, for example, you may or may not ever see Diddy, even though he’s the “host.” Also, it really pays to buy tickets in advance, as prices can skyrocket at the door on the night of an event.
With that in mind, here’s what’s on our radar for next weekend.
Yardfest: Starting at noon on Friday in the main quad, with confirmed appearances by 2 Chainz, Meek Mill, Beenie Man and Naughty by Nature. (Yardfest always has at least one throwback act for the alumni.) Expect plenty of local rappers and surprise guests throughout the day; a look at the other events taking place this weekend will give you an idea of who might feature.
The Football Game and Parade: Howard takes on Morgan State at 1 p.m. at Greene Stadium. (Tickets are $30 to $45.) The game is preceded by the homecoming parade, which begins at 10 a.m. in front of the campus administration building, travels down Georgia Avenue and winds through Bloomingdale and Ledroit Park.
Stepshow: “Epiphany: A Manifestation of Divine Reality” is the theme at Constitution Hall on Saturday night. The annual step show features highly choreographed dance routines by Howard fraternities and sororities and a performance by Pusha T. Advance tickets are $40.
More events are listed on the official Homecoming web site.
Wale heads up the Homecoming Kick Off Party at the Park at 14th. Doors open at 5 p.m.
It’s Drake’s birthday, and he’s celebrating at the Park at 14th. (Do you sing “Happy birthday dear Drake” or “Happy birthday dear Aubrey?”) Actor Laz Alonzo – a D.C. native – will also be in the building. Tickets are $20 in advance. (Purchase tickets)
Pusha T performs live at Love’s Yardfest Afterparty, with music by DJ Reece and DJ Korrect, plus DJ Hazzard spinning on the International/Caribbean floor. Admission is $20, a cut-the-line ticket is $30, and VIP access to all floors is $40. (Purchase tickets)
Black Hollywood at B. Smith’s starts with happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. ($5 wine and beer, a free buffet) before WKYS DJ Trini takes over and dancing goes until 3 a.m. Admission is free before 7 p.m. with an RSVP.
Gucci Mane and Backyard Band’s Big G are hosting a day party called Back 2 Da Trap at Ibiza from 3 to 9 p.m.