Just four months after going to Coachella in 2012, the Trillectro team hosted its first festival at Half Street Fairgrounds, next to Nationals Park. Since then, the event has swelled into one of the largest music festivals in the area, moving to the sprawling 19,000-seat Merriweather Post Pavilion in 2015.
Part of Trillectro’s success has been its organizers’ ability to stay ahead of the music curve. R&B star SZA — this year’s headlining act — first performed at Trillectro back in 2014, long before her mainstream success and Grammy nominations. Like her, rapper Lil Uzi Vert, R&B artist Kehlani and rap trio Migos each performed at Trillectro as one of their first festival appearances.
In addition to the national headliners, Trillectro makes a conscious effort to include local talent. This year’s bill mixes big names like rapper 2 Chainz and electronic producer RL Grime with over a dozen up-and-coming acts from the D.C. area. Before Saturday’s festival, get to know some of the local standouts.
Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Md.; Sat., 1 p.m., $60-$199.
For fans of: Tyler, the Creator; Death Grips
Rico Nasty channels the spirit of ’90s emo and sludge metal into her abrasive and razor-sharp brand of hip-hop. The visceral shrills and screams that saturate many of her songs make for a cathartic listening experience and an intensely high-spirited live show. Outside of the District, her progressive style hasn’t gone unnoticed — the Largo, Md., native recently signed a major label deal with Atlantic Records.
For fans of: RL Grime, Kaytranada
Jungle Fever is a dance party started by prolific D.C. DJs Mane Squeeze and Mista Selecta, who wanted to spotlight their eclectic musical tastes under one roof. There’s a little something for everyone at Jungle Fever: You’ll hear some of the go-to club staples, but there’s a chance you’ll also hear a surprise run of go-go songs somewhere in the mix.
For fans of: Anderson .Paak, Vince Staples
Innanet James is ready to take on the mainstream rap world. Or, at least his buoyant delivery and unwavering confidence make him seem like he’s gearing up for something bigger beyond the District. He boasts an impressive range of musical stylings — house, trap, R&B — that earned him a spot on the “Madden NFL 19” soundtrack alongside MVPs Cardi B and Post Malone.
For fans of: Lil Uzi Vert, GoldLink
Beau Young Prince occupies a refreshing middle ground between Trillectro’s two main genres. The rapper’s smooth flow and jaunty future-bounce sound shine best on tracks like “Kill Moe,” a breezy summer tune that serves as a sonic love letter to his Washington roots (“Goddamn my city got bounce/ D.C. be the land of the chop”).