It’s only a matter of time before Trillectro Music Festival becomes as big for hip-hop and electronic fans as the Mad Decent Block Party or Rock The Bells. After its first two years at the Half Street Fairgrounds, Trillectro, which boasts Big Sean and Baauer as its headliners this year, has already graduated to a larger space: RFK Stadium. If you’re looking for the best time possible, make sure you check out these under-the-radar acts. Dean Essner (For Express)
D.C.-native Fat Trel isn’t the best or slickest rapper in the game, but his songs are dirty, infectious and perfect for screaming along to in a crowd full of strangers. Also, imagine how fitting it’d be if fellow D.C. rapper (and 2013 Trillectro headliner) Wale appeared to help perform their gnarly, hook-heavy hit “In My Bag,” which may be the finest rap song to come out of the District in forever.
No one can pen an ode to lavish living quite like Migos. The rap trio’s breakout hit from last year, “Versace,” managed to be one part hip-hop banger, one part stream-of-consciousness meditation on the double-edged sword of wealth. “Bought out the store, can’t go back no more/ Versace my clothes while I’m selling them bows/ Versace took over, it took out my soul,” raps Offset, underneath a blistering trap beat. Make no mistake: Migos’ music is pure party fodder. But it’s also refreshingly aware of how empty it can feel when the party ends.
SZA, aka Solana Rowe, makes the kind of slow, swooning R&B that is everywhere these days in the post-“Take Care” era of pop. But unlike the work of her innumerable counterparts, Rowe’s music isn’t interested in stripping itself down. Tracks such as last year’s “Ice Moon,” with its gorgeous, xylophone-laden chorus, should soar in the live setting.
Nicki Minaj’s remix of “No Flex Zone” may be a contender for song of the summer, but it all began with Atlanta rap duo Rae Sremmurd, who dropped their Soulja Boy-ish trap track back in May. Though their version certainly lacks Minaj’s fury and charisma, Rae Sremmurd deserve all the credit for the instantly memorable chorus, which walks the line between brilliance and stupidity with panache.
RFK Stadium, Lot 8, 2400 E. Capitol St.; Sat. 1 p.m., $60-$128
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