A preview of some of the sets we're looking forward to at Buku this weekend.
Migos play Buku’s Power Plant Stage tonight at 10 p.m. Migos understand that the important thing right now is to be present, and to that end the Atlanta rap trio dropped Culture II before Culture had a chance to go away. The title suggests that the album delivers more of the same, and because it is, Migos continue to pump singles into Billboard’s Top 100. When the trio played Saturday Night Live last weekend, their presence did much of the work for them. They sold “Stir Fry” with more animation than “Narcos,” but their style made the group the macro subject of their songs. In a branding era, Migos are America’s band.
One other takeaway from the SNL performance: With a live band, the wiry, taut “Narcos” felt looser and more funky. I missed the former but enjoyed the latter. What will we get tonight?
Little Dragon plays the Ballroom Saturday at 10:45 p.m., and the late time slot says that the Swedish pop band has more currency than its recent output would suggest. It's one of the many bands that the indie media loved when Little Dragon was a promising newcomers, then lost interest in soon after. Singer Yukimi Nagano continues to get much deserved love for a voice that invests the band’s chill dance pop with emotional weight that it doesn’t bring on its own, and you can hear that on “Best Friends” and “Sway Daisy”—the A and B-sides of a new limited edition 12-inch, swimming pool blue single.
Ski Mask the Slump God performs in the Float Den Saturday at 10:45 opposite Little Dragon. He emerged from Florida’s Soundcloud rap scene, but his tracks are finding a more personal voice with the potential to reach a larger audience than many of his murky, bristling peers. He dropped “Bees Knees” from his upcoming The Book of Eli two weeks ago, and his rhymes and delivery have a playfulness at odds with blunted nihilism of many of his peers.
Ganja White Night and New Orleans’ Boogie T play the Float Den from 5:45 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, and Boogie T headlines a Buku Late party Friday night at The Joy Theater. Boogie T’s dubstep remembers to draw from dub’s roots—reggae—as this collaboration with Ganja White Night demonstrates. He loves the face-melting textures of dubstep as much as any of his peers, but he’s drawn to dub's “dark wub kind of attitude,” he told My Spilt Milk in 2017. “The purest form of dubstep has to go back to the roots with the original emcee vocals over top of it.”
For more on Buku, see our preview of Alison Wonderland, Illenium, and New Thousand.