The Baton Rouge-based rapper was scheduled to perform Friday night, but because he's in jail, he'll be replaced on short notice by Rae Sremmurd.
The Voodoo Music and Arts Experience starts today, and we have our downloadable schedule, color-coded with the people we're most excited to see today, including Shreveport's Seratones, who should be an early blast of adrenaline.
We were looking for to rapper Kevin Gates, but Voodoo’s lineup underwent a zero-hour change yesterday after Gates was sentenced to 180 days in prison in Polk County, Florida. He was found guilty of kicking a female fan during a concert last year. The Baton Rouge-based rapper was scheduled to play Voodoo’s Pepsi Stage Friday at 8:45, but his incarceration forced those plans to change.
When Rae Sremmurd finally entered the stage to “Start a Party” (the SremmLife 2 opener), it felt like a bomb had gone off somewhere in the club. The explosion would continue for over an hour, as Swae and Slim blasted through their set, powered by a rare compound of energy, swagger, and pure, unadulterated fun. The crowd rose to their level, somehow never getting tired as it stumbled backward and forward in a kinetic jumble of asses and elbows. Miraculously, not one was hurt, but everyone left the show feeling decidedly, pleasantly shell-shocked.
Rae Sremmurd is a rap group in the loosest definition of the term. The worst thing they do is rap. Instead, they’ve crafted crossover hits based on an ability to alchemize bass-heavy beats into infectious feel-good anthems using repetitive hooks that you want to belt out with your windows down. Their sound has placed them firmly in opposition to hip-hop’s older guard. Ebro Darden, the 40-something head honcho at New York’s Hot 97 radio station, has been one of their biggest opponents, once chastising Complex for daring to name Sremmurd’s debut, Sremmlife, as the third-best album of 2015.
On the downloadable schedule, Gates is still listed, but it will be Rae Sremmurd, and that will definitely be one of the day's highlights.
Finally, Internet-willing, My Spilt Milk will do a Facebook Live nightly wrap-up of the day at Voodoo. We’ll aim to be online after the last notes of the night sound, around 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and around 9 p.m. on Sunday. I hope we’ll see you at our Facebook page then. You can also follow our coverage of Voodoo on our Twitter and Instagram feeds.