Astroworld Festival: Cactus Jack & Friends Blow Houston’s Mind
Written by Coog Radio on November 21, 2018
Travis Scott, to say the least, killed it with Astroworld Festival. There was an overwhelming feeling of positivity this past Saturday, Nov. 17th at NRG Park, as fans gathered around the entrance in anticipation to see La Flame himself. Shaking the entry gates and swarming in, the fans couldn’t wait any longer. Exactly a day before, Scott surprised 40,000 fans by releasing arguably one of the best hip-hop lineups that Houston has seen and music lovers of all ages were hyped. As soon as you walked onto the festival grounds, fans were greeted with a shimmering giant golden blow up head of Cactus Jack. The festival grounds were surrounded with attractions at every corner; like carousels, Ferris wheels, a replica of Dungeon Drop and even a half earth Astrodome with an intergalactic ceiling, arcade games, and soft plush couches to chill on. The day was full of surprises, and the biggest one of all was Travis Scott gifting the city and his fans a day to always remember. Continue reading for a full recap by Coog Radio reporters Christina Dias and Miriam Gonzalez with photographs by Nsikan Inyang.
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Metro Boomin gave a refresher course on why he is the pinnacle of the rap industry, he flexed his weight on the countless chart-climbing tracks that he constructed. It showed just how far and wide his magical beats reach. He gave everyone more than what they anticipated. His set started off with “Rick Flair Drip”, and the crowd was hooked. He gave them throwback after throwback from “Father Stretch My Hands” with Kanye to “Bank Account” with 21 Savage. Everyone reminisced with his humble beginnings as he teased the crowd with some of his classics. He finished off with tracks from his latest Masterpiece NOT ALL HEROES WEAR CAPES, songs like “Overdue” and “10 Freaky Girls”. Fans went crazy when 21 Savage took the stage, shortly after the two rushed off the stage to greet them. Metro Boomin’s craft has transcended throughout the rap industry. Metro Boomin did right by all of us in the crowd, and completely left us wanting more.
Sheck Wes is an up and coming rapper who is signed to Travis Scott’s Cactus Jack Records and is widely known for his song “Mo Bamba.” After releasing his well-received debut album, Mud Boy, he joined Travis Scott’s tour including the stop at Astroworld Festival. While it was evident that many of the people in the audience were only familiar with “Mo Bamba,” he still brought his presence to the stage and made his name known. He definitely hyped up the audience with “Chippi Chippi,” “Kyrie,” and “Gmail.” After performing a few lesser-known songs like “Do That,” Sheck Wes performed his piece de resistance, “Mo Bamba.” It is safe to say that this was the craziest the Astroworld Festival audience had been all day. Between moshing and pushing, it was no place for the faint of heart. He followed the insanity with “Live Sheck Wes” which fueled the crowd even more. Finally, he performed “Mo Bamba” again, and surprisingly, no one had any complaints. While “Mo Bamba” is still very popular, it will be interesting to see if Sheck Wes can maintain his momentum after its popularity dies down.
Rae Sremmurd, the hip-hop duo of Slim Jxmmi and Swae Lee, performed at Astroworld Festival as the night really started to heat up. Known for catchy singles and the song behind the “Mannequin Challenge,” the duo has proven that they can transcend one hit song as they continue to make music that is eaten up by the masses. They started off their set with an electric performance of “No Type” while pouring out copious amounts of alcohol. For the first time at the festival, it felt like everyone was actually excited about the concert they were at. The set was stacked with highly popular songs including “Black Beatles” and “No Flex Zone.” Swae Lee added some variety to the set with an intimate performance of “Swang.” It was thoroughly surprising to witness Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi’s stage presence. In contrast to other acts of the day, they were professional, excited to be there, and performed with a lot of energy. They closed out their set with “Come Get Her” and poured out one final bottle.
Post Malone mellowed out the night and reminded us of the things that make us human, like heartbreak, having people doubt you, or simply partying with your friends. Building up sound, Post started with “Too Young” from his debut album Stoney. The cheers from fans shook the ground as he transitioned to “Better Now” from Beerbongs & Bentleys. With his southern charm, he thanked fans in the most genuine way, with nothing but feel good vibes. Post brings his music to life with the rawness and the raspiness of his vocals. His music transcends the moment and depicts his life experience, with the greatest feeling of triumph. Post Malone can make a room full of strangers feel whole, not making himself feel more superior than others, he reminds his fans how he got to where he is today. Doing it for the love of music, Post closed off his show with “White Iverson”, written by a young boy who end up turning his dreams into reality.
Lil Wayne, often referred to as “the greatest rapper alive,” performed right before Travis Scott. While the crowd was comparatively sparse, as many people skipped his show to get a good spot for Travis Scott’s at the main stage, Lil Wayne brought his iconic stage presence and attitude in full force. He made the second stage feel like the main stage, filling it with an undeniably supreme charisma. This was one of his first performances after releasing his incredibly successful and highly anticipated album, Tha Carter V. He opened up his set with a nostalgic performance of “Mr. Carter” that galvanized the audience. He never lost his energy as he performed classics including “I’m Goin In,” “Believe Me,” and “Lollipop.” He made it evident that rapping and performing is what he was built to do. Lil Wayne closed out his set with a powerful performance of “The Motto” and exceeded everyone’s expectations with an animated and liberated performance of “Uproar.” It was great to see Lil Wayne have his creative freedom back. Between his infectious personality, live drums, and iconic bars, Lil Wayne left nothing to be desired.
As the night came to a close Travis Scott’s two-hour set, started out with a bang. Fans expected Scott to be center stage from the jump, but he didn’t do just what they expected. Instead, he turned the crowd upside down and dropped the beat to “Stargazing” on his roller-coaster stage where fans went wild. The harmony of thousands of fans voices singing along filled the night, and the surrounding 350 acres of land. Everything fans hoped for and more was coming to an end, but the only solution was to rage as hard as they could, La Flame style. Travis encouraged fans to rush the stage and let the music take over, because for a city that goes so hard it was up to the H-town to deliver just that. He threw it back for his old ragers, by following up with “Mamacita,” which in turn made everyone lose their minds. As fans fell into a trance, Scott showed up and brought out several artists on his set to help bring everyone into a sweet musical journey. Performing a few hits from Astroworld, he also performed his collab with SZA, “Love Galore”, “Through the Late Night” ft. Kid Cudi, and with a few other rappers, like Nav during “Beibs in the Trap”, “Pick up the Phone” with Young Thug and even made fans cry with “Drugs You Should Try Them.”
Astroworld was reborn, November 17th 2018, a place where everyone gathered together for one night, proving just what makes Houston so special. For a city that has gone through so much, Scott inspired everyone to look out for each other, stick together for the city and for one another.