A crowd of wet bucket hats swelled for J. Cole’s set that closed out a day of hip-hop Sunday at Soundset: the sold-out crowd at Canterbury Park stuck through a full day of cold rain to hear it all.
Soundset’s line-up had far more big names than years past, including J. Cole, Ludacris, Ice Cube, and Big Sean. There was a great diversity of hip-hop sounds—from Yelawolf’s southern-rock rap to Ice Cube’s classic gangster rap to some pop and soul-leaning acts as well.
The main stage sets began with Watsky. Dem Atlas was on next, with an energetic and engaging set. Aesop Rock with Rob Sonic went on after that with seminal local DJ Abilities. The only woman to hit the main stage was Dessa. Accompanied by violinist Jessy Greene, Dessa’s soulful set was a set of something different for the ears. In terms of stage presence, though, Clockwork Indigo dominated the day: whipping their hair around, stomping, jumping, and stage-diving. I didn’t even know where to look.
The rain continued throughout the day, but the crowds continued to grow. Between the rattling bass coming off most of the main stage sets and the crowd dancing, the rain barely had time to settle.
Following Clockwork Indigo was Alabama’s Yelawolf, who came out in a pentagram shirt with his DJ in a Confederate flag hat. Logic took on the main stage next, followed by Ludacris who played throwbacks like “How Low,” “Move B—h,” “Stand Up,” and “Get Back.” Big Sean, who did most of his set shirtless, followed.
Hometown hero, and last of the local main-stagers, Atmosphere played a fairly predictable set. Slug pulled up Dem Atlas and B Dolan, both of whom have toured with the duo in the past. Brother Ali and Ice Cube competed for the 7:00 slot, Brother Ali in the Fith Element tent and Ice Cube on the main stage. Jay-Z protégé J. Cole closed out the show, playing a lot off his most recent release 2014 Forest Hills Drive.
This may be the last of Soundset that Shakopee sees: Soundset recently announced that next year the festival will be held at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.
Bridget Bennett is a student at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities.