The Bull's Eye

“Head in the Clouds” concert review

With over 600 million total views on their Youtube Channel, 88rising has become an influential company in the hip hop industry. Artists signed by 88rising and guest artists collaborated to create the “Head in the Clouds” album and are now on their North America tour.

The company’s first stop was the Los Angeles State Historic Park on September 22. The festival featured 88rising artists Higher Brothers, Rich Brian and Niki, as well as guest artists Zion T and Kohh.

The all-day event, which started at 3 p.m. and continued to 10:30 p.m., was an unforgettable experience.

Similarly to other music festivals, the audience section of Head in the Clouds was cramped, borderline dangerous and filled with teens under the influence. Everyone was squished together with barely any room to breathe.There was constant pushing from all directions that caused several people to fall over. This was all made worse by hyperactive teenagers either smoking marijuana, drinking alcohol or both.

Aside from the less than pleasant pit experience, the performances themselves far exceeded my expectations. Each artist had roughly 25 minutes to showcase their most famous tracks and also new songs. All of the artists sang just as well live as they sounded on their audio tracks. The more vocally charged performances by Niki, Zion T and Joji were powerful and created a groovy ambiance that contrasted the other hip hop heavy songs.

Most of the festival consisted of hip hop and rap. One of my favorite artists at the festival, the Higher Brothers, stood out with their unique genre: The Chinese  artists take American rap and transform it into something completely new with the addition of their culture and native language.

Higher Brothers had extraordinary energy that was equally reflected by the crowd. They effortlessly performed their hit songs like “Made in China,” “Chanel” and “Wechat.”

Rich Brian, arguably 88rising’s most popular rapper, is known for his fast-paced raps but notorious for having shaky live shows. Surprisingly, he gave an exceptional performance that lived up to his audio tracks. Rich Brian was vocally prepared for songs such as “Glow Like Dat” and rhythmically on beat with extremely unforgiving pieces such as “Chaos” and  “Attention.”

At the end of the festival all the artists and VIP ticket holders went on stage and performed collaborative pieces like “Midsummer Madness.” This was the perfect way to wrap up the effervescent music festival.

The only thing that hindered the performances was the multitude of technical difficulties. In the middle of Niki and Zion T’s sets there were problems with the microphones, so the concert was interrupted both times. There was also occasional long waits between artists that made the experience less enjoyable.

Despite the technical difficulties, the Head in the Clouds festival was one of the best musical events this the year. The huge pool of artists from across the globe made it a concert for anyone to enjoy. If 88rising decides to hold another festival in Los Angeles, I would purchase a ticket in a heartbeat.

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