When JMBLYA announced an initial group of artists for its 2017 edition, we were plenty impressed. The inclusion of global EDM star Steve Aoki made it easy to see that the growing festival would be even bigger than last year, when it expanded into a two day, two city scenario with Future and Rae Sremmurd bringing thousands to Fair Park and Austin.
This just in, though: The fest nabbed Chance the Rapper as the headliner for the May 5 gig in Dallas and the May 6 concert in Austin.
[Update Feb. 10: Migos and Gucci Mane have been added to the line-up for both dates, completing the bill.
It was also announced that the festival will return to Fair Park in Dallas. The location was previously TBA.]
Similar to last year, when Future was on top of the hip-hop world, Chance the Rapper is the king of the hill these days. The Chicago native is nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy (not that he's new, mind you, just new to the Grammys), and his stellar Coloring Book mixtape is the first ever streaming-only album to receive a Grammy nomination (for Best Rap Album). No other streaming-only album has charted on the Billboard 200, as Coloring Book did upon its release in May.
In Gucci Mane and Migos, those additions are currently hot enough to have been the headliners above almost anyone else. Since being released from prison in May 2016, Gucci Mane (born Radric Davis), a pioneer of the trap style of hip-hop that’s come to define the Atlanta sound, has been on a hot streak. Not only has he been busy releasing some excellent new music, but his collaboration with Rae Sremmurd, “Black Beatles” has been a global sensation and his first ever Billboard Hot 100 chart-topper.
Not to be outdone, Migos, another product of the vibrant Atlanta scene, has 2017’s first true smash hit album with Culture hitting it big in January. But recently, the brash group found itself in the middle of some less-than-favorable notoriety when one of its members, Quavo, offered up some inflammatory remarks regarding fellow rapper iLoveMakonnen recently coming out as gay. It’s not that controversy is new to the young group, but there’s no mistaking they have further galvanized Atlanta’s current hold on the hip-hop power city throne.
Another interesting part of this festival is that it is produced in two cities on two consecutive nights. It's not rare anymore for festivals to take place on consecutive weekends, or for a festival to take place in multiple cities at different times.
But two cities in two days, even if they're only three hours apart: That's a significant twist on the formula and makes the success of 2016's first attempt admirable.
Other artists on the JMBLYA bill include Lil Uzi Vert, Pell, 6Lack and Snow tha Product.
Tickets to both days are on sale now for $25 to $100. Details here.