The Fader Fort at 2017’s SXSW came to a conclusion that was just as epic as it’s start. The fourth day of the Austin staple was the scene for performances that made the backyard-style venue a headline grabber the next morning.
With a stash of Jack Daniel’s, Budweiser and Vitamin Water available, the last day went off without a hitch and kept up the allure that makes the invite-only event a must attend yearly.
The Saturday sets, which normally are legendary for surprises, got underway with the trio of Nef The Pharaoh, OMB Peezy and SOB x RBE to get the crowd primed for the hip-hop heavy evening.
Following the trio of rising stars, Cardi B. made her way to the stage with a flowing 40 inches of red hair and ruffled attire, which pieces of it she shed as the heat on the stage rose. In between singles from her mixtapes, Cardi spoke to adoring crowd who erupted each time she spoke to them, eventually closing her time with her blazing track “Lick.”
Taking a break from the booming hip-hop, Jacob Banks took the stage to show the vocal flare that has made him a household name across the pond before Midwest Soul took over from BJ the Chicago Kid. Donned in a Kevin Garnett throwback from his Minnesota Timberwolves days, BJ brought his In My Mind album to the stage, had a quick break for some of his favorite tunes to raise the crowd to another level and hopped into releases from his EP released earlier this year.
The foray into R&B didn’t last long as the set switched from the smooth sounds of R&B to the brash lyricism of New York City when arguably the hottest female rapper, Young M.A, took the stage. The emcee spit some of her well-known freestyles before diving into her latest hit “Hot Sauce” and her biggest hit thus far, “OOOUUU.”
Those who thought M.A would close Fader this year were wrong, immediately upon her exit Mike WiLL Made It and his Ear Drummers crew, sans Rae Sremmurd, appeared on the stage to take the crowd through a bevy of hits and turn the background into a listening party for his upcoming album, Ransom 2. Fans were treated to a new feature from Kendrick Lamar, a masterful Pharrell assisted cut that will without a doubt be a hit if it’s chosen as a radio single and a dazzling display of energy from his artist Earz, all the while Hennessy bottles were passed and mosh pits ensued. A highlight of the moment is the call out of Hot 97’s personality Ebro Darden, who was also on hand and is on record for stating that Rae Sremmurd did not capture the essence of hip-hop. Mike WiLL set to prove him out wrong by blasting a new record from half of the crew that showcased the ability to affectively get off a verse.
While there was much to be pleased with just the presence of Mike WiLL he brought a surprise or two with him. In the middle of his surprise set, Blac Youngsta miraculously appeared on stage to perform before Mike told the crowd “I have a surprise that none of y’all will expect.” That statement held true as Ma$e emerged in a stain pink bomber as only he could and performed a couple of hits from the Bad Boy heyday of the 90s.
Upon his exit, Mike WiLL delighted fans but letting them know 2 Chainz was on the way, the actual close for a crazed week. The man commonly referred to as Tity Boi took the stage and ran through his classics such as “Birthday Song,” hopped into his recent trail of fire with “Big Amount” and “Good Drank” and even brought back Mike WiLL to premiere the record he contributed to Ransom 2.
For an event like Fader Fort, it’s often wondered how they will compete with what they produced the year before. What they continue to prove is that not only is it possible, but they will do it. They have the formula and once again reigned supreme over SXSW.