Lupe Fiasco headlines 12th Annual Rhythms Music Festival
The music festival turned out to be one of the biggest campus events held this semester.
May 17, 2023
Lupe Fiasco had everyone in the crowd singing as they raised their hands in the air to his and Ye’s classic song “Touch the Sky.”
Associated Students Productions hosted the 12th Annual Rhythms Music Festival at the Annex on Saturday night. DJ Mellow and KJM, winners of the DJ and band competitions earlier in the week, participated as the opening acts. Boston rapper Oompa was up next to perform, her set getting the crowd ready for the event’s headliner, Lupe Fiasco.
The audience danced and sang along to the various genres performed by the artists, a medley of rap, reggaeton and alternative rock. Art installations featuring footage of the event’s performers and protest art were on display at the venue. Approximately 60 people attended the event.
JoJuan Johnson, a broadcast and electronic communications art and theatre major at SF State, was hyped all night. He spread his energy to people around him, getting them to dance along. Johnson felt the festival was a demonstration of how music can build a sense of community.
“I feel like this is a festival to celebrate music and to learn how it basically brings together,” Johnson said. “I think it’s something that we can all celebrate, especially since it has been 50 years since hip-hop existed.”
DJ Mellow won the DJ competition last Tuesday, which allowed him to open with a performance at the festival. He spoke about his experience competing against other DJs, as well as his thought process in selecting tracks for his set.
“This [year’s] DJ competition was very competitive. Everyone brought their A-game and I knew it was going to be tough from the beginning,” DJ Mellow said. “My style of DJing involves bringing people my age back in time to the music we all grew up listening to like ‘Hollaback Girl’ by Gwen Stefani and mixing it with today’s hits.”
Most of the crowd at the festival were SF students who wanted to participate in one of the last events on campus before the end of the semester.
For Tyler Phillips, a first-year student, Rhythms Music Festival was her first time attending an event on campus. She spoke about her excitement to see Lupe Fiasco perform and the fun she had while dancing to the opener’s sets.
“I’m most excited for Lupe for sure,” Phillips said. “It’s my first event at SF State so I’m excited to see what the production will look like. I really liked dancing around this whole time. I loved their [KJM’s] slow song, it was a nice little groove.”
Fiasco’s set was the highlight of the night. Everyone in the crowd rushed to get to the front stage as he opened his set with “Kick, Push.”
“And it’s alright here, I dedicate this song right here to San Francisco State University make some noise!” Fiasco rapped as the audience sang and waved along with their color-changing props to his music.