PromoWest Fest: Mixx Magazine Exclusive

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LL cool

When the festival season is in full bloom there is nothing like summertime in Columbus, OH. There is always so much to do. Great food, awesome events, and just an overall nice energy was in the air. It’s nothing like being outside feeling that energy as people of all ages, race and gender take in the atmosphere while having a good time with friends and family. I had the opportunity to cover  The 2016 PromoWest Fest this past weekend and the lineup was insane!  There were artists from all genres came together to put on a huge music festival that lasted over the course of 3 days. Of course, me being the resident hip hop head in Columbus, I had to go see some of our living legends perform. First up was James Todd Smith aka LL Cool J and I must admit, he put on a hell of a show! Assisted by DJ Z-Trip who opened up for him, LL started his set with the classic record “Mama said knock you out”. Once the bass dropped and the 1st bar left his mouth, LL didn’t stop rocking the crowd. The veteran emcee ran through his list of hit records effortlessly as he went from “Jack the Ripper” to “I’m Bad”, which he blended with the instrumental of Puff Daddy’s “All about the Benjamins”. The Queens, New York native also did a cover of Run-DMC ‘Sucka emcees’ and a tribute to the late great Jam Master J. “Head sprung” got the largest reaction from the crowd. The whole place went insane once that song came on. Forever the showman for the ladies, LL gave out roses to the woman in the crowd as he rapped “I need love” and of course he licked his lips as the camera focused in on him. To end the show, LL went through a medley of records rapping all the hits. His discography shows that his legacy is cemented in music history. The show lasted an hour and he didn’t miss a beat. Over 30 years of rapping and rocking stages, I finally understand why he calls himself the Greatest of all time.snoop

After LL’s performance, most festival goers went to the 2nd stage or just hung out as the sun begin to set on the festival. Just as darkness set in, you began to see and hear the hustle and bustle from the main stage. As the crowd moved closer to the front I saw someone emerge from the side of the stage headed toward the DJ set. It was the homie Daz from the Dogg Pound! Then from the other side, blunt In hand it was the OG, Big Snoop Dogg! The 1st song he did was a verse on “Nothing but a G thang”. With Chuck Taylor shoes and creased jeans, Snoop walked back and forth with so much confidence controlling the crowd as they hung on to every lyric he rapped. I’ve always said that he is the biggest star in hip-hop history. Even suburban moms love Snoop Doggy Dogg. Once the bass line of ” Next episode” hit, the marijuana supporters started lighting it up and you could definitely smell the chronic in the air. Gracefully rapping the lyrics the crowd was in sync with him the whole time. Ending the song with the classic Nate Dogg crooned line “Smoke weed every day” the people went crazy with cheers! During his set, the OG gangster rapper addressed the issue of the gun violence going in America, performing his song with Drake called “No Guns Allowed”. Snoop and Daz went back to the classics with his rendition of “Lodi Dodi”, switching up the beat throughout the song. Snoop lion made an appearance also but most of the people didn’t know those songs… all.  With a new album out called “Coolaid,” he performed the new Crip anthem “Super Crip” produced by Just Blaze. During his set, he paid his respect to our fallen legends with a tribute to the Notorious Big and of course his death row counterpart Tupac.  Just like LL Cool J, Snoop closed his set with a medley of hit records and songs he’s featured on over the years. Overall the two legends showed why they have the legendary status that they carry. With so much madness going on in the world right now, it’s great to see these guys and give them their flowers why they can smell them.


Written by Trav Dave

Photos by Marcus Gordon.