“What’s worse, the pain or the hangover?”
Kanye West poses that query in his masterpiece, Dark Fantasy. And the answer to his question is the latter, most definitely. Days removed from the Paradise International Music Festival that was held last April 9, people are still reeling from Yeezy’s 32-song set list that featured his classics and the live debuts of some tracks from his latest album, “The Life of Pablo.” Mr. West sent everyone to a frenzy from the moment all of his lights started descending from the stage’s ceiling up until after he belted out “Only One,” his last tune of the night.
But while we’re still feeling the reverberations of his tremendous performance, we can take solace in the fact that this is only the beginning. If we were able to lure Mr. West over to our shores, who knows who else we’d be able to bring in for next year’s Paradise IMF or any other music festival? Let’s start dreaming of the possibilities as early as now. Here’s a short wish list:
1. Kendrick Lamar. Yes, Kendrick Lamar has performed in the Philippines before since he was part of the 7107 Music Festival that was headlined by the Red Hot Chili Peppers two years ago. Lamar was already a star in 2014; but he has since ascended to megastar status—regarded by many as the best in hip-hop right now—after his magnum opus, To Pimp a Butterfly. We sort of have a feeling that everyone would find the idea of him coming over for another show to be, well, alright. Plus, we still haven’t experienced K. Dot with a band backing him up.
Kendrick with a band is pretty amazing, you guys.
2. Tame Impala. Through its triumphant third album, Currents, Tame Impala dabbled with a sound that’s closer to the spectrum of pop, allowing it to be more accessible to a wider audience. The psychedelic rock band‘s popularity has only grown since. Watching them perform live would be a dream. Psychedelia and funk seem to be perfect for festivals; so please, let it happen.
3. Chance the Rapper. Chance the Rapper started to gain recognition after the release of his second mixtape, Acid Rap, which he gave to the world free of charge in 2013. He’s been etching his name in the rap world without selling a single record, and it looks like he’ll still be doing the same come the release of his third mixtape by the end of April. He had his star-making turn with his verse on Kanye West’s “Ultralight Beam,” which is arguably one of the best (if not the very best) guest verses in Yeezy’s entire discography. It would’ve been great if Mr. West took his fellow Chicagoan with him when he performed in Manila, but hey, Chance will be most welcome here anytime.
4. The Black Keys. Heavier brands of rock have been rather under-represented in past music festivals held here. Let’s change that by having The Black Keys headline a festival in the Philippines. The American rock duo, touted by some as the genre’s flagbearer, has eight-albums-worth of blues/alternative/garage rock that it can showcase to Pinoy rock fans.
5. Snoop Dogg. As one of the forefathers of West Coast hip-hop, Snoop Dogg is regarded as a legend in the rap game. If you enjoyed the rollicking energy Wiz Khalifa brought during the last Paradise IMF, there’s a good chance that you’ll enjoy Snoop just as much—if not even more. Yes, he makes a fine narrator of animal videos, but we all know we’d rather have him put on a live show for us.
6. Breakbot. Best known for his reworks of songs by other artists and his very own electronic tracks, Breakbot will be a breath of fresh air when compared to the EDM DJs most festival goers are accustomed to. The French DJ's music features fusions of funk, disco, and house. This is the best time for Filipinos to get acquainted more acquainted with Breakbot, as he just released his second album earlier this year. He’s had stops all over Asia, here’s to hoping the Philippines will be in his next one.
7. Run the Jewels. Many fans and critics have touted each of Run the Jewels' two LPs as the best hip-hop album during the year each was respectfully released. Even potential future U.S. president Bernie Sanders vouches for Run the Jewels (the democrat had the pleasure of introducing the two before their stellar set in Coachella this year). So yeah, they’re good. And we want them here.
8. The Internet. The soul/contemporary R&B ensemble named after everyone's favorite thing is a music festival darling. In fact, The Internet was one of the main attractions in the last Laneway Music Festival in Singapore. The band features a smooth, sensual sound thanks to the sexy vocals of Syd the Kid. The Internet defies categorization; and it should be able to bring a unique flavor to a Philippine music festival should we be lucky enough to have them over.
Photograph (banner) is from Instagram.com/rocket