Hip-hop and Hopscotch have sort of a spotty history, but this year it looks like the meager hip-hop bills of previous iterations have been solved. The festival has always done its best to blend local and well-known artsts but has been plagued by scheduling challenges that make it hard for hip-hop loyalists to stay engaged the entire weekend, or make it worth their while to buy a wristband. This year, the festival’s hip-hop lineups are more carefully curated, and local and national level acts are spaced out in a way that prevents the stars from overshadowing newcomers.
Lincoln Theatre on Thursday is the move if you want to find out about some music you haven’t heard before, with performances by P.A.T. Junior, G Yamazawa, Oddissee, and NONAME. On Friday, get your fix at the Red Hat Amphitheater, which features a lineup worth arriving early for: Busdriver, Rapsody, and the powerhouse rapper/rapping producer combo of Run the Jewels, who are sure to stir up a mosh pit.
Keeping the ball rolling into Saturday, Red Hat opens at 2:15 p.m. with a performance by Zensofly before the night caps off with Solange. To make the most of Hopscotch’s hip-hop on Saturday, you’ll have to do a bit more running around to bounce to ILOVEMAKONNEN and Big Boi at City Plaza and end the night at CAM with Brassious Monk.
Which is all to say: if you’re a staunch hip-hop fan who’s been a bit disappointed by Hopscotch, consider this year’s lineup a sincere apology.