Festival

Dispatch from a Road Trip — The Smokers Club Fest — Day One

Yes, I have said it before. Yes, I will say it again. Festival season is like Christmas for me. I wait for line up announcements each year like a kid waiting for Santa to slide in them chimneys.

Physical representation of festival season announcements sliding in my DMs

There were few festivals that I wanted to check out MORE than The Smokers Club Fest. It appealed to me by the very title alone (I am the Resident Stoner and the leader of The Stonerettes, after all), but on top of that the line up itself was pretty damn stacked, with folks like Wiz Khalifa, Isaiah Rashad, Rapsody, Snow tha Product, Curren$y and Kid Cudi to name a few.

Waiting to see if that press request came through was agonizing. I checked my email inbox obsessively, pressing ‘SYNC’ about a million times each day, as though somehow that would make the process go faster.

On April 23rd, it was official. The email came through and I let out an audible scream at work. We were on our way to The Smokers Club Fest.

PAUSE

To say that we went through the second circle of hell to get to this festival would be a bit of an understatement. One of our trio, Shawntay, was just getting back from NY exhibit that she was a part of, and it would have been too much travelling at once. Since I am now banned from driving (if you recall the debacle with the LAPD on my last attempt to drive down the grapevine, you will know why), Shawntay is the trustworthy one that gets us there without threat of arrest — and without her, we had to figure out the means and the mode.

Vanessa, my other partner in crime, had never ridden the Greyhound before and thought it would be an AMAZING adventure to take it all the way down to LA. She was wrong. It wasn’t. It fucking wasn’t. LOL There was no magic involved in it. There was only a meth head, a Jesus freak and a woman who claimed her father was the Zodiac Killer, her mother was in on it, and that the girl portrayed on the hat I was wearing looked like the East Area Rapist…. and all of those people above were all actually the same passenger.

Second circle of hell, and I blame Vanessa for all of it.

UNPAUSE

Let’s talk about the reality of festival season though — right now there is SUCH an over saturation of different shows both old and new, that in California alone you are often times faced with having to choose between 3-5 different festivals happening during any given month. Hell I had to choose between two festivals happening on the SAME DAY, and Smokers Club won out.

The reason? Honoring hip hop in a real way.

The Smoker’s Club, and whomever the masterminds were behind the curation of this line up, have their thumb on the proverbial pulse of hip hop music and more importantly, found a way to circumnavigate so many layered genres that fall under the same umbrella that… if I had to compare The Smokers Club fest to something you smoke, it would being the (almost) perfectly rolled blunt of Blueberry Cheesecake sprinkled with a healthy dash of the solvent free bubble hash made by Frenchy Cannoli and the Duchess — you will learn about them in my High Times review.

It’s only major flaw?

The parking — or should I say the absolute lack of parking. The waterfront where the festival took place was basically quarantined from the mainland, and you had to shuttle in and out of it. Which is cool until 20k people are all trying to leave at the same time. It was either wait hours for a shuttle, or take a 1.5 mile a night walk across the bridge, which in retrospect is a small price to pay to partake in near perfection.

Also honestly, the 1.5 mile trek across the bridge probably helped work off all the road trip food I had been eating.

DAY ONE HIGHLIGHTS

Schoolboy Q

Photo by Olivia Monahan

I have had the chance to see Q three times, and this was definitely the most energetic show I have seen him give. Adorned in neon, dripped in sauce, and bursting with turn up, this dude killed a solid set of music that spanned the gamut of music from ‘Habits and Consequences’ to ‘Blank Face’.

Photo by Olivia Monahan

If you missed him here, you have your chance still as the TDE Championship Tour is hitting the CA coast soon.

Snow tha Product

Photo by Olivia Monahan

Women in hip hop can often feel hard to come by lately (in fact this line up only boasted a handful of women on the bill), but Snow tha Product definitely was the mujer to steal the show. Though small in stature, she packs a powerful punch of lyrical prowess in both English and Spanish. Her love of strippers, her foul mouth, her eyeliner and red hair, all form together to create this badass with bars for day.

Photo by Olivia Monahan

She’s cute as fuck too, no lie.

Wiz Khalifa

Photo by Olivia Monahan

Seeing Wiz Khalifa perform has been something I have wanted to happen for years. It never has. I know his damn tour manager and STILL somehow it has never happened. I always used to feel like the universe was plotting against me for it. In reality, she was just waiting until the perfect moment — the moment when Wiz performed KUSH AND MUTHAFKN OJ.

Kush and OJ is still one of those albums that I listen to ten years later. It was a seminal part of my later 20s at a time where my lifestyle damn near required a kush and oj mixtape. It’s a classic. It will still be just as relevant 20 years from now, because lets face it…

Kush and OJ will never go out of style.

Photo by Olivia Monahan

Day two is tomorrow, but until then you know where to find me:

IG — @thelivstyler
FB — www.facebook.com/thelivstyler

IG — @themashup
FB — www.facebook.com/themashup.net

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Olivia Monahan

May 7th, 2018

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