What is Jambalaya? Or is it JMBLYA? Whatever the masterminds at ScoreMore decide to call it next year, JMBLYA is an eclectic mix of rap, hip hop and EDM (electronic dance music). After last year's very successful debut at the Southe Side Ballroom featuring Big Boi, Zeds Dead, and the headlining duo of Tyler, the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt, the Austin-based promoters decided to go for an outdoor affair, hosting the day long event in downtown Dallas at Main Street Garden Park. Last year, Antonio covered the event for me but this year, I wanted to check it out for myself.
After meeting Antonio at City Tavern for a quick beer, we ventured down the street to Main Street Garden Park and noticed right away we brought up the median age by at least several years. The crowd was very young, mostly middle and high school students with a few local college students in the mix. But one thing was for sure, they were there to have a good time. The pungent smell of weed was crazy obvious and the amount of kids passing out or throwing up was a bit unsettling. But festival and EMT staff were very helpful and attentive. The fact the organizers provided a free watering station was a huge thumbs up in my opinion.
The music throughout the day had one general theme: hard and loud. That's what the kids like and that's what the artists brought. The rotating cast of rappers was rather impressive. Starting out with Denzel Curry and the Underachievers, they laid down a solid base for the rest of the lineup to build on. After a less than memorable set by Cashmere Cat, the crowd swelled around the stage waiting for the one and only Riff Raff. Unsurprisingly, Riff Raff is perhaps the most over the top artist I've ever seen in person. From the large cut outs of his likeness, wearing a t-shirt of himself, and his jagged, jeweled grille, Jody Highroller held the crowd in the palm of his hand. He's an entertainer. I did enjoy the sets from A$AP Ferg and the collaborative effort of Baauer and RL Grime, who provided the best set of EDM of the evening. Capping off the evening was headliner, Chance the Rapper. His set was precise and very well done, evening though some of this songs were merely snippets of a larger collection of mixtape material. Overall, an interesting but entertaining event that I can only see growing larger in size. Photos of the festival are below:
JMBLYA @ Main Street Garden Park, Dallas, TX Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on 3:00:00 PM Rating: