Soundset Restores Our Faith In Summer Music Festivals

We're not about to head back to Coachella anytime soon, though 
Soundset 2019
Photography ANDREW PARKS 

One word kept coming up at Rhymesayers' annual Soundset festival last Sunday: community. Not in the social media sense of the word—a sign of the times that somehow makes us feel connected and incomplete.

No, we mean actual human interactions, spurred on by a shared love of hip-hop that cuts across politics, race, and religion. Or to quote the OED, Soundset prevails where other all-day affairs fail thanks to "a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals."

That may sound a little absurd or downright corny given the State of Things ("how do we sleep while our beds are burning?", indeed), but hear us out. There's a reason everyone from Killer Mike to Sway Calloway—a Soundset host since 2013—told us all to hold onto the Twin Cities' tightly wound connective tissue for dear life. And it's not a "Midwestern Nice" thing, either. People are far too passive-aggressive here to make that leap of logic.

The success of Soundset over the past 12 years appears to be more of an unspoken thing: an air of open-mindedness and positivity that can be felt across five stages, a midway full of custom cars, live skate and street art demos, and a lovingly curated lineup that starts with a rising local singer (Dua Saleh) and ends with a rock-star rapper (Lil Wayne).

In other words, if you're wondering why self-titled moved to Minneapolis in the middle of winter last year, the answer isn't just in this Star Tribune story; it's in the photos below, and the inescapable feeling that we're a part of something truly special here....
Soundset 2019
Soundset 2019
Soundset 2019
Dua Saleh
Soundset 2019 | Taylor Bennett
Taylor Bennett
Dem Atlas
Soundset 2019 | Epic Beard Men
Epic Beard Men
Soundset 2019 | Prof
Soundset 2019 | Trippie Redd
Trippie Redd
Tierra Whack
Tierra Whack
Soundset 2019 | DMX
Zombie Juice of Beast Coast
Joey Bada$$ of Beast Coast
L to R: Meechy Darko & NYCK Caution of Beast Coast
Soundset 2019 | Killer Mike
Killer Mike of Run the Jewels
El-P of Run the Jewels 
Soundset 2019 | crowd shot
Soundset 2019
Soundset 2019
West Indies Soul Food
Soundset 2019 | Black Star
Black Star
Soundset 2019
Soundset 2019 | Atmosphere