Late last year, I got to see a rapper named Mod Sun “light up” a stage at the Sunset Music Festival. A few weeks later, I read in a trade magazine that Rostrum Records (home to artists like Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller) had signed the artist to their label. It made total sense.
Focused on path that’s all about positivity, Mod Sun’s “hippy-hop”, together with his strong online media presence, has really struck a chord with youth looking for hip-hop alternatives.
Supporting his first official album’s (“Look Up”) release, Mod Sun toured with a handful of like-minded artists on the “Look Up Tour”. Closing the tour, they stopped at The Roxy to let Los Angeles know what was up. Opening up for Mod Sun in Los Angeles were (click on their names to go to photos/video pages for each of the artists) Karizma, KR, Dillon Cooper and Blackbear.
Wearing black jeans, a Smiths t-shirt, shades and a fedora, joint in hand, Mod Sun’s entrance brought the young crowd’s energy to a frenzy, and that energy carried through the entire set.
Perhaps the most impressive/endearing aspect of his show, was how connected he was to his audience. Mod Sun is known for treating his fans like friends. The interactions he had with his audience truly felt that way.
Most of the time hip-hop artists are telling the audience what to do. Whether it’s having the audience throw their arms up in the air, or ordering some kind of call and response, hip-hop performances typically have a certain hierarchy attached to it, the rapper on stage is the maestro, and the audience typically obeys.
But it didn’t feel like that for Mod Sun’s performance. In fact, it was almost as if Mod Sun didn’t even have to perform, because his fans were basically performing for him, singing/rapping all of the lyrics to almost all of the songs he performed … and it often felt like Mod Sun was singing/rapping with his audience, as opposed to the other way around.
I was able to get onto the wings of stage to snap photos, but somewhere along the way, with various members of the touring party joining Mod Sun on stage, I found myself sitting onstage, trapped, stage right. It was a pretty raucous place to be with performers inches in front and crazed fans leaning onto my back to reach out and touch the talent, especially when Machine Gun Kelly joined Mod Sun on stage for a song.
After it was all said and done, and the house lights came up, I gathered myself from off the the stage, pulled my sweat drenched shirt off my body to give my person some air, and joined the happy crowd (seriously … every face, mostly young women, I saw had a smile on it). If this is is hippy-hop, I hope it finds it’s way into the mainstream. Hip-hop needs some good vibes like this..