Vince Staples and Lil Yachty will headline Art Attack on May 4, Student Entertainment Events announced in a video on Friday.
Vince Staples latest album Big Fish Theory peaked at 16 on the Billboard charts and featured collaborations with Juicy J, Kendrick Lamar and Ty Dolla $ign. The Long Beach rapper has also worked producers like Clams Casino, Flume and Sophie. In March, he released a new single titled “Get the Fuck Off My Dick.”
Lil Yachty is the red-haired, Auto-Tuned Atlanta rapper best known for making melodic, absurdist rap hits like “One Night” and “Minnesota.” Last month, he released Lil Boat 2 — a follow-up to his debut mixtape — that featured Migos, Lil Pump, PnB Rock and Trippie Redd.
Last year’s show was supposed to feature 2 Chainz and Ty Dolla $ign, but Ty Dolla $ign was unable to perform.
Since 2014, every iteration of SEE’s annual spring concert series, Art Attack, has featured a rapper. They’ve ranged from the self-serious (Wale) to the silly (Lil Dicky), from rappity rappers like Big Sean to rappas ternt sangas like T-Pain.
But this year’s lineup, which features Long Beach rapper Vince Staples and Atlanta Auto-Tuner Lil Yachty, is probably the most modern yet. Both artists have small, niche and totally separate fanbases in rap music that, together, provide a pretty all-encompassing look at the diverse sounds of modern rap.
Here’s a look at each artist’s best album and song.
Essential Album: Big Fish Theory
Staples’ latest album, Big Fish Theory, is his most unique and defined work yet — it features quick-witted sharp raps over electronic production that sounds more extraterrestrial than almost anything out there. It also has the wild Kendrick Lamar collaboration “Yeah Right,” which is definitely worth a listen.
Essential Song: “Norf Norf”
“Norf Norf” is Staples’ most popular single, featuring the hazy Clams Casino production that graced early A$AP Rocky mixtapes, but with raps that get to the point faster than anyone in the game. “I ain’t never ran from nothing but the police” is a line that crams the entire thesis of Staples’ career into nine words — smart, clever and most importantly, honest.
Essential Album: Lil Boat
Yachty’s debut mixtape is the perfect blend of “wow, this is horrible” and “good God, this song’s been stuck in my head for two weeks.” It was the world’s introduction the red-haired rapper, and to date, he hasn’t surpassed it. It’s simple, charming and extremely catchy, and it doesn’t quite sound like anything else.
Essential Song: “One Night”
“One Night” is quintessential Lil Boat, and the song that catapulted him into the mainstream. It features none of his frequent and frequently misguided attempts at rapping, and its sweet, simple melody is incredibly catchy without bordering on obnoxious. It’s Yachty at his best, and most of his other big hits follow the formula of “One Night.”
Xfinity Center doors open for Art Attack May 4 at 6 p.m. Student tickets are $10 and public tickets are $35 at umdtickets.com.