“I know what kind of show this is” said SoCal rapper ScHoolboy Q as he accepted a pair of knickers thrown by an audience member. “It’s the kind of show where we’re just having fun, you’re hella drunk, hella high, whatever you’re into, we’ve got you.”
This sentiment pretty much summarised the first day of WOOHAH 2019, one of Europe’s largest hip–hop festival. Young bucks, straight from the regimented systems of school and college are let loose into a frenzy. For our UK audience, you can think of Reading or Leeds, but with better music and better production.
Photo by Lotte Schrander.
Although the lineup was smattered with American and other international artists, WOOHAH felt like an event for the Dutch, by the Dutch. The programmes and signs may have been in English, but flutterings of the mother tongue were all around you all of the time. That’s not to say that the crowd was exclusively Dutch. As with the presence of grime giants Stormzy and Skepta on the lineup, you would occasionally catch a sprinkling of English when you wandered around the lakeside site.
Kicking off GIGsoup’s day was Tokimonsta, who we had the pleasure of seeing at Sonar Festival in Barcelona last year (see full review here). She never fails to disappoint, blending some cute sounds into the most punishing variety of trap you will ever hear. It’s like if your nan suddenly started playing in a death metal band; it jars with convention but is ultimately amounts to the most brilliant thing in the world.
Photo by Nikki van Toorn
A hop, skip and a jump later, we arrive at the Forest Stage and catch the last moments of Pusha T‘s set. With the Snipes (main) stage off-limits until Saturday, this smaller set-piece acted as the largest space for artists to perform. The crooning ‘Daytona’ star wiggled his way through his broad collection of hits, including ‘Mercy’, ‘Move That Dope’ and ‘I Don’t Like’.
Following swiftly on was the aforementioned ScHoolboy Q who, as always, had plenty to say to his crowd. If you’re in any way connected to the hip-hop world, you’ll probably be aware that A$AP Rocky, one of the founding members of the legendary A$AP Mob was imprisoned in Sweden last week under allegations that he and his entourage assaulted two locals after being followed by them. The details are hard to pin down, and you can read all about that story here, but ScHoolboy Q made a point of saying “F*** Sweden! If you see an American in Sweden you should tell them to go f*** themselves”. Harsh words, which lead into the even more harsh sounds of A$AP’s menacing banger ‘Lord Pretty Flacko Joyde’. GIGsoup heard this song in (almost) every single set of the evening. ScHoolboy Q bounced around to a string of his most loved tracks including ‘Dope Dealer’ ‘Collard Greens’ and ‘Man Of The Year. At one point the TDE member almost jumped off the stage by mistake and hurt his knee.
The rowdiness continued with Amsterdam local Jarreau Vandal, who also brought out a choice selection of trap bangers, all glued together by his famous Vandalized Edits. Vandal NEVER disappoints, but his hype man, who is a new addition to his DJ sets didn’t really cut it. But no matter, as they say, the mosh pits will always go on.