For the first time since its inception, Fool's Gold brought their annual Day Off Festival to crowds internationally, making stops in Montreal and Paris, but on Saturday (Aug. 19), the day-long festival returned to its stomping grounds of Brooklyn, New York, and transformed the Coney Art Walls into an electrifying house party to celebrate the label's 10-year anniversary.
Founded in 2007 by DJs A-Trak and Nick Catchdubs, Fool's Gold thrives at the intersection of hip-hop and dance music, using their annual Day Off festival -- created in 2010 -- to showcase rising talent in music.
While last year's bill included the likes of Migos, Lil Yachty and New York's own Dave East and Juelz Santana, this year's weighty lineup was a melting pot of hip-hop upstarts, dance music heavyweights and Jay Electronica, who came out of hiding to remind the packed house why his return to music is so highly anticipated.
The blistering heat wasn't enough to keep the energy levels of boozy attendees down, and the Fool's Gold Day Off roster surely brought the noise. Here are the day's highlights:
Nyck @ Knight Fire Off Crowd Pleasers
"Pro Era" chants began as Nyck @ Knight's DJ pumped up the crowd with Joey Bada$$'s "Christ Conscious." Nyck Caution emerged onstage to deliver his "Look At Me" freestyle before Kirk Knight joined his Nyck @ Knight collaborator. The small crowd didn't deter the duo from commanding the stage as Knight lit up the stage with a performance of "Extortion." "Y'all came for us, right? So I need the energy through the roof," Knight told the crowd. "And there ain't no room, so what that mean?"
The duo ripped through a slew of other songs from "Ring the Alarm" off Joey Bada$$'s All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ -- where they made their debut -- "All Night" and "Off the Wall," the lead single from their newly released project Nyck @ Knight, often hopping into the audience to party with their fans.
NY Upstarts Swoosh God and K$ace Light Up Coney Art Walls
As the crowd grew larger, Swoosh God's trap-laden "Melo" blared through the speakers as the New York native pranced around the stage, calling for his "day one fans" to help him "turn up" as he transitioned into "Ain't No Way." Following Swoosh's set, K$ace kept the energy going during his set, despite the blazing sun, calling for fans to start a mosh pit. $ace ripped through his bouncy, animated track "Always" before disappearing from the stage and making his way to the top of a beer shop on the other side of the stage to perform "I Might".
A-Trak & Friends
A-Trak treated Day Off attendees to a set ripe with new talent from Ski Mask the Slump God and Gorilla Nems, and then surprised fans by bringing out Philadelphia rapper Freeway to perform some of the hits that catapulted him into the spotlight. A-Trak hopped on the turntables to fire up the crowd with a short set, effortlessly blending a string of throwback hip-hop bangers with electro-house club mixes.
The famed DJ opened his stage to his Fool's Gold signee Leaf, who turned the all-boys party into a sultry affair. The rapper/singer's Lil Yachty-assisted track "Nada" began as she sashayed across the stage, bouncing to the anthemic earworm. "If you really f--k with me, the way you say you f--k with me, then f--k with me the way you say you f--k with me," she told the crowd. Leaf turned the energy levels up a notch as she danced seductively to the Caribbean-tinged "FWM (Lie To Me)."
Flosstradamus' Delivers High-Energy Set
"Where Brooklyn at tonight? Where New Jersey at tonight?," Flosstradamus asked the crowd as he took the stage for his high-powered set. Backed by an LED screen with his signature logo and vibrant lights bouncing around the festival stage, Flosstradamus chose Lil Jon & The Eastside Boyz' "Put Yo Hood Up" as the party starter and transitioned to A$AP Ferg's "New Level," a fitting track that set the tone for the rest of Flosstradamus' performance.
While the sun dimmed, Flosstradamus continued to bring the heat and upped the ante when he dropped Fatman Scoop's "Put Your Hands Up" along with remastered mixes to 2 Live Crew's "Doo Doo Brown" and Queen's "We Will Rock You," the bass drops and driving bassline causing the crowd to go wild.
PnB Rock Puts On For Philly
As the sun began to set, PnB Rock took over the Fool's Gold Day Off festival bringing his list of hits to liven up the dying crowd. "Aye Coney Island, what the f--k is up, man? I'm ready to turn up with y'all," he shouted. The Philly native powered through his short set performing hits like his feature on Kodak Black's "Too Many Years" and his now-platinum single "Selfish." Rock ended his set by bringing some island flavor with his freestyle on French Montana's "Unforgettable."
Jay Electronica Returns
When A-Trak listed Jay Electronica as a headliner for Fool's Gold Day Off festival, the DJ said that people expressed their doubts and didn't think he could actually make it happen -- but he did. Electronica has been away from the music scene for quite some time and wasted no time getting up-close and personal with his fans, literally. Fans could barely contain their excitement as the legendary rhymer fired off lines from his track "Dear Moleskine."
"My name is Jay Electronica, and I'm from New Orleans. I always say this verse acapella because just like the motherf---ers blew the towers in Manhattan, they blew those levees in New Orleans, and I ain't afraid to say it," Electronica said before belting out "Candyman, Candyman, spit me a dream/ Blow a chunk of the levee out and spit me a stream/ Knock a man's house down and build a casin'/ A two thousand dollar government check from FEM."
@JayElectronica#FGDAYOFF pic.twitter.com/jwNu1bSIfW— FRIV (@FRIV_KenniK)
"This is why I love New York because y'all let me spit sh-t like this," he yelled as he paid tribute to his friend J Dilla with "Abracadabra" and "Dimethyltryptamine," the latter produced by the late rapper.
Electronica dipped into his extensive music collection and pulled out tracks like "The Announcement" and his JAY-Z collaboration "Shiny Suit," stepping down from the stage and heading into the crowd to connect with the audience.
The enigmatic rhymer later offered his stage to any aspiring rapper brave enough to step onstage to prove their abilities, and one lucky fan didn't disappoint. Jay Electronica led the freestyle for the lucky fan, who commanded the stage as if he's clocked in as many years as the legendary rapper standing next to him. Electronica commended the fan for his courage to hop onstage, hugged him and concluded the nearly hour-long set with an acapella rendition of "Exhibit C."
The myth himself @JayElectronica pic.twitter.com/KNloBuYWbA— D.WillyStyle (@jacobspinfire)
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