Coachella Announces Its 2017 Lineup And Kendrick Lamar & Beyoncé Are On Top
Its name alone is synonymous with all things music festival, and now Coachella will host more headlining Hip-Hop and R&B talent since its 1999 inception. Kendrick Lamar and Beyoncé serve as two-thirds of headlining bill, joined by Radiohead. Taking place over two weekends (April 14-16 and April 21-23) in Indio, California, Coachella 2017 will provide Lamar with what is arguably his biggest stage yet, both in terms of sheer size but also cultural cache. The fact that he is co-headlining with one of the world’s biggest superstars whose work spans multiple genres is a sign of how brightly his own star shines. While it may not be surprising that Kendrick Lamar is headlining the festival, it’s nonetheless noteworthy.
In years prior, Coachella has certainly provided headlining slots to huge Hip-Hop acts including Beastie Boys, Kanye West, Jay Z, Outkast, and Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg (joined by Tupac’s hologram). And, it should be noted, that ever since its inaugural event, Hip-Hop has found its way into the lineups – Jurassic 5, Rahzel, and Mixmaster Mike were some of Hip-Hop’s representatives in 1999. Since then, Souls of Mischief, the Roots, the Pharcyde, N.E.R.D., El-P, MF DOOM, Black Star, Atmosphere, Digable Planets, Busdriver, Ghostface Killah, Little Brother and many, many more have found a home at the festival – albeit in smaller print on the flyers. But as Hip-Hop culture has come to be not only the world’s most influential but also one perfectly capable of attracting staunch fans of other genres, Coachella has made more top billin’ room for rappers.
As far as female headliners at Coachella go, Beyoncé is a trailblazer. Even Madonna, in 2007, was billed below that year’s headliners (Depeche Mode and Tool). In fact, the only other female headliner has been Björk, and that was back in 2007 (she also headlined in 2002). For the first time in a decade, not only will a woman be performing on one of the world’s biggest stages, but she is a woman of color whose recent works have been extremely important for Black women. Together with Kendrick Lamar – undoubtedly the preeminent political and socially involved artist in mainstream Rap today – Beyoncé will likely put on a performance of a lifetime. What’s more, the two joining forces on stage is not an unfathomable. After all, not only did the two perform together at the 2016 BET Awards, but Lamar is featured on “FREEDOM,” from last year’s hugely successful album Lemonade.
Hip-Hop Heads have plenty to look forward to at Coachella ’17 beyond Lamar, too. Banks & Steelz, Denzel Curry, DJ Khaled, DJ Shadow, Goldlink, Gucci Mane, Kaytranada, Mac Miller, Raury, and ScHoolboy Q are just a few of the acts included on the massive lineup, which can be seen in full here. Passes for Coachella go on sale January 4 at 11am PST and can be purchased here.