MO POP is Detroit’s very own music festival set in West Riverfront Park, right by the water. Every year, a good amount of head-turners show up, namely last year when Mac DeMarco headlined. A two-day spurt of good music and close-to-home fun, MO POP is one destination that Michiganders should definitely take advantage of every summer. Here are our must-sees for the show.
The biggest personality in hip-hop and one of the most exciting young artists today, Tyler, The Creator is headlining MO POP. His shows are high energy, loud, and somehow personal and tight knit. Tyler tends to break the silence between songs with weird stories or tiny quips that get the crowd laughing before hitting them in the face with one of his over-the-top deep voice bangers. The California showboat will also probably play a ton of new material from his upcoming album, which will have dropped a week before. Whether you’re OFWGKTA for life or just a casual hip-hop fan, Tyler’s set is a must- see. Catch him Sunday on the Grande Stage, 7:35pm.
Longtime musician but breakout artist after last year’s breakout album, A Seat at the Table, Solange took the indie world by surprise. A beautiful voice over airy and cordial production makes her an interesting enigma of an artist. Poignant messages of her racial experience in America are extremely prevalent in her music, making for a full experience sonically as well as politically. Fully able to incorporate choreographed performance in her live set, Solange will keep anybody who wanders to her stage satisfied. Catch her Sunday on the Captain Pabst Stage, 8:50pm.
El-P and Killer Mike have slowly yet surely become one of the most respected rap duos in music with their chaotic beats and aggressively hard bars. After they hit the mainstream with Run The Jewels 2, they have continued to show that they’re the highest energy rappers out right now with the follow up album, Run The Jewels 3. Their shows set the bar high, rapping every line and trading bars with each other as the crowd throws up two hands to mimic the album covers. El-P’s production translates to the live audience;, his unique beats put emphasis on every word that him or Mike exclaims. If you don’t feel like getting too riled up, just stand back and watch these two professionals spit some of the most clever wordplay Atlanta has to offer. Catch them Saturday on the Grande Stage, 7:35pm.
The English rock band, alt-J, has had some real commercial success in the United States already, but after the release of their latest album, Relaxer, they’ve struck a golden balance between originality and experimentalism with good pop music that sticks in your head. The album opener is cold and distant, reminiscent of Radiohead’s masterpiece, Kid A. Their live show will incorporate these new tracks as well as the crowd pleasers that got them to the headlining level in the first place. alt-J is closing up the entire festival weekend, so be sure to catch them with all of Michigan’s best music fans. See them Sunday at the Grande Stage, 10:05pm.
For one of the smaller acts at MO POPMo Pop, Jay Som has some of the most talent out of anyone on the lineup. A solo act turned band, a Bandcamp success story, an overnight hit maker, Jay Som’s newest release, Everybody Works is one of the year’s top albums. Dreamy textures coated in reverb and eclectic songwriting choices make Melina Duterte an exciting up-and-comer in the indie music scene. The young artist continues to impress, and her set at MO POP would be a perfect place to catch her before she’s playing on Jimmy Fallon or a much less attainable festival. See her play Saturday on the Grande Stage, 2:50pm.
Wavves is one of the most prolific surf-garage bands of the 10s at this point. Cranking out new material almost constantly, frontman Nathan Williams prides himself on consistent quality with his records and performances. Their latest album, You’re Welcome, was an interesting blend of the usual skater rock they put out with some very psychedelic qualities and goth influences. This is the show to mosh at; I can already picture the crowd surfers jumping as Williams pulls out bangers like “King of the Beach” or “Way Too Much.” If you need your angst meter emptied, Wavves is definitely a must-see. Catch them Saturday on the Captain Pabst Stage, 6:35pm.
Recent 2017 XXL Freshman Class member and growing superstar rapper, AminéAmine took the hip-hop world by storm just this past year. “Caroline” blew up in the Twitter world, totaling 242 million streams on Spotify alone, but the Portland rapper refuses to be a one-hit wonder. His first full project is set to come out July 28th, and he has already dropped a lead single for the it. His XXL run proved to be one of the most impressive, as his cypher and freestyle both stood head and shoulders above the vast majority of the competition. His style is left of center, West Coast but not Cali, geeky but not corny. His show will be one big party, so make sure to be front row. Catch Aminé Saturday on the Captain Pabst Stage, 5:05pm.