Derrick Rose came back home on Sunday to officially launch the adidas #DRose4 in front of thousands of Chicago's youth at the United Center! The extravagant event held by adidas was not only for the shoe, but also for Rose to show some love and inspiration to his home city through a fun series of activities like a shooting game with some lucky teenagers. The crowd was also treated to a special guest performance from Big Sean, who performed a series of his hits at the beginning and end of the event.
We were amongst the media covering the festivities courtside and we were able to get some words from D. Rose and Big Sean for the video above.
The video is a highlight reel of the entire event that also features:
- A chilling introduction of Derrick Rose
- Rose talking about the changes in his game, how he feels mentally and physically going into the new season, and keeping kids on the right track.
- An all-star slam dunk contest judged by D. Rose & Big Sean
- Benny The Bull trampoline dunks over the Luvabulls
- Big Sean talking about being at the event and supporting D. Rose
- Big Sean shooting the J... does he make it?
- Big Sean performing "Beware"
Salute and special thanks to adidas Basketball for putting on the "all in for Chicago" event. Also to D. Rose and Big Sean for their words in the video and putting on an entertaining show for the youth — a main takeaway from the #DRose4 launch!
Labor Day Weekend marked the 4th annual North Coast Music Festival at Union Park as Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were all packed with a mix of primarily EDM artists and DJs with some of hip hop's most established names, and up and comers in both genres. Let's get right into the highlights...
This was the one day I couldn't attend, but Maks G & Justin Escalona were there taking some of the photos above and bouncing around the three stages checking out act after act. Two of the night's headliners stood out: Mac Miller & Passion Pit, with the latter drawing more rave reviews from Maks & Justin.
Maks and I made it for the night's main acts: Nas, Big Gigantic, and Afrojack. First (of course) Nas, who returned to the North Coast stage after last performing at the debut edition of the festival with Damian Marley in 2010. Nas kept it simple: it was him, a drummer, and a DJ. He ran through classic after classic, only pausing to rile up the crowd for the next one. My only wish was if he dropped the beat completely at times through the set to only further showcase his flawless live delivery. I'm just a fan of a capellas in a live rap show, and if I recall correctly, I think Nas had more of those last time I saw him at North Coast. Sure enough, however, Nas provided the most chilling moment of my weekend when he came back out for an encore of "One Mic", with each verse building up upon the previous. It culminated with Nas whispering into the mic (my desired a capella of sorts) and the crowd waiting for one more intense chorus. Enter: chills. He left Chicago with these short but sweet words, "You have a voice. Be heard."
The scene on a cloudy night at North Coast for Nas
Saturday continued with a couple of big EDM/DJ acts as Big Gigantic first impressed with their live saxophone on top of recognizable remixes like the fitting Kanye West "Jesus Walks". Then we walked over a stage to Afrojack, who I liked even more as he had more of a fast, upbeat flow of songs coming one after another and ending on a premiere that I instantly liked that features some female vocals. I'll be sure to point it out when it drops. All in all, the three acts made for a great Saturday night, as Nas was Nas and Big Gigantic and Afrojack took me out of my comfort zone that proved to be a fun experience.
Justin and I got our money's worth Sunday as we got to the Fest on the early side to first catch DJs Datsik, A-Trak, and Madeon. I especially liked the latter two as A-Trak mixed in some hip hop into his upbeat set while showcasing his live skills as well, and the young Madeon (he's 18, looks like he's 13), keeping the crowd going with just enough recognizable tunes to get the crowd singing (from The Killers to Kanye's "Black Skinhead").
I then made my way across the fields for my most abrupt change in music and scenery. It felt surreal to go from a crowd jumping up and down to EDM and dance to a chill crowd hanging on every word and guitar solo from the soulful Gary Clark Jr.. There was only minor chit chat in the crowd for Gary Clark, whose live sound (especially his guitar) translated well to the festival. The moment he ended, I heard the dark sounds begin from the stage next to us, courtesy of Purity Ring (another abrupt change.)
That's one of the beauties of North Coast: all of the sets are precisely scheduled and never run late, giving the fans a unique experience of the thrilling conclusion of one artist and then the rush to see the beginning of the next artist, who almost always is a completely different genre. It's safe to say Madeon to Gary Clark Jr. to Purity Ring is about as different as you can get.
To speak on Purity Ring real quick, I became a fan of the duo with "Odebear", and now even moreso after seeing what I saw on Carson Daly earlier this summer replicated and more polished in person. The duo can transform your mood in an instant as lantern banging, light shining, and piercing vocals all combine for a very fresh and edgy sound. Look these guys up when you get a chance.
Finally, and if you read this far you won't be disappointed, Wu-Tang Clan closed out the festival like only they would. And that's with a raw mix of songs from their debut album, 36 Chambers. They naturally began with "Bring Da Ruckus" as an endless sea of people threw their "W's" up. Seriously, this was the biggest crowd of the three nights for sure. The group had the crowd going the whole time and kept it moving with no breaks between songs, save for a tribute to Ol' Dirty Bastard. They tried to fit as many songs as possible in before an impending thunderstorm was threatening to cut the performance short. That unfortunately came to fruition 40 minutes in and ending Wu-Tang's set prematurely without a fitting conclusion. The crowd was naturally upset that the set ended 15 minutes before it should have while it was only drizzling at the time, but considering it was drizzling at the start, I'm happy we got that far. Plus, the performance and my savvy to hold the record button combined for my favorite Vine ever. I don't think I can end it better than this...
Great times at North Coast all weekend long! Shoutout to React Presents for putting it all together and be sure to scroll through the slideshow (hit the arrows) for more photos: all taken by either Maks G, Justin Escalona, or myself. Until next Labor Day weekend...!
Follow GWHH in this new video above on our road trip from Chicago, IL to Austin, TX where we attended SXSW 2012 earlier this year! We were rollin' in double digits, rented a van, rented a house in Austin, and attended all of the big-name events that were going on all week at SXSW. Seen in the video is a compilation of some of the fun times we had together on the road trip and a glimpse at some of those events and interviews we got during the week. Easily one of the most memorable team trips ever, shoutout to #TeamGowhere!