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Downtown Music Festival: Fat Tony and Black Hippy

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My Downtown Music Festival experience didn’t get off to a great start. I was less than impressed with the first 3 acts I saw and a random downpour that I happened to catch the end of was really just encouraging me to call it a night. But I persevered onto Capitale for my final performances of the night.

The venue was instantly better. Set in an old bank on Bowery, Capitale felt more like a concert and less like a club. People were seated along the side of the dance floor while waiting for the next act to come on stage and it was apparent that they were here for the music and not the alcohol.

Photo Cred: QRO Mag

Black Hippy was one of the most high profile performances of the festival and they delivered. Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, and Kendrick Lamar each performed separately, before coming together to perform as a group. They owned the stage and showed the crowd why they were finally garnering the nationwide attention they deserve. But as wonderful as Black Hippy was, my favorite act of the entire Downtown Music Festival was Fat Tony.

Photo Cred: QRO Mag

Fat Tony is one of those hip-hop artists who takes everything that I hate about the genre, the misogyny, the homophobia, the crudity, and does away with it. Fat Tony’s lyrics are genuine and deal with things that everyone struggles with. He sings about being overweight as a child. He sings about domestic abuse and offers encouragement to women that are trapped in those situations. While Fat Tony’s stage presence was great, that wasn’t what made him such a phenomenal performer. Fat Tony was real and relatable. At the show, he announced that his new album, Smart A** Black Boy, would be released in the following month. Fat Tony may not be huge now, but after the Downtown Music Festival, I have no doubt that he will be.