After last year's inaugural event that brought big names like Steve Aoki and Kehlani, Mala Luna returns with a pretty gnarly lineup that also includes multiple live art installations, local food vendors and merchants, as well as highly-curated themes and designs and costumes – all of which will help pay tribute to the local culture and the community’s annual Diá de los Muertos celebrations.
What’s pretty cool about this year is that there will actually be a second stage with no overlapping performances so you’ll be able to catch all 21 acts between both days. However, if you’re looking for some suggestions, here’s eight that we’re pretty stoked to see.
Lil Wayne, Saturday
What can be said about Lil Wayne that we haven’t already heard? Dude’s been in the game since he was a little kid, pumped out a grip of hits, possibly maybe might have an addiction to liquid hydrocodone (lean), and we’re all still waiting for The Carter V to come out (C’mon Birdman). But even through the multiple seizures, legal battles, and controversial stance with the Black Lives Matter movement, his music still bangs and it’s no surprise he’s a headliner.
That flute sample on “Mask Off” tho. Nothing makes a banger like combining beautiful warm notation over a heavy beat, and throw some swagger-heavy flows on top if it all and you’ve got a recipe for success. But it’s not all been overnight for the rapper. Born Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn, but better known as Future, the artist got his start as a member of Atlanta’s Dungeon Family, which is home to the likes of Run The Jewels’ Killer Mike as well as Outkast. From dropping mixtapes to becoming a Grammy-nominated artist, it’s clear Future is one of the few rappers of this current era that stands a chance for longevity.
From producing one of Paris Hilton’s records (while he was dating her), to appearing in the film about producer Steve Aoki I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, Afrojack has been making a name for himself, and since landing on the No. 7 slot for DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJ’s of 2011, this Dutch DJ is becoming a favorite for those who fancy all things EDM.
Singer Khalid’s nonchalant vocals seem to float over his often laid back tracks. And at a mere 19-years-old, the vocalist is easily becoming one of the youngest acts in R&B to be garnering national attention – securing positions on "artists you need to know" lists, from the likes of Billboard, Buzzfeed and Rolling Stone to name a few.
Born Asaf Borger, Dubstep Borgore was born and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel. His music incorporates triplet drum patterns with heavy metal influences, which makes sense since he used to play drums for the Israeli deathcore outfit Shabira. If you love the hypnotic and grinding bounce of dubstep, you probably don’t want to miss this.
From landing on respective features with Snoop Dogg and Gorillaz, to touring with soulful singer songwriter Leon Bridges, Colombian-American singer Kali Uchis is carving her place in the corridors of R&B and indie pop. What sets her apart from her counterparts is that she writes all her own lyrics, and controls the artistic direction behind all of her projects.
Born Destin Route but better known by his stage name J.I.D, is an Atlanta-based rapper who is currently signed to J. Cole's Dreamville Records. Not to knock any of the other talent on the lineup, but J.I.D. might be the most original sounding rapper of this entire weekend (fight us). Seriously, don’t let some of those trap beats confuse you, J.I.D. actually has some shit to say.
It’s not everyday you come across a San Antonio-based artists who possess more than 4 million plays on individual tracks on their soundcloud. Neither do you find R&B artists that have woke ass lyrics like “Body like a queen / but it ain’t about your body, baby / it’s about your being.” For as misogynistic as R&B and hip-hop has been (and still is in so many ways), it’s refreshing to hear something equally positive and bangin’ without skimping on the sexiness of the genre.
For it only being the second Mala Luna ever, the lineup looks pretty impressive and telling of that type of acts we should expect to see in San Antonio in the future.
Saturday-Sunday, October 28-29, Future, Wiz Khalifa, Migos, Afrojack, Carnage, Khalid, Borgore, Playboi Carti, Kali Uchis, Ugly God, Smoke Purpp, Trae tha Truth, J.I.D., Maxo Kreame, Xavier Omar, Intre, Bamsworth Belli, Izaq Roland, Lil Yodaa, Rayne and Isabella Rodriguez, $119-$399, visit malalunamusicfestival.com for more.