By Maryam Azizli
December 14, 2018
Three phenomenons in life are meant to be experienced first hand: birth, death, and Breakout.
Breakout Festival is notoriously known as Canada’s only bi-annual, all hip-hop music festival (No EDM allowed!) This winter, the festival was held at PNE’s Pacific Coliseum, and boasted Lil Uzi Vert as its headliner.
The stage was broken in by local Soundcloud acts, including Yurmsauce, Rude Nala, and AC, though the butter-smooth delivery, dynamic stage show and ardent crowd reception distinguished Illyminiachi as the most promising Vancouver artist in attendance.
Killumantii shook everyone out of their Illyminiachi-induced daze with razor sharp bars and here-to-fuck-shit-up attitude. G.O.O.D. Music’s Valee graced the stage while enjoying some of that legal. Last minute addition Pressa was a last minute addition to the lineup, catching a good chunk of the audience by surprise. The Toronto rapper later came out to perform “420 in London” alongside Uzi.
The moment Killy came on, the floodgates were opened. Mosh pits started to bloom in the crowd to the bone-rattling beat, commencing survival of the fittest through natural selection. He had the audience in the air with “Doomsday” and “Distance,” and had everyone on the chorus of “No Sad, No Bad”
On the subject of immediate danger, Carti’s set was prefaced by a bright green nuclear warning. The “Magnolia” rapper pounced onto the stage, as masses swarmed to the floor of the coliseum, and in pure Carti tradition, maintained that same energy throughout the entire set.
Then Carti was gone, and music came to a halt. Tension was reaching a crescendo and the crowd was becoming restless, as murmurs carried over the pulsing lights.
“He’s not showing up.” “Wasn’t he banned from Canada?” “Watch them send Killy on again.”
Skepticism was at an all time high, as everyone seemed to debate “will he/won’t he”. Then all at once, it stopped. Uzi was here. If it had not before, all hell broke loose.
The moment he stepped on stage, the energy exploded. The wait proved to be well worth it with the thousands of voices on “Bad and Boujee” and “XO Tour Llif3.”
Despite being the favourite punching bag of any hip-hop purist, Lil Uzi Vert has peaked in popularity, largely due to his nonconformist approach to the genre.
By breaking the pre-established framework, and repackaging rap, punk and emo to fit the mainstream, Uzi single handedly achieved mass appeal and changed the rap game. This very approach put the rapper at the vanguard of the music world and made him the crowned prince of the burgeoning punk rap movement, not without raising a sea of eyebrows along the way. Love it or hate it, Lil Uzi Vert’s innovative sound and presence made him a celebrated lepper and a quintessential artist of this generation. That much was evident that night.
The vehemence of unattended youth is manifested and contained within a 7-hour sensory kaboom. Inhibition fades as communication becomes purely kinetic everywhere you look. Whether in bathrooms, where girls delicately hold each other’s hair over toilet bowls; or in pits, where bodies thrash till they bruise blue and strangers kiss and grope with teeth flying above their heads.
Anything can happen at Breakout.