Top 10 Hip Hop & RnB Artists to Not Miss at The Governor’s Ball Festival 2024

Top 10 Hip Hop & RnB Artists to Not Miss at The Governor’s Ball Festival 2024

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The artist lineup for this year’s Governor’s Ball Festival in New York has us excited beyond belief. Boasting sixty plus top music artists from across the globe taking over three performance stages at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the biggest party in NYC is here to kick the summer off in style!

Spread out over three days, from June 7th to June 9th, 2024, the festival offers attendees the option of obtaining a day pass, as well as a 2-day or 3-day pass. But before you buy the tickets here to catch your favorite artists in action, here are the top 10 hip-hop and RnB acts we are most excited to see live (in no order).

21 Savage

If you’re a fan of new school hip hop, 21 Savage is a name that needs no introduction. However, if you’re a fan of rap and haven’t heard of the artist, being at the Governor’s Ball is sure to have you ad-libbing the phrase “twenty one” on your way back.

An unforgettable performer on stage, the British born and US raised rapper is known for his laid back delivery and smooth criminal persona behind the mic. Slick talking and going bar for bar with rappers like Drake on a mutual project, Her Loss, Savage was able to turn casual listeners into loyal fans with unforced finesse. Most recently, Savage reaffirmed his place in rap with the release of American Dream, where Savage flaunted his charm over trap heavy beats alongside artists like Travis Scott, Doja Cat, Lil Durk, Burna Boy and more.

21 Savage reflects Atlanta both in sound and spirit; As much as he is part of the South’s cultural heritage in hip-hop, Savage is also known for being a strong pillar for the local community and regularly rolls out support programs like the ‘Issa Back 2 School Drive’ and ‘Bank Account at Home’. Through community interventions like these, the rap icon equips youth with skills of financial literacy, personal asset management in times of crisis, and resources for sustained educational undertakings.

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SZA

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One of the finest artists on the TDE roster, SZA is a Grammy nominated RnB artist intent on breaking one record after another. Most recently, she became the first black female artist in music history to have an album (SOS) retain its stay in the Billboard Hot 200 for over a year. The project – just her sophomore full-length project at that, appealed to critics and the crowd alike, earning her nine Grammy nominations for the same alongside an elite singer-songwriter status in the public imagination.

Of course, this is far from a surprise when you consider her music and voice, both of which are a soul symphony – evocative and provocative at the same time. Having worked with artists like Nicki Minaj, Beyonce, Doja Cat, and even Kendrick Lamar, SZA’s versatility in writing and composition remains vastly unchallenged.

Her music can be deeply introspective – tackling themes of femininity, body positivity, and self acceptance, and can have a moving impact on any listener. In particular, SZA’s ability to captivate a universal audience through targeted and pointed restructuring of personal experience and narrative is what makes her stand out from the crowd. This is one artist you must not miss at the Governor’s Ball festival, NYC, for she will make you weep, welp and wonder in an experience only she can curate.

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Post Malone

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Post Malone AKA White Iverson AKA Posty, is a man of many names and talents. One of the finest voices in the current era of music, Post Malone combines the soul of hip-hop with the shimmer of pop-rock persona. The result? Massive appeal from core fans across genres, worldwide.

While the pop-star’s debut 2016 project Stoney came out with heavy trap/ hip hop based influences (especially on the drums), his latest AUSTIN marks a significant departure from that influence. The newer music is more raw, unafraid in its minimalistic, atmospheric quality with a bend of live drums and emotional openness. An introvert’s superstar, Post Malone has come a long way in embracing his authentic voice – raw, often raspy, but never devoid of dynamic and tonal dexterity.

Tatted up pretty much head to toe wearing his stories on skin, Post Malone inspires pop musicians to dream differently within the space of pop-music, and to embrace their individuality of expression. He showcases an exciting mastery over the act of finding sonic parts that stick equally well like an earworm throughout different arrangements and songs. Makes sense why his music soundtracked the visuals of a rather sticky superhero – you Spiderman fans do not want to miss this performance.

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Dominic Fike

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We’re not doing right by our readers if we are mentioning a curious amalgamation of pop-rock, indie and hip hop, and not including Dominic Fike in the conversation. Well, lucky for you, we totally are.

Surviving a rather rough childhood and much of adult life marred with substance abuse, volatility and even imprisonment, Fike pushed past adversity with his voice to gain global recognition for his art. While some of you may know Fike for his compelling acting performance in the show Euphoria, Fike is a musical mastermind who intoxicates listeners with sounds of an inner rebellion and reconciliation.

A true boundary pusher, blurring lines between creativity and commercial palatability, Fike slides in and out of multiple fan bases with his double-tracked, velvety voice over rhythm guitars and a confluence of cross-genre influences. Often harmonizing over up-beat music, Fike just as easily gets deeper into his feelings without much caution. If you’re a fan of vulnerable artists authentic to their purpose, Dominic Fike is an act worth not missing out on.

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Teezo Touchdown

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A punk rocker at heart in the body of a talented rapper, Teezo Touchdown (known previously as AyeTee and Teezo Suave) is an artist that has come a long way from his days of rapping on corners and sidewalks. A fresh artist blending unpredictable flows with elements from RnB, punk and hip-hop, Teezo became an undisputed collaborator of choice for artists like Travis Scott, Tyler the Creator and Doja Cat – who seem to enjoy sonic experimentation just as much as him.

Shooting to uncontested fame status post his 2019 release, ‘100 Drums’ (remixing Panic! At The Disco’s ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies’) where he tackled the tough subject of armed violence in his surroundings, the rapper-producer linked with Trippie Redd and kick started a career marked with alternative fashion and musical choices in hip-hop. After all, when was the last time you saw a rapper wearing a spike-collar and bands, nails sticking out the shoes and chains around the torso? Safe to say, Teezo has vastly redefined the conventions and norms of a hip-hop based artist, from audio all the way to the visuals.

But even if you’re not a fan of hip-hop in particular, and rather enjoy bands like Green Day, Linkin Park, or 21 Pilots, this could be an act you wouldn’t want to miss either. His 2024 album How Do You Sleep At Night? With You is especially reminiscent of the aforementioned era of music and explores the complexity of love and sex with the sensitivity and rage of rock and roll.

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D4VD

d4vd Concert Tickets

D4VD is one of those rare contemporary RnB prodigies who made a career in music producing off his mobile phone. Yes, you read that correctly – in fact, his most famous track ‘Romantic Homicide’, which went on to cross a billion streams on Spotify alone, was produced on a phone application called BandLab and recorded in his little sister’s closet. Craziest part? He almost didn’t even release it!

Coming out of Texas with hopes of low-key being a video-game player, D4VD found the perfect creative catalyst in reading manga and watching anime – an unlikely combination that helped him reimagine what it means to be a superhero. Going from public school to homeschooling as a teenager, D4VD confronted themes of loneliness, self-perception and companionship early on – which are all themes that can be instantly identified in the mood and words of his music.

With vocals often drenched in reverb and lyrics rooted in soul and RnB, DAVD’s music engulfs and drowns the listener in a vast multitude of feelings. A catalog that will take you over songs that make you want to headbang and slow-dance per their own whims and fancies, D4VD will be a fresh treat for live audiences at the event. If his appearance on The Cave with Kenny Beats is any indication, it is that D4VD is a complete performer, duly in tune with his impulses, spontaneity and creativity.

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Saint Levant

Palestinian MC Saint Levant Drops 'Deira,' Honoring Gaza With MC Abdul

Saint Levant AKA Lover Boy Levant, born to a French-Algerian mother and a Palestinian-Serbian father, is an artist who took social media by storm in recent times with his smooth RnB inspired raps and seductive lyrics. An instant fan favorite who can rap in three languages with equal eloquence and charm, Levant often writes music to make love to. That said, Levant’s music is as much political as it is personal, and oftentimes delves deeply into the Palestinian struggle for liberation.

Born in Gaza and forced to relocate after seven years to Jordan, then eventually California, Levant has been able to utilize the demand for his music to help support Palestinians by directing 100% of proceeds from merch sales to children in Gaza. Even his moniker as Saint Levant draws inspiration from the term ‘levant’, which historically denotes the areas of modern-day Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. Showing up for Levant’s music at the Governor’s Ball is sure to leave you feeling the entire spectrum of human emotion and condition.

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Doechii

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A rapper and singer-songwriter in equal regard, Doechii will have you stunned with catchy hooks, dance rhythms and mesmerising melodies. Having opened for Doja Cat on her Scarlet Tour, Doechii is well seasoned as a performer for large audiences and is sure to leave you jaws on the floor, gasping for breath.

Often firing off with stylistically animated vocal delivery and performance, Doechii broke into the music scene with a rather unconventional approach – with her early songs famously being under two minutes. The thematic nuance of her work ranges from talking about the struggles of functioning as an adult in childhood and parental trauma to being a figure representing young black women in an empowering light.

Best known for her hit single ‘What It Is’, Doechii has often been heard over memorable samples from hit records of the last decade in songs such as ‘A N X I E T Y’ and ‘Alter Ego’. Fans of Gotye and Ayesha Erotica are in for a pleasant surprise and sure to go dancing down the memory lane in a whirlwind of nostalgia that will make you want to groove.

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Don Toliver

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If the line-up so far doesn’t seem sensually charged enough already, this next artist is here to take care of you. Don Toliver, famous for his high octave vocal runs that bleed into intoxicating trap inspired beats, with lyrics serving as a tasteful tease, is nothing short of an enigma.

Incorporating the ‘Don’ in his name to represent his attitude of conquering different styles and donning different hats as a musician, Toliver first put out music at the age of sixteen. In the years since, Toliver has cemented his authentic voice in hip-hop collaborating with pioneers like Nas, and even penetrating Hollywood sync-deals in movies like Fast & Furious 9.

Further having worked with artists like Eminem, Travis Scott, Masego and Justin Bieber, the rapper has a chokehold on the hearts of many and promises to deliver an auto-tune soundscaped, almost psychedelic musical experience. If getting down and dirty to good trap is your thing, look no further!

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Kevin Abstract

This is why Kevin Abstract is one of the most important openly gay music stars right now

Yep, the smooth voice behind the Brockhampton experimentalism and frenzy – Kevin Abstract is ready to grace the stage at the Governor’s Ball. Suave style of delivery filled with harmonies juxtaposed with intricate instrumental arrangement, Abstract has made hip-hop and RnB more ‘abstract’ in the best possible sense of the word.

Kevin’s music is a masterclass in revisitation and revision of his early music, in the sense that he constantly looks back at the core coming together of Brockhampton, and pushes the envelope further with his individual being. With a propensity for being deliberately abnormal in his music, his music is best described as the unending soundtrack to the lives of the ‘different’ kid – the underdog.

Sonically, his music is reminiscent of the sounds of symphony over wonkiest of bass-lines and the tightest of vocal performances. The music arrangements meander across minimalism to the lushness of synths, guitar pedals and piano laden sounds to take the listener in a loving embrace. If you’re looking to be elated, embraced and empowered through a musical experience with the most versatile of vocalists, Kevin is a treat you would want to get in line for.

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