At this late point in the summer, two things are guaranteed in Amsterdam: Appelsap Festival and some rain. Last weekend we had both, but it didn’t matter – the city’s hip-hop culture was still fully celebrated.
From the numerous Dutch and local acts to the hip-hop colossal that was the headliner, Lil Wayne, the festival displayed the wide variety of music, fashion, and people that hip-hop as a culture can bring together. The gallons of rain dampened the caps and hoods at Flevopark, but couldn’t dampen the mood as this scenic part of the city was held under lockdown by Appelsap once more.
The most lively sets and mirroring crowds were to be found at the likes of 67’s set on the Noisey stage. The UK collective brought their sound and their energy to a Dutch crowd that is really buying into the London sound, fashion, and general attitude right now. That much was evident not just by the number of tracksuits around the festival, but also by the amount of ground shaking that went on during 67’s performance. Despite being on at the same time as Lil Wayne, they pulled a huge audience in which, if you were anywhere near the front, was sure to be a complete madness.
Wayne’s performance, though, was still worth seeing. A true veteran of hip-hop with a discography taller than the man, himself, Weezy has been an important player in the modern music landscape for several years. Not only has he put out albums as legendary at Tha Carter III with hits like A Milli packed into them, but he also brought through a wave of newer talent such as Nicki Minaj and Drake during his time at the top. To have him in this old Amsterdam park was something to behold.
Fashion played a big role at this festival as it always seems to, and there was a number of visitors dressed to look the part – even if they were hidden under umbrellas and big trees. Appelsap’s own clothing collection that they released with Order. The range that was on sale as a pop-up in Ben G before the festival is still available on Appelsap’s website and, with a few really nice, colourful streetwear pieces, they might make a perfect memento of a day to remember.