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Summer’s Last Stand: North Coast Music Festival Announces First Wave of Artists

North Coast Music Festival is returning to Union Park in Chicago for its fourth year in a row. The first wave of the lineup is out, and it is looking to be another great year with a variety of artists.

Wu Tang Clan is back and touring the festival circuit. With a new album set to be released later this year to mark their 20th anniversary, the group consisting of RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, and Masta Killa, will perform their debut album 36 Chambers. Hip Hop heads will be stoked to hear the legends themselves perform epic songs from the iconic album such as Ain’t Nothin’ Ta F*ck Wit, C.R.E.A.M., Method Man, and Protect Ya Neck. Should be a very exciting show to say the least.

Afrojack, hailing from the Netherlands, this electronic producer will hit the stage performing some great dance tracks including his most famous single Take Over Control featuring Eva Simmons. Currently ranked #9 on the DJ Mag Top 100 DJ’s of 2012, he is not an act to miss if you love EDM.

Big Gigantic hails from Colorado and will bring an amazing performance to North Coast this year. Dominic Lalli’s soulful and powerful saxophone jams and Jeremy Salken on the drums add a new flavor to the typical electronic sound. Remixing some great tracks from Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Wiz Khalifa, these two have brought a whole new level of jam to the EDM scene.

Nas is another rap legend that will be joining the North Coast ranks this year. Since his debut album Illmatic in 1994, Nas has produced nothing but hits in his 20 year career, with 13 albums including one collaboration album with Damian Marley and his newest album Life Is Good. Hip Hop fans will be very happy with the lineup this year, and I’m sure there will be some more rap artists in the next wave of the lineup.

Disco Biscuits will be returning to NCMF after playing the festival’s first year in 2010. This jam band from Philadelphia fuse many genres to create a fun vibe that everyone can dance to. Often mixing in electronic elements into their rock style they have also performed some rap songs like Feel Good by the Gorillaz. With a huge following, this band is sure to put on an epic performance that everyone will love, whether a loyal fan or a new listener.

Lotus is another jam band addition to the lineup this year. Describing themselves as Jamtronica, they incorporate elements of rock, electronica, and funk to create a fun original sound that all can enjoy. With their last four albums on String Cheese Incident’s record label, SCI Fidelity Records, they just released their newest album Build this year. All of their tunes are great, but my personal favorite is Spiritualize.

Mac Miller is another rap addition to the lineup, hailing from Pittsburg, this new rapper has hit the scene hard with his debut album Blue Slide Park, a few Eps, and a new album released this year, Watching Movies With The Sound Off. Starting his career under the wing of fellow Pittsburg rapper Wiz Khalifa, this 21 year old now has his own reality TV show on MTV called ‘Mac Miller and the Most Dope Family’.

Rebelution adds a little reggae flavor to North Coast this year. With their socially conscious lyrics and upbeat tunes, you can’t help but dance along to their fun reggae style. You will quickly learn the catchy words that will put a smile on your face. With songs like Feeling Alright, Lazy Afternoon, Sky Is The Limit, and Good Vibes, you will instantly fall in love with this Santa Barbara based band.

Madeon is an 18 year old French electro-pop prodigy. His most famous single is a mash-up called Pop Culture, the YouTube video for that song propelled him into instant fame. The song features 39 songs mixed together to create an amazing new track, and the video shows his live mixing of the songs which is incredibly cool to watch. Watch it here. There was also an amazing dance videocreated to the song.

Skream is one of dubstep’s first producers. Hailing from England, he and producer Benga were the real originators of dubstep. If you are a fan of the EDM scene, be sure to check out this dub legend as he will be sure to put on an amazing performance. His most known single is a remix of La Roux’s In For The Kill which is simply outstanding, definitely the best remix of that song.

The variety of musical genres that will be playing at North Coast this year will be sure to bring in a mixed crowd. Whether you like electronic, rap, rock, or reggae there is someone for you to see. Other artists announced in the first wave are: Gary Clark Jr, Purity Ring, Laidback Luke, Datsik, Paper Diamond, Claude Vonstroke, RL Grime, Aloe Blacc, Aluna George, Just Blaze, Capital Cities, JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound, El Ten Eleven, Cherub, Poolside (live), Flatbush Zombies, On An On, Thibault, K. Flay, and Dean Cohen. Stick around for the next wave of artists, including more headliners. This year is sure to be a great one, no matter what type of music you like. So if you aren’t doing anything Labor Day Weekend (August 30th – September 1st), get your tickets to North Coast Music Festival, it’s the best way to end your summer.

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