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It seemed like D.C. didn’t know what to make of last year’s Trillectro Music Festival. Curated by bloggers Modele “Modi” OyewoleQuinn Coleman, and Marcel Marshall, Trillectro was the first of its kind for the region—-a rare event where hipsters and hip-hop heads converged.

The crowds may have been more ready for this year’s festival, having absorbed round after round of Trillectro PR on email and social media—-and especially after waiting in line for up to two hours, as some ticketholders said they had.

Saturday’s fest, again at Fairgrounds near Nationals Park, presented a sturdy lineup of locals and nonlocals: College Park collective New Retro kicked things off, followed by D.C.-area acts MisunRDGLDGRNShy Glizzy, and Phil Adé. Though Glizzy, one of the most beloved local acts on the bill, turned in a lethargic performance. That didn’t play well after RDGLDGRN’s vigorous set. Following his appearance at the Broccoli City Festival, Mayor Vince Gray returned Saturday to shout awkward kudos to Trillectro and the local music scene.

Shortly after 8 p.m., Fat Trel, who wasn’t on the schedule, performed an abridged version of “Respect with the Tech” with Adé, Wale, and a host of others, who clustered on the stage for no apparent reason. Then Wale gave uninspired performances of some of his best-known tracks, “Clappers,” “Pretty Girls,” and “Bad.” He repeatedly mentioned a contractual restriction that kept him from giving a full performance. “If it wasn’t for this contract, I would be out here all fucking night,” he said. (City Paper asked for details from Wale’s label, but our requests were not returned.)

A few other observations from this year’s Trillectro:

1. Major technical upgrades from last year: the giant projector screen and smoke machine

2. The main stage was bigger this time around, but the DJ booth brought better parties.


4. X.O. was there … but as a painter. He says he painted way before he took up rapping.

5. …and he doesn’t like bamas.

6. Overall, the art was a highlight.

7. Phil Adé killed it.

8. RDGLDGRN did, too.

9. Come to The Dude for your tobacco, sundries, and advice.

10. Just don’t be lame.

All photos and videos by Marcus J. Moore