On Sunday afternoon, rapper Common put on the first annual Aahh! Fest at Union Park in Chicago. The evening-long festival was organized by the Common Ground Foundation (Common’s charity) and Kanye West’s Donda’s House, so naturally the proceeds from the festival went to support these two charity’s in addition to arts education in Chicago Public Schools, The Lupe Fiasco Foundation and year-round youth job initiatives.
The Festival featured a whole slew of Chicago’s finest rappers, plus a handful more with Dave Chappelle playing host. With performances from Common, Lupe Fiasco, De La Soul, MC Lyte, Jay Electronica, Lil Herb, Jennifer Hudson, and a few special surprise guests including Kanye West, SZA, Twista and Vince Staples, plus a community showcase curated by Rhymefest during the day. Each rapper performed a scaled down set until Common took to the stage and was joined by Jay Electronica, Vince Staples, Twista and the real treat Kanye West.
The G.O.O.D. Music chief took the stage to “Jesus Walks” wearing OFF-WHITE x Virgil Abloh before running through a nearly 40-minute set of hits including “Black Skinhead,” “Touch the Sky,” “POWER,” “Gold Digger,” “Homecoming,” and many more, even though “Common said [he] only had to do three songs.” Kanye’s set was fierce, giving his hometown crowd a show like no other. No speeches, no rants, just the hits, all to support the city.
From what we could see, the inaugural Aahh! Fest 2014 was a huge success, and will no doubt become a reoccurring annual event much in the way Drake’s OVOFest has become a yearly Toronto event.