The skies were gray. It was drizzling and cold. Mother Nature played a cruel trick on Sunday, not to mention the whole week previously. Despite these dismal conditions, a crowd estimated at or above 800,000 braved the elements to take part in day two of the Ford Focus Detroit Electronic Music Festival. Sunday”s lineup featured deejays like Mixmaster Mike and Alton Miller. However, hip-hop also shared billing in the form of De La Soul and Binary Star.
Appearing on the festival”s main stage, De La attracted an immense audience. In signature fashion, De La went into “Buddy,” a song bringing older fans back to the days of the Native Tongue family, the D.A.I.S.Y. Age and 3 Feet High and Rising. After some banter and the usual competition to see what side of the audience could make more noise, Pos made the declaration, after pointing to a U. S. flag over the stage, that everyone in the audience didn”t represent a country but a vibe.
The remainder of De La Soul”s one-hour set touched on the five albums and 12 years of music they”ve conceived. Judging from audience reactions, De La Soul did not disappoint.
On the Motor/Miller Genuine Draft Stage, one of Michigan”s most popular underground hip-hop acts, Binary Star, rocked the mic with their Subterraneous crew. The highlight was “KGB,” a crew track with no hooks and straight lyrics from six emcees.
The DEMF proved to be a worthwhile event by giving fans of artists like De La Soul a chance to see the group for free. From another angle, lesser known groups like Binary Star got a chance to showcase their talents to an audience they may otherwise not be able to reach. Additionally, seeing masses of people enjoying themselves and music is cool. It represents the vibe Pos espoused. Given the politics, controversy and threats that this will be the last DEMF, hopefully the importance of this mellow vibe will win out.