Published on September 25th, 2019 | by Christopher Wallace


Ice Cube Headlines 2nd Annual Welcome To The West Festival

The Toyota Arena was packed with over 8,000 screaming fans going in a frenzy for Friday night’s sold out second annual Welcome To The West Music Festival.

Nipsey Hussle was the headliner of the first Welcome to the West Festival in 2018 for Cabana Life Concerts. It was his first stop on the Victory Lap Tour. Earlier in 2019, Ermias Asghdeom, better known as Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed in Los Angeles. Everyone in the lineup had some sort of relationship to his music, whether it was knowing him as a personal friend or just being influenced by his music.

The monster lineup included performances by Ice Cube as the headliner, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Roddy Ricch, Dom Kennedy, DJ Quik, King Lil G, Suga Free, G Perico, Joe Moses, Malaynah, $tupid Young, Young Drummer Boy, J-Stone, Roscoe, TeezyDay1k, DJ Don Juan, DJ V.I.P, and DJ Hussle.

Starting at 5pm festival goers started lining up to get their money’s worth an indeed they did. Every artist that performed had a special section in their set time that was dedicated to the late Nipsey Hussle. Looking out from the stage it was a sea of lights that lit up the Toyota Arena.

Teezy Day1K and Gudda Mack came in and pumped the crowd up with their energetic tempo and performing like a true dynamic duo and really got the people up out their seats and in the isles to jam to ,” Day 1K.” off the EP Devils and Demons.

The only female rapper on the lineup, 19-year-old, Malaynah who is new in the music industry, Malaynah’s onstage presence is a sight to be seen –and she is definitely an artist to be watched for the next years to come. She sung her latest single ‘Outta My Face’ and ‘Karma,” and the crowd was feeling it.

When Dom Kennedy came on stage it seemed like the crowd was waiting to see what his performance was going to be. Dom brought everyone on stage from the All Money In Crew and everyone on the bill that had a song with Nipsey to perform with him. It was a real heartfelt performance.

Suga Free came on and gave a beautiful speech about Nipsey Hussle, then proceeded to flood the stage with his classics hits and accompanied by an array of musical friends Drezel and evene DJ Quik.

Bone Thugs and Harmony came on and laid down tracks to celebrate over 25 years in the music industry by performing songs from the critically acclaimed classic which just happened to went 4 times platinum , “East 1999” and the crowd kept the frenzy going. Before their time was up they dedicated the song, “Cross Roads” to the memory of Nipsey Hussle for a tribute.

Roddy Rich was another crowd favorite. His energy was contagious fans poured to the barricade in the front just in hope to get a chance to reach out and touch him. Roddy Rich who had a smash hit with the late Nipsey Hussle almost became emotional when talking about it on stage, but did not fail to deliver and give everyone what they came to see.

As the night grew on, the crowd didn’t even grow antsy because the pace of the concert kept everyone at the edge of their seats until the final act, Ice Cube, came on to perform, but Ice Cube wasn’t alone. He performed with WC (Dub-C). It shows that Ice Cube truly hasn’t lost a step. He was performed songs from NWA as well as the infamous diss record, “No Vaseline,” before getting to some cuts off his new album, “Everythangs Corrupt.” Cube ended the night with the smash song, “Today was a Good Day” before giving a few words and tribute about the character of the late Nipsey Hussle.

As the fans poured out of the Toyota Arena all you could see is smiles and grins on their faces as they sang out choruses of songs from the acts that they saw. Festival Founder, Jason Gazzini remarked “We couldn’t be happier with the outcome in our second year! The talent delivered one incredible performance after another, and the audience energy fed the artists all night long!”

Words by: Christoper Wallace

Photos by: Akashic Photos & Addison Baker


Video by Juan Gonzalez for The Hype Magazine

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Army Combat Veteran. Los Angeles Based Photographer.

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