From Playboi Carti performing a new song off “Music”, to the rising star Yeat making his UK debut, this year Wireless 2023 did not disappoint and just might have been one of the hottest rap shows of the year.
As someone who attended the festival, here is a ranking of the top five performances from Friday and Saturday of Wireless 2023.
5. Lancey Foux
London Born and a pioneer in the UK’s underground scene, Lancey was always going to show out for Wireless, and he did exactly that. He wasted no time in turning the energy up to the max by first performing WORLD ON FIRE, from his most recent album LIFE IN HELL.
His setlist was brilliantly executed, performing the best songs from LIFE IN HELL and sprinkling in songs like INDIA and RESPECT, which are both cult classics for his fanbase. If Playboi Carti is US rap’s best example of what a new-age rockstar should be, Lancey is the UK’s answer in return.
For me, seeing this performance live solidified why I think Lancey is the best rap artist the UK has to offer right now. Not only does he have a solid discography, but he is also one hell of a performer and got the crowd causing earthquakes at the height of the southern heat.
4. Joey Bada$$
While moshpits and raging certainly help amplify any festival experience, sometimes it’s nice to chill out and appreciate the artistry, and with Joey’s performance, I got the chance to do that.
Live instrumentals coupled with Joey’s traditional, unfiltered rapping made for one of the best shows on Friday and Saturday.
When he performed songs like “Christ Conscious” and “Infinity (888),” he took me out of Finsbury Park in London to somewhere in Brooklyn.
Whereas every other artist wanted to be perceived as a high-energy, crazy rockstar, Joey felt like an old-school rapper, taking us back to when rap was beats and bars, and it was much appreciated.
I think it’s safe to say that Yeat blew away everyone’s expectations with his first-ever UK performance. With amazing visuals, an immaculate setlist, and turntable energy, it’s hard not to put Yeat in the top 3 spots.
His performance of Flawless alone is definitely one of my highlights of the whole festival and proved that the once-underground rapper is on the cusp of superstardom.
Not only did he have the crowd in the palm of his hand the whole time, but he also came back to perform “Money So Big as an encore after the crowd begged for another song.
Just like his song suggests, Yeat really is rap’s new Trendsetter.
2. Playboi Carti
Is it any surprise that Carti is near the top spot?
All performers take notes.
Outstanding live guitar performances from Ojivolta, moshpits on stage, and most importantly, he debuted a new song called “Pop Out” from his upcoming album “Music”.
Honestly, what more could you ask for?
Some of my favourite moments from his set are the majestically performed guitar rendition of Location, which I’m pretty sure had everyone floating in the air, and his unexpected performance of his cult classic Die Lit song Flatbed Freestyle, where the crowd went word for word. Rage, rage, and immaculate vibes—Carti truly is the rockstar that he dreamed of being way back in 2018.
1. Travis Scott
Let’s be real… He was going to be number one regardless.
As soon as the stagehands started assembling Travis’ stage set, the energy in the crowd was insane. People couldn’t believe that they were going to be within a few meters of La Flame himself.
Before the show started, an audio message sounded off from the speakers, stating “Greetings from Utopia; before the show starts, open that sh*t up”. Once this was heard, moshpits formed in every corner of the crowd, and the stage was set for Travis to tear the place down.
Coming out to the newly released “Aye” from Lil Uzi Vert’s Pink Tape, the crowd went nuts and continued to do so for the rest of his set.
He played all of his hits from Astroworld like “RIP SCREW”, “SICKO MODE” and “NO BYSTANDERS” and then a few oldies for the real fans like “90210”, “Upper Echelon” and “Mamacita”.
His performance literally felt like a rollercoaster where he was the one controlling the ride. It went fast, It went slow, and fireworks were set off, zooming through the air and exploding on the beat drops.
If Utopia is anything like Travis Scott’s live performances, I want to go.
Written by Jake Campbell.