It’s really no surprise that Coachella 2011 will feature performances from Kings of Leon, Arcade Fire and the Strokes. But rap fans will have plenty of top-tier talent to enjoy, too. Here’s our list of the top five rap acts to look for at Coachella and preview their music before you head out to the desert.
Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (OFWGKTA) has the Internet going nuts. With a bevy of solo artists and groups, Odd Future, Tyler The Creator, Hodgy Beats and the rest of the crew appear Friday April 15.
Similar To: The Los Angeles-based crew has the grittiness, striking personalities and mystique of an early Wu-Tang Clan.
Where to See Them If You Don’t Make It to Coachella: Find them all over the Internet, on television and if you have a passport, check them out June 1 and 2 in Sydney, Australia and August 26-28 at the Reading Festival 2011 in Reading, United Kingdom.
Cee Lo Green
The Atlanta singer-rapper made landmark material with Goodie Mob, as a solo artist and with Gnarls Barkley before his “F**k You” single became a phenomenon. He hits the stage Friday April 15
Similar to: Green raps with the pain and eloquence of a blues musician and sings with the passion and the vibrancy of a gospel vocalist.
Where to See Him If You Don’t Make It to Coachella: Green will be under the lights with Rihanna and J. Cole on the Loud Tour, which kicks off June 4 in Baltimore.
Ms. Lauryn Hill
Widely regarded as the best female rapper of all time, the former Fugees member has been largely out of the spotlight since releasing her landmark debut album, 1998’s The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill. She hits the stage Friday April 15.
Similar to: Lauryn Hill is a singing-rapping double threat like Queen Latifah, but with the lyrical precision and potency of MC Lyte.
Where to See Her If You Don’t Make It to Coachella: Ms. Hill is slated to perform in Los Angeles April 18, Denver April 23, Dallas April 27 and Houston May 4.
The Taylor Gang leader went from losing a record deal in 2009 to being one of music’s biggest acts in 2011. Mr. “Black And Yellow” performs Saturday April 16.
Similar to: The Pittsburgh rapper has a Layzie Bone-esque sing-rap style and presence on the mic.
Where to See Him If You Don’t Make It to Coachella: Wiz will stay busy in April, hitting Fort Lauderdale, Florida April 19, and Orlando, Florida April 20 with Mac Miller as part of the Campus Consciousness Tour.
He’ll also perform at the Bamboozle Festival 2011 at East Rutherford, New Jersey April 29 and the Springfest 2011 Musical Festival with Nas & Damian Marley April 30 in Buffalo.
West stands as one of the best and most polarizing artists in music today. He’ll take the Coachella stage Saturday April 16.
Similar to: The Chicagoan combines the lyricism of Common, the production savvy of Dr. Dre and the commercial instincts of Jermaine Dupri.
Where to See Him If You Don’t Make It to Coachella: West will hit the Midwest June 30 when he touches down at the Marcus Amphitheater Summerfest in Milwaukee.
For more from Soren Baker follow him on Twitter: @SorenBaker
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