Wireless announced their first-wave of artists for this year’s festival, and with it they have quickly set the standard for one day events in the capital. We know that Wireless inhabits a more commercial place in the calendar than, say, Field Day or Lovebox, but the acts this year have real crossover potential.
Starting from the top down, you’d be hard-pressed to find two bigger draws than Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z. We don’t even need bother going into the Jigga enigma, so let’s move shuffle straight onto JT, who heads up the Friday line-up. He’s currently somewhere at the bottom of the wave that is the cycle for his upcoming 20/20 Experience album, though after his Brits performance last night your timelines and news feeds will be sagging under the weight of Justin-gush.
Come the summer, when every club, bar and hipster haunt across the kingdom has done ‘Suit And Tie’ to death and we’re all talking about how (forthcoming 8 minute epic) ‘Mirrors’ is a masterpiece of future r n’b, he will most certainly be the most exposed singer on the planet. So that’ll be nice.
Further down on the Friday there’s Snoop Dogg (headliner of Lovebox last year) who, regardless of the fact he’s released 123 mostly dodgy albums since Doggstyle, will drop ‘Gin and Juice’ and you will spill your drink. Then there’s ‘special guest’ Frank Ocean. I thought Ocean might have ended up headlining, though perhaps he needs another album before getting the top slot at a festival of this scope. Not sure why he’s designated as a ‘special guest’, maybe he gets pot pourri in his dressing room. Regardless, he topped every album of the year last year so it quickly shuffles up the order as a must-see set.
Further down there’s some slushery from the pretty-gash John Legend and Trey Songz, though there’s also a spot for Miguel, who is the next boy making sleazy sounds that would be shit if it was 1998. Thankfully, it’s 2013 and r n’b is cool so we love it. Listen to ‘Quickie’. It’s ace.
Miguel is also on the line-up for Friday, just below Rita Ora and Emeli Sande, It’s far too easy to have a pop at Sande, so I won’t other than to say; forget over-exposure, the girl is a superstar and will have that crowd wailing that tune you heard all last August. Ora’s alright if you’re a 16 year old girl, or a 28 year old man on drugs, and is better than Jessie J.
Really though, other than Jay-Z and Miguel, Saturday is all about Kendrick Lamar, who has become the new hero of hip-hop. His album good kid m.A.A.d City was worshipped from up on high, and with good reason as the boy is the antithesis of tired gangsta rap. Whether or nor not it’ll work at 6 in the afternoon to a warming-up Wireless crowd is another thing altogether, but he’s a serious draw for those that will never get Fiddy (hi).
That this line-up is so appealing says a lot about the place popular music is in at the moment. Whether you’re from Dorking, Dalston or Dallas, smart urban music is the world's definitive sound: that or hip-hop and r n'b has just really raised it's game. But that’s another piece altogether. Either way, Wireless has got its head , screwed on and a catch-all line-up that sees it become much more than just V Festival’s urban cousin.