Tiny Fonts is a recurring feature in which our staff handpick the must-see smaller acts at all the major festivals.
Every year, Lollapalooza makes a major splash when it comes to big names, drawing repeat favorites and hot, new acts alike — and the 2017 edition is no different. Lorde and Chance the Rapper will provide plenty of youthful energy and passion while Muse, Arcade Fire, Blink-182, and The Killers act as the voices of Lolla past, returning favorites ready to stake out more of Grant Park. In fact, that list could go on quite a bit longer, with lineup retreads, no matter how massive, scattered throughout the lineup. The mid-card, meanwhile, injects plenty of fresh blood, especially when it comes to hip-hop, with movers and shakers like 21 Savage, Lil Uzi Vert, and Russ being just a few of the high-profile names set for early evening.
But don’t be distracted by the who’s who of Lollapalooza history at the top of the bill, and don’t fall for the trap that all the new excitement is in the middle. There are plenty of gems worth digging out from the bottom of the poster. Spread out across four days, there’s plenty of time to track down these lesser-known up-and-comers as the crowds grow and grow. With the help of CoS, make sure to stake out the following 10 performers that may not yet be stars, but certainly have all the star power needed to shine.
Aug 3, 12:00 PM, Pepsi
In the vast boom of Chicago rap, Kweku Collins sits somewhere outside the concentric circles of related groups and genres, crafting a unique flow and wide-angle view of the world. When so many like to put the rap world (and Chicago in particular) under a banner of bleak violence, repetitive braggadocio, or technicolor joy, Collins approaches the genre from his own unique spot — and not just because he’s from Evanston, just outside the city. Last year, the young rapper dropped his debut full-length project, Nat Love, which showcased incredible versatility and liquid appeal. Kweku’s world seems so richly painted, individual, and expressive, a breath of fresh, wild air.
Aug 5, 12:50 PM, Pepsi
While other rappers are out there comparing themselves to classic rock legends or touting their world supremacy, Michael Christmas is explaining just how normal he is. “Won’t catch me drinkin’ kombucha/ Still catch me watchin’ Naruto,” he smiles on recent single “Not the Only One”. He’s also the same dude who once wrote a song comparing himself to Michael Cera, as well as pairing with producer Prefuse 73 for one of the quirkiest duos in rap. The Boston-born rapper’s self-deprecation, massive smile, and Slurpee-smooth flow make for the perfect jam on a breezy afternoon at the park.