by Cristian Cedillos.
2018 marks the sixth year of JMBLYA, the hip-hop festival launched by Scoremore that visits Dallas, Austin and Houston over three days. Last year, the festival went from the Statesman’s parking lot to the Circuit of the Americas parking lot, expanding to two stages and welcoming top-dollar headliners like J.Cole, Migos, Young Thug and TI along with many others.
Young Thug was a last-minute sub for a pregnant Cardi B but Thugger didn’t disappoint, whipping the crowd into a fine frenzy despite his nearly inaudible microphone and a disconcerting crack coming from the stage’s speakers during every bass drop. The crowd erupted nonetheless.
The main attraction J. Cole wasted no time warning up, throwing his microphone stand and leaping into the air as he rapped his first song with pure determination. Starting out with “KOD”, Cole spat fire and fury throughout his entire hour-plus performance.
Appropriately, Cole’s big moment came during the set of“1985 – Intro to ‘The Fall Off’,” which listeners have interpreted as an admonishment of young SoundCloud mumble rappers such as Smokepurpp and Lil Pump.
“I love these little dudes, I really do,” Cole said before spitting the second half of the song a cappella. He resisted the urge of talking downward at rappers barely half his age, instead dropping the knowledge he’s earned from over a decade in the business—while also talking himself up.
“I must say, by your songs I’m unimpressed, hey / But I love to see a Black man get paid / And plus, you havin’ fun and I respect that / But have you ever thought about your impact?” Cole asked a spellbound audience. And then: “I’ll be around forever ‘cause my skills is tip-top.”
It was a performance that fans of JMBLYA will never forget.
Check out photos and a recap from everything that went down at JMBLYA this past year below.