DFW Music News

The JMBLYA Hip-Hop Festival Is Back, and the Lineup Could've Been Hotter

Grammy winner Future will be part of the present JMBLYA lineup, in Dallas on Sept. 4.
Grammy winner Future will be part of the present JMBLYA lineup, in Dallas on Sept. 4. Paras Griffin/Getty
Now that concerts are resuming in 3D, Dallas is once again a primo touring destination for music’s biggest artists.

Just this week, we got announcements that Guns N’ Roses will be back in Big D in September, and in another Axl/Slash-sized pairing, Alanis Morrissette will be co-headlining with Garbage and Liz Phair at the Dos Equis Pavilion on Aug.13. In opposite Dallas concert news is the announcement that massive hip-hop festival JMBLYA is touring once again, this time going out of its usual Southern state route all the way to California and Massachusetts, with a lineup made up almost entirely of male artists. Isn't it not-at-all ironic?

The festival kicks off its tour on Labor Day weekend in Arkansas, landing in Dallas on Sept. 4, also at Dos Equis. This year’s headliners include Grammy-winning rapper Future (taking a break from his ongoing Baby Mama drama), Gunna and The Kid LAROI, along with Lil Tecca, SoFaygo and Phora, as well as special guests including Spotemgottem and Trae Tha Truth.

The only female artist on the bill appears to be Flo Milli. And while we have no clue as to what went on behind the scenes in negotiations — and hate to complain after a year of virtually no live music — it's curious and disappointing that following a year owned by female rappers, the festival couldn't manage to add a second woman headliner.

The announcement of the festival's lineup was met with hundreds of responses on social media calling out the lineup as "weak," mostly because the featured artists aren't as well-known as past performers, such as Post Malone, Lil Nas X and Chance the Rapper.

“Jmblya going nationwide is the culmination of the idea of bringing an affordably priced festival experience to markets that don’t have something like it,” Sascha Stone Guttfreund, president and founder of promoter ScoreMore, said in a statement. “We are known for curated events that pair big-name acts with future superstars. If you look back on our lineups, you’ll see that many of the openers we book later go on to become headliners.”

The last time JMBLYA rolled through Dallas, in 2019, headlining acts included Travis Scott and Lil Wayne and there was a $2,500 VIP ticket option that included a personal photographer. The widespread pandemic poverty seems to have democratized ticket prices a bit, with reasonably priced tickets for the festival going on sale this Friday at 10 a.m.
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Eva Raggio is the Dallas Observer's music and arts editor, a job she took after several years of writing about local culture and music for the paper. Eva supports the arts by rarely asking to be put on "the list" and always replies to emails, unless the word "pimp" makes up part of the artist's name.
Contact: Eva Raggio