How Mala Luna Changed My Mind About Hip-Hop Festivals

Photo credit: Facebook / Mala Luna
Written by: Abel Longoria

I’ll be honest… When I had the opportunity to attend Mala Luna Music Festival on behalf of Festival Squad, I was a little bit worried. Most of my festival experiences have been with EDM and indie festivals because it’s the type of music I mostly listen to and the people at these events are super easy to get comfortable and vibe with. Mala Luna isn’t an EDM nor indie festival, however. It’s a rhyme-filled, flowing hip hop festival with some of the biggest rappers in the industry like Cardi B, Lil Pump, and Tyler the Creator, along with up and comers like Saweetie and Lil Baby. Even though they had some bonafide superstars playing, I wasn’t sure I would like the music, and I was even more concerned that I wouldn’t vibe with the crowd. I couldn’t have have been more wrong. In two short days, Mala Luna changed the way I feel about rap music and rap shows altogether.

Philosophy #1: I decide how much fun I have, not the setting.

Photo credit: Facebook / Mala Luna

The first thing I noticed when I got there, is that the crowd was LIT: “all caps, underline, highlight” type of lit. It didn’t matter who was playing, and even when artists weren’t playing. Shamefully, I have been a bit pretentious about the music I would allow myself to enjoy… I would say things like, “I’ve gotta feel the music in order to like it. It’s gotta be something I’ve never heard before, or some sort of cool remix.” After seeing the crowd this weekend, however, I feel like I’ve been missing out on some of the most fun moments festivals can provide. I probably heard “Mo Bamba” played 8 or 9 times this weekend in between sets, and every time the crowd seemed to turn up even more than the last time. There wasn’t even anyone on stage! After the 5th or 6th time of me being a curmudgeon, I decided to join the party, and it was a blast.

Philosophy #2: All festivals have great crowds, even hip-hop festivals.

Photo credit: Facebook / Mala Luna

The crowd was also surprisingly normal, and by normal I mean weird. There were tons of fun outfits, people acting a fool, and making friends with strangers. Being that it was Halloween weekend, it was entertaining to see the costumes of people like the Whataqueen, Lil Pump, and Rick & Morty. My birthday just so happened to be on Sunday as well, and it was encouraging to see so many random people buy me drinks or give me hugs. You know… the type of stuff random people only do at festivals. I was afraid I wouldn’t get to experience those moments, but they were supplied in abundance.

Philosophy #3: Be open to new genres…good art is always respectable & entertaining.

Photo credit: Facebook / Mala Luna

Even though these genres aren’t my favorite, the music was very enjoyable. The best set of the weekend easily goes to Cardi B. Less than 5 months after having her first child, you could tell she was ready to get back out there and she slayed. She was shaking her booty like Cardi likes to do, and looked absolutely stunning on stage. She’s even prettier in real life, and we couldn’t believe she’s fresh off having a kiddo. I knew I was going to like that show, though. One of the surprising shows of the weekend was Lil Baby’s performance. Honestly, I thought he was a girl based on the name. *facepalm* Sorry, Lil Baby. What I loved about his performance was that it was surprisingly wubby, and he was borderline playing EDM music. I would definitely recommend checking him out! Saweetie, the Icy Girl, had another surprise set. She played her new song “Up Now,” and had a striking pink get-up that everyone loved.

I feel very blessed to have experienced Mala Luna on my birthday! From beginning to end, I had a smashing time. With the people, the artists and the costumes, everything came together perfectly for a memorable weekend. Can’t wait for next year!

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