Over the years, the Vans Warped Tour has been the stepping stone for a number of hip-hop artists throughout the years.
Notable artists who have began or advanced their careers on the legendary Vans Warped Tour include Eminem, The Black Eyed Peas, Machine Gun Kelly, D12 and Kool Keith and Esham, to name a few.
The Vans Warped Tour, which started in 1995, has always been a place for all facets of the counterculture, according to founder Kevin Lyman.
In addition to Punk, the tour evolved to include Ska, Hardcore, Metalcore, Pop Punk, and other sub-genres of the Rock/Alternative/Metal Spectrum.
One of the most commonly overlooked facets of the tour has been its involvement in the hip-hop and rap culture.
“People have this misconception that Warped is just about one sect of music. But the truth is Warped Tour is about bringing genres of music with forward thinking like-minded people together.” – Vans Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman
“Maybe a Pop Punk fan and a Hip-Hop fan are actually not that different and I want to bring these people together to enjoy music,” Kevin Lyman told CollegeHipHop.com.
This year, the 40-date tour includes Hip-Hop acts Watsky, Sammy Adams, Futuristic, and Feeki.
Here is everything you need to know about the rappers on the 2017 Vans Warped Tour.
Rapper Watsky is a veteran of the Hip-Hop scene. He rose to prominence in the early 2000’s, after appearances on Russell Simmons “Def Poetry Jam” specials, all during his first year attending Boston’s Emerson College. Last year, Watsky released his first book of essays titled “How To Ruin Everything” and he also dropped his fourth studio album called x Infinity. Ironically, x Infinity was executive produced by Russell Simmons and features production from members of Twenty One Pilots and Anderson.Paak. Watsky credited his parents for his success.
“The most important thing in my day is to remind myself that no matter what the fuck goes wrong, it’s all gravy,” Watsky said. “Like, I’ve lived my dream. To be born onto this planet, which is already like winning Powerball based on the odds. I was the sperm that got chosen, you know? Beyond that, I was born to parents who said yes to everything I wanted to do and believed in me no matter what.” – Watsky
Massachusetts rapper Sammy Adams made his debut in 2010. He blew up off of catchy remixes like “I Hate College,” which was a play on Asher Roth’s “I Love College.” Sammy’s debut EP Boston’s Boy was released to critical acclaim in March of 2010. Sammy’s released Homecoming through RCA in 2013, but he departed with the major and became an indie artist again with the release of The Long Way in 2016. Now, Sammy is pushing his new single “Where You Are” and he seems to be happy making music for himself, as opposed to chasing hits.
“I have friends in the music industry that have top 40 singles and they are so over playing that one song over and over again,” Sammy told the CIU Independent in an interview. “It’s important to remember that [when a] song you made goes huge, you have to be the one that sings it every night, so you want to at least enjoy the stuff that you play.” – Sammy Adams
Futuristic may have a similar name to a popular mainstream rapper from Atlanta, but that’s where the similarities end. Futuristic, who had been rhyming since the age of six, rose to prominence around 2012, after the release of this inspirational single and album “Dream Big.” Since then, Futuristic is grinding out an impressive independent career for himself. Futuristic’s albums Chasing Down a Dream, Traveling Local, The Rise, Coast to Coast and As Seen on the Internet, have earned Futuristic a loyal following, as his videos rack up tens of millions of views on YouTube alone.
“A couple years back I was super concerned with what others were doing,” Futuristic told Verge Campus. “I didn’t understand how others were above me, but after I stopped worrying and became myself, I think that’s when things took off.” – Futuristic
Reno, Nevada bread rapper Feeki is not your ordinary Hip-Hop artist. He bills himself as a crossover mixture of an all-American, Country boy rapper, who really sports a mullet. Feeki, born Alex Ficco, once worked as a valet parking cars at a casino in Reno. Last year at this time, Feeki was struggling to find time to record. “Very rarely can I do it all in one day,” Feeki told The Nevada Sage Brush.
“I only have four hours so I try to get the song written in that amount of time, but there is hardly ever enough time to go record it.” – Feeki
Last year, Feeki’s profile increased when he landed a high-profile appearance on Vice’s “Pay Day” series and dropped his video “Way Up.”
Check out the full tour dates below and get the lineup at http://vanswarpedtour.com/