From Odd Future to Dipset's first West Coast performance, this year's Paid Dues festival was nothing short of a grand collision of hip-hop acts, both old and new. The NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, Calif. played host to the day-long annual Guerilla Union festival attended by thousands of loyal fans, braving the sweltering heat on Saturday (April 8).
Between the three separate stages, the likes of Mac Miller, Three 6 Mafia, Wu-Tang Clan, and more, all shared billings with acts that -- under different circumstances -- may not have performed alongside each other. "The cool thing is you can have people that came out to see Brother Ali, or came out to see Three 6 [Mafia]," Miller told The Juice. "[They] came out to see all these people, and they know who I am but they wouldn't really come to a show. So it's a chance for me to kind show them who I am, why I do what I do, and why I'm here."
Earlier in the day, Wu-Tang Clan set the bar high with an energizing set, stretching well past their one-hour time limit. The extension was welcomed by the crowd. "I think that's the great thing about festivals and also it's great to be here just as a fan of music. When you look at a bill and you se people like Wu-Tang, Three 6 [Mafia], and Kendrick [Lamar's] here. It's dope," Miller said.
The 20 year old was among the last shows of the night, shutting down the Monster Energy stage at the same time that Dipset hit the Paid Dues main stage. Mac played both guest and fan. He took time out to watch Three 6 Mafia before prepping for his own performance. "You just can tell when the crowd's jumping like that, that's a great show," he said of the rap duo, who brought a piece of the South to Southern California. The dimly lit venue, mimicking that of a Memphis nightclub, quickly swelled with concert-goers. Juicy J and DJ Paul entertained the crowd by pulling a troth of excited women on stage and later introducing their new artist, Coco. "Classic music," DJ Paul said of their set list. "People out there grew up on this music.
With nearly 25 years in the business, the Oscar winners have no plans to retire. They credit their ability to "stay relevant" as the key to their longevity. "Just keep your ear to the street," Juicy J told The Juice. "We been doing music all our lives so we just go with the flow. To me nothing's changed, it's different sounds here and there, but I go with the flow. I can deal with it."
While all bets were on Odd Future to inject moments of controversy, the hip-hop collective steered away of trouble and ran through the genre-bending music they're known for. The rap collective, who grilled on stage through out their set, closed the night with the release of a horseshoe made of balloons.