Ultra 2014: Chance the Rapper, Riff Raff, Pusha T, Dizzee Rascal

Photo by George Martinez

Winter Music Conference and Ultra Music Festival have always been the place where new dance-music records, artists, and genres are broken and made.

If your track catches fire at Ultra, you're guaranteed to have the best year of your career so far. Play your cards right and you'll definitely get that invite to play the next time around.

This year, we heard nary a new summer anthem, nor an oh-my-God-you-had-to-see-it set. Most DJs played it safe with last year's house and trap anthems, rather than revealing any killer new tunes. It felt like 2013 all over again.

If anything was to be learned from this UMF, it's that hip-hop is coming back in a big way. For the first time, Ultra had five rappers on the bill -- six if you count M.I.A. -- and though relegated to the live stage, they were some of Ultra 2014's most interesting and exciting sets.

See also: Ultra 2014: Deadmau5 Subs for Avicii, Plays "Levels," Pisses Off Tiesto for Being "Sarcastic"

Photo by George Martinez

The rap game got started on Friday with an early 5 p.m. set from Waka Flocka Flame.

No stranger to EDM, the famously wild rapper just finished a tour with Steve Aoki and Borgore. His flair is just the thing for an Ultra crowd, and the live stage was tore up in all the right ways. Unfortunately, we didn't catch much of his set, and he left the stage a bit early, though his DJ stayed on to play big hits from other artists.

A few white girls jumped in front of the decks, trying to get their twerk on, despite somewhat lacking the requisite assets -- another frequent sight at Ultra 2014.

Photo by George Martinez

Later that day, superstar-in-the-making Chance the Rapper showed Miami how Chicago jukes. Backed by a guitar player, a trumpet player, and a live drummer, he brought the fuckin' house down.

You've never seen a rapper dance across the stage like Chance. His fancy footwork had us reminiscing about the days of James Brown -- not that we lived them. The crowd loved him and sang along loudly to most of the tracks from his killer Acid Rap mixtape.

He just finished an EP with UMF favorite Skrillex, and he's done additional collabs with James Blake. So we're sure it's not the last EDM has seen of Chance the Rapper.

Location Info


Klipsch Amphitheater at Bayfront Park

301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL

Category: Music

Bayfront Park

301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL

Category: General

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