Riot Fest Music Festival

by Chris Ripple & Grant Muehlstein

This year Riot Fest brought out some pretty legendary rap artists. Unfortunately, due to Grant and I's schedules we weren't able to make it out for the majority of each day. We did, however, make it out to see Ice Cube, most of the N.W.A, Run DMC, and Snoop Dogg. 

On Friday night Ice Cube put on a career spanning performance that captivated the Riot Fest crowd. Cube opened up with "National Born Killaz" and from that moment we knew he was going to keep it "gangsta" for the rest of his set. Cube followed up "Natural Born Killaz" with some of his classics such as "Check Yo' Self" and "It was a Good Day". Half way through his set, remaining members of the N.W.A (MC Ren and DJ Yella) joined Cube on stage and began playing some N.W.A classics. They began with "Dope Man" and "Gangsta Gangsta" then moved into their bigger hits "Straight Outta Compton" and "F**k Tha Police". The set turned into a family affair when Cube was joined on stage by his two sons. Seeing Cube and the remaining N.W.A members (minus Dre) was truly an amazing experience. It was the first time in 26 years that Cube and Ren had shared the stage and being able to see them live was something that we'll never forget. 

Ice Cube at Denver Riot Fest (Photo Credit Brandon Marshall, Westword)

Saturday night provided us with a throwback to the 1980's when Run DMC took the stage. Old as they might be they can still bring the heat when they take the stage. They played songs like "My Adidas", "Peter Piper" and "Run's House" to open up their set and moved into "Walk This Way" and "It's Tricky" as the set came to a close. Their set left everyone wanting more and left Grant and I speechless as we walked out the festival.

Last but definitely not least, Sunday night brought us the festival headliner Snoop Dogg. Snoop provided us with some of the most well known hip hop classics of our time. Snoop made quite the entrance when he walked on the stage with Gin and Juice blaring. He had the whole audience in a trance when he took a smoke break in the middle of "The Next Episode" followed by the most epic drop of the night. He continued his set, playing songs like, "Nuthin' but a "G" Thang", "Drop it like it's Hot", "Lodi Dodi", and "Chronic Break". He kept his set rolling by covering songs like "I love Rock "n" Roll", "Jump Around", "Hypnotized", and "California Love". Snoop then closed up his set with a slowed down version of "Young, Wild & Free"

Snoop Dogg, headlining Denver Riot Fest (Photo Credit: Brandon Marshall, Westword)

Overall, even though we didn't get to experience most of the bands, what we saw was something incredible. It's not too often that you get the opportunity to see three amazing rap artists in one weekend. Riot Fest truly did an amazing job with their lineup this year and it was an experience like no other. 

Photographs Obtained from Westword; see more at

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