JCI Festival Returns to Fargo

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Blocboy JB, Smoke Purpp and Sean Kingston will perform in Fargo at Y94’s annual JCI Music Festival Saturday, Oct. 13.

Booked for the Fargo Civic Center, this year the event moves indoors from their past venue of the Newman Outdoor Field.

Despite a short list of performers, Purpp and Blockboy’s presence will have the crowd excited all night. It looks to be a great show.

Blocboy JB

Memphis rapper Blocboy JB burst onto the scene as hard as anyone in 2018. After releasing hit solo singles “Shoot” and “Rover,” Blocboy featured Drake on his heavy-hitting club anthem “Look Alive,” which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

Blocboy’s success comes as a product of hard work. He began rapping when he was 14 and released his first mixtape “Who Am I” two years later. He and fellow Memphis native Tay Keith each gained traction in their careers after meeting each other in 2016 and have since established themselves as elite-level talents in hip-hop.

Smokepurpp

Omar Pinero, known by most as Smokepurpp, grew up in Miami, Florida. His musical talent is undeniable despite the experimental and sometimes off-putting nature of his music. Purpp was perhaps the most prominent figure in the SoundCloud rap scene.

After gaining local recognition, Purpp dropped out of high school and shortly thereafter gained national recognition off distorted-bass laden tracks “Audi” and “Ski Mask,” which went viral on SoundCloud. 

In 2017, Purpp released his debut album “Deadstar,” which debuted at No. 42 on the Billboard Hot 100 and released “Bless Yo Trap” a few months later. The 11-track mixtape was produced entirely by multi-platinum producer Murda Beatz.

Purpp and Blocboy both represent a new wave of rappers. While their sets will get a bit rowdier, fans shouldn’t overlook the festival’s other talents, namely Sean Kingston.

Sean Kingston

Kingston blew up in 2007 after being discovered on Myspace and has since released three studio albums and charted numerous singles on The Billboard Hot 100. Originally from Florida, Kingston and his family moved to Jamaica when he was 6 to be closer to family. His Jamaican heritage is something he’s proud of and has an impact on his music. Kingston’s fusion of reggae and hip-hop was something that hadn’t been experimented with much when his career began, but has since stood the test of time despite hip-hop’s ever changing nature.

Of the four headliners, only Kingston and Big Reeno have been to Fargo. Kingston has performed at JCI previously, and Big Reeno grew up and began rapping at the age of 7 right here in Fargo.

Big Reeno himself hasn’t released a project since “Watch My Indie Throne” in 2014, but has maintained a steady career, working with artists such as T-Pain, Nelly and Jeremiah.

Another local artist, Yung Cuse will perform as well.

Doors open at 7 p.m., and tickets can be found online between $40-$50.

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