Hour-to-Hour: The Locals at Soundset.

Soundset weekend is upon us. As you prepare your game-plan for Soundset (Set times are on the Soundset app), why not plan to check out a local act or two? We’re here to be your hour-to-hour guide of where you can find a new local act to check out. 

Stay in the loop until and during Soundset by following the festivals official twitter feed: @Soundset

11 AM – DJ Str8reppin (Essential Elements Tent) –  DJ Adatrak (Fifth Element Stage) – DJ Stage One (Main Stage – East)

As soon as you get through the gates you’ll be able to hear three local DJ’s getting their cuts in and getting you in the groove for the day.

12 PM – Manny Phesto (Fifth Element Stage)

Without a doubt, you should be checking out the southside side street poet as he leads off for the Fifth Element stage. Phesto’s raw flow of conscious and concrete rhymes compliment the throwback production from Mike the Martyr on the debut album Southside Looking In. The album landed high on our Top Albums of 2014 (among others).

12:00 PM -Last of the Record Buyers production showcase (Essential Elements Tent)

The brothers of Big Quarters are hosting the annual Last of the Record Buyers beat showcase and sample challenge. This year is heavy with local producers including Tek, Javi, Dro, Big Jess, Chizzo, City of Dreams, Naj Bagdadi, and ECID.

This year’s LRB also features a performance from the legendary Exile.

12:20 PM – Freez w/ DJ Willie Shu (Fifth Element Stage)

As a member of Illuminous 3, Gritty Committee, and Soul Tools Entertainment, Freez is humble and grateful for his recent success. Freez dropped his debut album, Freez’s Frozen French Freys, this winter proving that years of perfecting rhymes and flows pay off.

12:30 PM – deM atlaS (Main Stage East)

Expect the new kid at Rhymesayers to pull out all the stops in his performance this year. After touring most of the past year and releasing a fantastic EP (that made our Top 15 of 2014), the St. Paul MC will no doubt be ready to show the crowd what he has learned.

12:40 PM – SET THE SMITH (Fifth Element Stage)


SET THE SMITH has deep roots in the Minnesota scene. His father was a part of the I.R.M. crew back in the day. After beginning to rhyme and beatbox at an early age, SET THE SMITH is on the come back after taking some time away. His most recent track “Places” this year is completely self produced. (click link for video, the video can’t be embedded). The video above is from an album called “The Smithsonian” that came out around 2008.

1:20 PM – Sean Anonymous (Fifth Element Stage)

After getting to it with Wide Eyes, Sean Anonymous has branched out into a solo career that’s soon to bloom. Sean’s INSANE stage energy is a sure fire way to bring you back from festival heat exhaustion. Look for him to perform new songs from his upcoming album and some old songs from the Anonymo EP.

1:30 PM – Dessa (Main Stage East)

It’s been five years since Dessa had a solo set at Soundset and things have gone from good to incredible for her career and music. Expect Dessa to perform a lot of familiar songs from her two albums. It’s unclear the style that her set we’ll take; she could be playing with a band or be backed by Lazerbeak on the Maschine. Whatever the case, Dessa’s set is one that you should check out, especially if you haven’t heard of her.

2:00 to 6:00 PM – Check out local business tents

There is a break in local action during the middle of the festival so take some time to check out some of the vendor tents at the festival. There are plenty of local business that need your support!

6:00 PM – Atmosphere (Main Stage West)

If it’s your first time at Soundset, there is no doubt that you need to check out Atmosphere. Even if your someone that has seen Slug and Ant multiple times, it’s never a bad choice to check em. They’ll likely be going through a playlist of classic songs mixed in with some of the newer material from Southsiders.

7:00 PM –  Brother Ali (Fifth Element Stage)

Try to get the Fifth Element stage early for Brother Ali’s headlining set because it’s likely to be packed. This is the first Twin Cities area performance from the Champion himself since his Home Away From Home tour last fall. His performances are already heralded for their soulful renditions of classic upon classic, but being that it’s Soundset, there is no telling what he has in store.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article omitted the details for SET THE SMITH’s set at Soundset.