Killer Mike photo from SMC Entertainment
Back in April, when the Hopscotch 2012 lineup was announced, you probably couldn't find someone more excited than yours truly about the announcement of an upcoming performance by Death Grips in Downtown Raleigh. A few weeks later, Death Grips announced that they were cancelling their 2012 tour dates to work on the follow up to their excellent 2012 album, The Money Store. There was a small bit of hope that the Hopscotch date wouldn't be part of this cancellation. Unfortunately, today Hopscotch announced that, indeed, Death Grips have dropped from this year's festival. Three other bands, Duchess Says, Strand of Oaks, and High Wolf have also cancelled.
But, the Hopscotch crew are smart and know that dropping a hyped band like Death Grips may not go over so well with some folks. The news would have been much harder if Hopscotch hadn't followed that cancellation announcement with a few additions. The biggest announcement of them all was the addition of Killer Mike, who has put out possibly the best rap album of the year in, his sophomore album R.A.P. Music, and maybe the best in years. Killer Mike's hype has possibly surpassed Death Grips's this year and R.A.P. even landed at the top of the mid-year poll by typically conservative critics on NPR's Sound Opinions. Killer Mike runs in the Outkast and El-P circles of the hip hop world and I could easily see a large crowd of folks on stage, with some surprises, similar to Raekwon's Lincoln performance at Hopscotch a few years ago.
Along with Killer Mike, Hopscotch added Durham duo Baobab and Saddle Creek dream pop duo Azure Ray (who have been quite absent from the music scene in the past few years). Azure Ray had a few albums that became very popular in the early 2000s. While living in London, I saw them live in a tiny club. Their quietly beautiful performance would be even more memorable had some (at the time) unknown opening band called TV on the Radio hadn't blown the crowd of 100 away with a dynamite live performance.
Hopscotch will announce the third year of the Ed McKay Used Books & More Cultural Series at Raleigh City Museum on July 10th with the full 2012 venue schedule the next day, July 11th.
We've also updated the Hopscotch 2012 Spotify Playlist with the new Hopscotch 2012 Lineup changes.