Lovers & Friends Is A New LA Fest Featuring Throwback Hip-Hop & R&B

Lovers & Friends Is A New LA Fest Featuring Throwback Hip-Hop & R&B

Last week, Goldenvoice, the live-music titans behind Coachella, announced the inaugural lineup of Cruel World, a new festival dedicated entirely to ’80s goth and new wave. Today, Goldenvoice has announced yet another extremely specific music festival coming to the same venue a week later. Lovers & Friends is devoted almost entirely to throwback late-’90s and early-’00s rap and R&B. The one-day fest goes down 5/9 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. Its poster is a thing of beauty.

Lovers & Friends is named after a 2004 collaboration from Lil Jon, Usher, and Ludacris. (It was the follow-up to the chart-dominating smash “Yeah!,” and it was nowhere near as good or as popular as “Yeah!” But I guess they couldn’t just call this the Yeah! festival.) Usher, Lil Jon, and Ludacris will perform together. They’re listed as headliners alongside Ms. Lauryn Hill and TLC. The bill also features a great many big names from the same era, including Nelly, Sean Paul, T-Pain, SWV, Ginuwine, Twista, Eve, Trina, Mike Jones, and Montell Jordan. Some truly underrated R&B legends — Amerie, Tweet, Jon B — will get a chance to remind the world that they exist.

Brandy and Monica are both on the bill, but they’re not listed together. Ja Rule and Fat Joe are listed together, even though they’re not an iconic duo or anything. Lil Kim and Foxy Brown are both booked to perform even though they hate each other. Mase and Cam’ron also hate each other, and they’re also booked to perform. (They should stop being mad at each other and start being mad at the promoters, who did both of them so dirty on the poster font sizes.) The bill also includes a few more recent artists who tend to evoke that era, including Megan Thee Stallion, Jhené Aiko, Summer Walker, and Saweetie. The festival looks fun as hell, and you can find out all the relevant information here.

UPDATE: Lil Kim has taken to her Instagram story to say that the lineup is “so fake,” and a handful of artists on the lineup have come forward to say that they’re not actually performing or weren’t totally confirmed. More information here.

UPDATE 2: It seems that the controversy surrounding the fest is largely due to miscommunication. Lil Kim says “the check cleared” and she will indeed be performing. And now the festival has added a second date — 5/8, the day before the original date. Akon, Donell Jones, Mya, and Doja Cat will perform alongside the original lineup on that date, while Megan Thee Stallion, Monica, Next, and Ginuwine won’t be able to make it.

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