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  • Writer's pictureBrenda Leyva

The Summer Smash 2023


shot by: Brenda Leyva (ig: @brendismode)

featuring: Playboi Carti, Lil Uzi Vert, Trippie Redd, Future, DC the Don, Lil Skies and Cole Bennett

Showrunners of the 5th Annual Summer Smash, Cole Bennett and his team put together a summer festival that nobody could possibly forget!

DAY 1:

Patiently waiting, we have thousands of people queueing in line for the festival. Going from group to group, few mention that it is their first time going to the festival while others have been going on a 2+ year long streak. It's amazing to see a festival around Chicago where Hip Hop and Rap are appreciated by sponsors Lyrical Lemonade and SPKRBX (Speaker Box).

As doors open, we have DC the Don opening for the Starry Lyrical Lemonade Stage. Songs that were played included "HATE IT OR LOVE IT," "SRT" and "WORST DAY :("!


shot by: Brenda Leyva (@brendismode)

Get ready for the next performer – Cochise! You might recognize him from his tracks "Tell em" or "POCKET ROCKET." One thing that sets Cochise apart is his talent for matching the crowd's energy, making his performance an unforgettable experience. Don't miss out on his album NO ONE'S NICE TO ME!!🎶


shot by: Brenda Leyva (@brendismode)


While Ice Spice couldn't swing by this time, we've got a familiar face making a triumphant return. Give it up for none other than the one and only Lil Yachty!! He's hitting the stage with his signature hits like "Coffin," "Poland," "Strike," "Flex Up," and a bunch more tracks that'll have you rapping all night long. If you've ever even thought about catching Lil Yachty live, consider this your sign to make it happen—right now! Circle November 3rd on your calendars for The Field Trip Tour! 🎵


shot by: Brenda Leyva (@brendismode)

DAY 2:

With the commencement of Summer Smash, your favorite artists and a drone accompanied by fireworks, fans are gearing up to secure their barricade spots. Among the lineup are notable performers such as Lil Uzi Vert, Future, G Herbo, and Ski Mask The Slump God. I had the privilege of claiming my spot at the Starry Lyrical Lemonade Stage, right by the barricade.

Though I missed out on Ski's performance, fate had a different plan for me—I had the chance to meet him in person, filling my day with even more excitement!


shot by: Brenda Leyva (@brendismode)

Before our headliner, Future, takes the stage, get ready to see Lil Uzi Vert! Uzi played their latest hit songs from the Pink Tape, ensuring an unforgettable performance. Trust us, catching Uzi live is a festival essential – his energy is infectious and sets the vibe right!!

If you're exploring rap music, don't miss out on Lil Uzi Vert's Pink Tape. It's a unique blend of rock and rap that's sure to resonate with everyone. Give it a listen and let the music speak for itself!


  1. "Just Wanna Rock"

  2. "Fire Alarm"

  3. "Of Course"

  4. "Endless Fashion"

  5. "Aye"


shot by: Brenda Leyva (@brendismode)

Step into the rap festival's heart as headliner, Future, takes the stage by storm. The energy of "712PM" from his album I NEVER LIKED YOU sets the tone for everyone to be excited for his setlist.

The live performance transports me back to January 20th, when the One Big Party Tour was in full swing. The songs, "Me or Sum," "Superhero," "Lowlife," "Relationship," "WAIT FOR YOU," and a slew of other tracks that had everyone vibing!

Future songs you need to hear LIVE:

  1. "712PM"

  2. "Life is Good"


  4. "Love Me"

  5. "Way 2 Sexy"

  6. "Jumpman"


shot by: Brenda Leyva (@brendismode)

DAY 3:

Stepping into our last day of Summer Smash, we have....

Ausar opening for the Starry Lyrical Lemonade Stage. Make sure to check out his songs from his latest album, I NOW KNOW.


shot by: Brenda Leyva (@brendismode)

Juicy J on stage playing hits from Three 6 Mafia and his known song, "Bandz A Make Her Dance".


shot by: Brenda Leyva (@brendismode)

Central Cee coming in HOT! You may recognize him from the "On The Radar Freestyle" with Drake. He is a British rapper from London with energy and music to feed all his fans.

If you want to get a taste of Central Cee, hear his freestyle from "On The Radar Freestyle" with Drake


Listen to his hit song, "Doja"


shot by: Brenda Leyva (@brendismode)

A, B, C...1, 2, 3, we have our next artist, Baby Tron!


shot by: Brenda Leyva (@brendismode)

The Summer Smash welcomes back Lil Skies!


shot by: Brenda Leyva (@brendismode)

Coming back for another year, Trippie Redd! Make sure to listen to his new album, A Love Letter To You 5!


shot by: Brenda Leyva (@brendismode)

And finally, let's not forget about our vamp king, Playboi Carti! From his self-titled album to Whole Lotta Red, "opium" fans vibe to his songs. It's amazing to see his growth into his rap career! If you enjoy listening to Ken Carson or Destroy Lonely, Playboi Carti is 100% a must listen!!


  1. "R.I.P"

  2. "Rockstar Made"

  3. "R.I.P Fredo"

  4. "Stop Breathing"

  5. "JumpOutTheHouse"

  6. "Off The Grid"

  7. "Sky"

  8. "Miss The Rage"

  9. "Flex Up"

  10. "On That Time"

  11. "Location"

  12. "Shoota"

  13. "Teen X"

  14. "New N3on"

  15. "Vamp Anthem"


shot by: Brenda Leyva (@brendismode)

While we had the opportunity to see all the amazing performances, we also got the chance to interview artists about their experience at this years Summer Smash!



An amazing artist on the rise goes to... Nina Tech!! She is a Chicago rapper that I had the opportunity to meet and get to know more! If you ever get to see her perform, you can see the energy she gives to her crowd! & of course, you can see her radiant energy at first sight.


I had the chance to interview Nina Tech about her experience as an artist!


shot by: Spotify



If you are into rap and comedy, you'll LOVE Jeleel! Throughout his performance, he tricked his whole audience claiming that he was injured. But if you know him well, he tends to and make his concerts memorable. Make sure to 'DIVE IN!' to his music ;)


I had the opportunity to interview Jeleel and give us advice for students from UIC.




Last, but not least, DANNY!! He is well known for the song, "Florida Water," with Luh Tyler, Ski Mask the Slump God and DJ Scheme. With the release of his new album, Safe House, he continues to rap and grow throughout. If you love rap, I would recommend listening to Safe House to get a taste of what Danny Towers has to offer!


I had the opportunity to interview Danny to talk to us before his performance!


shot by: Spotify


FESTIVAL TIPS: Before you go...

Things to bring:

Friendly Reminders:

------ Make sure to follow us on instagram (@brendismode and @thescorpioexperience) for more concert and festival content! -------


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