Every year has its chosen few. In 2018, it was Cardi B, Migos, and Drake. We also saw new music from Kid Cudi, Pusha T, Ty Dolla $ign, and more. As pop radio continues to trend towards R&B, we think this could only be the beginning of hip-hop’s reign of the charts—and the concert tour circuit.
Here are the Best Upcoming Hip-Hop Concerts in 2019, for those rap fans out there who are committed to seeing these amazing musicians live.
Wu-Tang clan: gods of rap tour
Earlier this year, Wu-Tang Clan celebrated the 25th anniversary of their groundbreaking album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) with a pair of shows in New York and Philadelphia. Now, Wu-Tang is bringing the celebration to several cities across the nation. In addition to this victory lap, Wu-Tang Clan will be extending their “Gods of Rap” Tour with Public Enemy and De La Soul, both of which are commemorating major anniversaries of their own. It’s been 30 years since Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back and three decades since De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising. For those classic rap fans out there, the “Gods of Rap” Tour is a must-see for 2019.
Lil Pump and Lil skies
Just a week after dropping his sophomore album Harverd Dropout—and launching a YouTube series dubbed Pump University, which gives “fans a deeper look into what his version of college looks like”—Lil Pump has announced that he will be going on tour this Spring with Lil Skies. And for those who are still confused: Lil Pump never dropped out of Harvard, he never even attended Harvard, and will not be giving this year’s graduation commencement speech.
Travis Scott: Astroworld Tour
Currently, Travis Scott is on the most ambitious tour of his career. In support of last year’s Astroworld, Travis Scott is traveling nationwide, bringing roller coasters indoors, inducing audiences into “Sicko Mode”, and taking fans on a trip-hop psychedelic journey through his latest hits. Expect a late start, but trust is, the “Astroworld” Tour will be worth the wait. Is the 360-degree looping roller coaster track the only reason for tickets to read “Holder assumes all risks“? You will have to attend this career-making tour to find out.
Kodak Black: “Dying To Live” Tour
With legal troubles both past and ongoing, fans were worried if the “Tunnel Vision” rapper would be able to tour. And after the release of last December’s Dying to Live —which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200—fans were even more pressed to see Kodak Black live. The “Dying to Live” Tour will kick off in March and wrap up during the “Rolling Loud” Music Festival, where Kodak Black will be on the second tier of performers beneath headliner Travis Scott.
Earl Sweatshirt: “Fire It Up” Tour
At the end of January, former Odd Future member Earl Sweatshirt dropped a beautiful short film titled “Nowhere, Nobody”, in addition to announcing that he would be touring in support of last year’s Some Rap Songs. The “Fire It Up!” Tour will feature supporting acts BBYMUTHA, Black Noise, Liv.e, Mike, and Na-Kel Smith. This marks a huge return for the rapper, both personally and professionally. You can hear it in the lyrics of Some Rap Songs, a deep introspection of black expression, manhood, grief. The “Fire It Up!” Tour is definitely going to be remembered for those patient, loyal Earl Sweatshirt fans out there.
Meek Mill: “The MOtivation” Tour
We couldn’t be more excited for Meek Mill and his fans, who have experienced a victory of sorts over the past year. Not only is he free, but Meek Mill is back with what some consider his strongest bars yet. In support of Championships, Meek Mill will embark on a 16-city tour with Lil Durk and Kash Doll, rappers he considers “young, talented and hungry”. Kash Doll—who will be bringing the female energy for “The Motivation” Tour—says it best: “This isn’t just a tour, it’s a celebration.”
In support of his forthcoming album Death Race for Love, Juice WRLD will continue to tour after his recent stint with Nicki Minaj. Echoing the production styles of Post Malone and Travis Scott, the Chicago-based rapper has been expanding his presence in the game swiftly, and with much fascination surrounding him. His latest single “Robbery” shortens the distance between emo and hip-hop. His darkly worded lyrics evoke being trapped in one’s own destruction like the slow-burning disasters of The Weeknd. This man is definitely on the rise.
Snoop Dogg, “Puff Puff Pass” Tour
Since the arrival of Doggystyle back in ’93 (holy crap, Snoop’s career is as old as I am), Snoop has defied all logic and expectation to become not only a rap legend, but a fixture in our culture. From reality TV shows, to cookbooks, to purveying his own cannabis products, there is no end to Snoop’s reach. Aside from his societal dominion, Snoop has also been busy in the studio, putting out LPs such as 220 and the god-forward Bible of Love. Not to mention the latest bit of good news to hit the pipes, being that Snoop is back in the studio with Eminem.
The “This Is America” Tour is officially over, but there are still a few remaining chances to see Childish Gambino live in 2019. In April, you can catch Childish Gambino at both Coachella weekends and the Broccoli City Festival. Later in June, he will appear at Bonnaroo.
Will we ever hear his long-rumored collaboration with Chance the Rapper? Will we receive an LP near the end, with “This Is America” nestled within a larger arc of politically charged tracks? If there’s one thing you have control over in this scenario, it’s seeing Gambino before he retires this piece of himself.
Noname, “Room 25” Tour
If you haven’t heard of Noname, you won’t have an excuse for much longer, but right now we are early in the Chicagoan, lullaby-rapper’s career. When Noname’s second album Room 25 dropped last month, fans were coming away from a debut album that was only the span of 30-minutes, making it hard for Noname to fill sets. Now, with the boost of Room 25 and all of its funk, neo-soul energy, Noname has plenty of material to deliver a set fans will be talking about for weeks. Noname’s 19-date tour begins in January, and according to reviews from her stint through Australia, Noname refuses pretention, and is as fresh, intimate, and provocative in person as her deeply personal sophomore album Room 25.
Post Malone is one of the fastest-rising superstars in the hip-hop industry today. After bursting onto the scene in 2015 with chart-toppers like “White Iverson”, he followed with his first album Stony, which has since been certified double platinum. His most recent album, Beerbongs and Bentleys, finally brought in the critical praise this oft-looked over rapper deserves. Though the “Beerbongs and Bentleys” Tour is officially over, you can catch Post at both the Bonnaroo and Firefly Music Festival.
Cardi B, who has finally been adequately rewarded for her talent and hustle, is finishing up her headlining tour after what has been an insane couple of months. From delivering her stand alone single and instant banger “Money” to winning the Grammy for Rap Album of the Year, Cardi’s reign has been swift and absolute. Cardi has promised an arsenal of unreleased tracks she’s just sitting on until she has the time to put them out. We can’t wait for what Cardi has in store for her fans in 2019.