“Houston I need y’all to make some noise!” yelled Beak King as he walked across the stage dressed in Texas Southern University basketball shorts and one of his signature black tees with “I’m From Will Smith, TX” printed across the front in white letters. He stopped center stage and looked across the crowd of people at Soho field screaming in anticipation of the next song.
“Nah, Houston. I need you to make some noise in this bitch!”
The audience screamed into the night sky as the Northside MC went through a medley of hits from his decade plus career.
The 2022 Summer Jam HTX touched down at the Soho Festival Grounds in Southwest Houston Saturday bringing a lineup of local rising stars and national acts to the city. Houstonians braved the 100 plus degree weather to see some of their favorite acts and, while the heat at times seemed unbearable, fans did not let it stop them from having a good time. Soho Festival Grounds is an expansive park so everything was spread out enough so that the crowds did not feel like they were on top of each other in the sweltering temperatures.
The festival consisted of two stages, one sponsored by Exotic Pop and the other by Boost Mobile, and featured acts included Lil Flip, Lebra Jolie, Tay Money, Dice Soho, Doeman Dyna, OTB Fastlane, Icess, with the headlining acts Moneybagg Yo, Latto, Beat King, Saucy Santana, and Bun B. With so many local Houston artists performing on both stages it wasn’t a surprise to see the Hip Hop community come out and support. Cal Wayne was just one of the artists seen walking around the grounds and taking in the show.
Beat King rocks the crowd.
Photo By Darrin C. Clifton
“I really just came out here to support my lil homies like bloodbath and Junebug,” said the Third Ward rapper as he took a break from playfully blowing bubbles from a toy gun into the crowd. I’m not gonna lie I didn’t know how big it was going to be, but the city needed something like this. I called a couple of people and told them they needed to be out here because it’s really going down. I’m just waiting for the sun to go down to see how it’s going to get.”
He wasn’t the only one waiting for nightfall. While the festival was all day, the crowds didn’t really start increasing in size until day turned to dusk. A group of charter buses took people from the parking lot to the fair grounds and as the sun went down and the temperature decreased more and more Houstonians began to trickle into the park. This meant that artists performing in the midday’s heat might not have gotten a huge crowd but that didn’t stop performers like Sally Sossa from putting their all into the show.
Sally Sossa takes a break with her crew after performing at the festival.
Photo By Darrin C. Clifton
“It was a good energy and a good crowd,” the rapper said as she walked off stage after her performance. “I came here because it’s Houston, and we’re lit, and we’re finally outside. So, I’m gonna always perform like there a million people there.”
The evening brought Saucy Santana, Bun B, Latto, Beat King, and Moneybagg Yo. While Moneybagg and Bun B gave solid performances from their catalogs Santana, Beat King, and Latto were the standouts with Santana bringing audience members on stage for a twerk competition in the middle of his set. And while many had speculated Santana might have pushback from Houston fans because of his recent, resurfaced tweets about Beyonce's daughter, Blue Ivy, there appeared to be no friction with his show.
Houston hasn’t always had the best of luck with festivals with many getting canceled due to weather, lack of performer support, of disinterest with fans, but Summer Jam HTX has the chance to be the beginning of something. While the day started off slow it quickly ramped up into a concert series fans could enjoy. Hopefully, the turnout from this year’s festival will prompt more Houstonians to attend the event in the future.