This year’s Life is Beautiful is stacked with hip-hop and R&B talent. And while we’re excited for The Weeknd, N.E.R.D., Travis Scott and other top-billed acts, there are lots of lesser-known gems on the lineup that are equally worth your time. Here are five of our favorites.
Daniel Caesar Unlike a certain headliner, the young Canadian crooner doesn’t do the slimy R&B that’s trending. Instead, he keeps it tasteful with simple, gospel-rooted songs of unrequited love. He likely won’t deliver the most energetic set, but you’d have to be a cold piece of work to not be moved when he performs “We Find Love” and “Best Part.”
Ravyn Lenae Only 19, the Chicago songbird is one of R&B’s most promising talents. Silky and elastic, her vocal prowess lies somewhere between Solange and Erykah Badu, and comes served on a platter of soulful neo-funk. Her latest EP, Crush, is aptly-titled. One listen and you’ll swoon.
Goldlink The D.C. spitter has one of the bounciest, most rhythmic flows. If you only know him from “Crew”—last year’s slow-burning summer jam that earned the then-unknown a Grammy nod—we’re warning you now not to wear your cool-guy kicks. Because once “Dance on Me” or “Meditation” drop, they’re getting scuffed.
Lizzo The first time you hear the vivacious Minneapolis singer and rapper, you’ll want to burn down every radio station for not playing her infectious, self-love bangers 24/7. The first time you see her perform live, you’ll understand why Haim and Florence + The Machine chose her to open their recent tours.
Denzel Curry The young Florida rapper’s hail-of-bullets delivery would make geriatric hip-hop heads trip over their walkers in astonishment. At 23, he has already amassed a catalog of menacing speaker-destroyers like “Ultimate” and “Sumo.” Prepare to have your face melted off.
Life is Beautiful September 21-23, gates open at 2 p.m., $135/day (Friday & Saturday sold out), $655 3-day VIP (3-day GA sold out).Downtown Las Vegas, lifeisbeautiful.com.