They started the evening spitting beats from their self-titled record and radiated a kind of energy that set a promising tone for this year’s #uncapped series. Power 105’s DJ Envy dropped a couple of on point hits to keep the crowd hyped between sets before Chicago’s R&B crooner Jeremih took the stage decked out in all-black and wayfarers. He cranked out a few tender tracks, even throwing it way back with his #1 smash hit “Birthday Sex” before special guest Estelle joined him to amp up the night with their duet “Be in Love.” To keep up with the late-00’s trend, Estelle graced us with her mega-hit “American Boy.” Harlem’s Vado turned up to perform “Bae” with Jeremih before hip-hop’s household name Fabolous replaced him with a set of tracks so upbeat it was almost overwhelming. Honestly, the whole night was overwhelming.
The show traveled south to Atlanta next, an unsung and rising hero in the nation’s music scene. The city has been pumping out artists for the past two decades and it definitely did not disappoint this year. Anyone who was anyone ended up at the vitaminwater #uncapped show to throw down with The Internet’s Syd tha Kyd and Matt Martians on that September evening. The night turned into a club-fest with DJ Diamond Kuts and her set list of underground hits before Future stepped up to bat on home ground, and straight up turned the concert into a party. Once Future brought Mississippi newcomers Rae Sremmurd to perform their hit “No Flex Zone” and B.o.B to perform “Ready,” the crowd went wild. Atlanta’s show embodied #uncapped’s “hydrate the hustle” motto, giving all the aspiring artists and creators in the crowd a roadmap to success, while inspiring countless others when it trended on Twitter.
Next up, #uncapped morphed a quiet Tuesday night in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood into a raging party. DJ Diamond Kuts set up a sick vibe for hustle royalty: Raury, Ty Dolla $ign and Jhené Aiko. Raury performed rock-dipped songs from Indigo Child and shook things up with covers of Nirvana and Queen, with the mandatory crowd-choir rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Ty Dolla $ign set fire to the stage (as we knew he would) and rocketed the evening to an entirely different level of incredible. Vocalist Jhené Aiko wrapped up the night, cooing out ballads like “Spotless Mind” and "The Worst" to a crowd that cooed right back.
For the big finale, #uncapped returned New York City to the giant domed Gotham Hall in midtown, outfitted with a multi-tiered stage, vitaminwater hydration stations, and an interactive social media projection wall. DJ Envy returned to bookend the series, and was spinning tracks to get the night going early on. Vic Mensa opened, delivering an unpredictable and headline-worthy performance as he steered through high-energy tracks like “Wimme Nah” and premiered cuts like “Hollywood, Los Angeles.” The Chicago rapper took the crowd to new heights when he covered The White Stripes “Seven Nation Army,” which then dropped into his hit “Down On My Luck.” Envy picked up on the crowd’s energy and teased, “Ya’ll ready for that surprise guest?” None other than Grammy-nominated Trey Songz flooded the stage, dressed in all black and supported by a live band. The R&B veteran performed an extensive catalogue of tracks while revitalizing selections from Trigga with a rich horns section, imbuing “LOL :-),” “Say Ahh,” “Bottoms Up,” and “Na Na” with new life before leaving a shocked crowd in a wash of the kind of excitement that can only come from witnessing a surprise Trey Songz performance on a Wednesday night.
Exclusive #uncapped content including interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and stories from each artist are available on the vitaminwater YouTube channel and on TheFADER.com. Any artists-in-training, dreamers and future CEOs can follow vitaminwater (@vitaminwater) and The FADER (@thefader) on Twitter and Instagram to find out more. Until next year, keep hydrating the hustle.