Ja Rule
Bridget Arias

The Magic and Hot Mess of Soulquarius, Reviewed By the Minute

The Observatory

12:22 p.m. Good thing Kelis got pushed back, because this combination of traffic, rain, and parking disaster is preventing her milkshake from bringing any boys to the Observatory's yard. (Josh Chesler)

12:32 Slightly disappointed that I haven’t yet spotted a Minotaur as we drive through this maze of side streets on the way to the mythical Media Parking lot. It’s still early. (Eran Ryan)

12:40 Finally got to the entrance line after a nightmare of a parking situation. The General Admission wrapped around the block and down the street. The VIP line is about a block long. The whole thing looks like a riot is about to break out. Not a good way to start a festival. (JC)

1:15 This may be the very first music festival that women put on full faces of makeup and get their hair done for, 55 degree weather and rain be damned. (ER)

1:28 So, I cut 90 percent of the line only to be told that they're not letting anyone other than artists into the festival currently. I'm still half of a block away from the entrance. (JC)

1:39 Had I known the theme of the fest was a throwback to ‘90s fashion, I would’ve still not participated. (ER)

The Magic and Hot Mess of Soulquarius, Reviewed By the Minute
Eran Ryan

2:03 "If I'm not getting into this festival, I'm going to jail. Somebody is getting entertained tonight either way." Same, girl, same. (JC)

2:21 Not even through security and the twerking has already begun. There ought to be safety precautions for setting up a stage this close to the security checkpoint. (ER)

2:26 These people won't be nearly as excited for the second coming of Christ as they are for the Ying Yang Twins busting out "Get Low." (ER)

2:39 Made it into the festival just in time to see the Ying Yang Twins end their set with "Salt Shaker." I'd vote for them on a presidential ballot, no questions asked. (JC)

3:30 The photo pit entrances for the outdoor stages are set up in the middle of the audience like Hunger Games obstacles. Someone here is holding a serious grudge. (ER)

3:24 With so many "VIP" bracelets floating around here, it makes me think that there's nothing "VI" about these "P" other than their willingness to spend extra money on a meaningless wristband. Congratulations, you played yourself. (JC)

The Magic and Hot Mess of Soulquarius, Reviewed By the Minute
Eran Ryan

3:31 There are about 3 people here who legitimately know Kelis' discography and about 3,000 who are only here to hear "Milkshake." Also, my spirit animal is now Kelis' sparkly purple jumpsuit. (JC)

4:02 There's a baby sleep in knapsack on her dad’s back. This baby is gonna be with the turn up when she grows up. Sad! (Nick Nukem)

4:14 There's a good chance we'll hear "Bad and Boujee" between every single set today, isn't there? (JC)

4:32 There are a lot of people here who legitimately don't know about the Pharcyde. I bet they're also cool with "Hotline Bling" winning the Grammy for Best Rap Song. How are theyso underappreciated? They're still some of the funkiest dudes in hip-hop. (JC)

4:22 Monica is 40 minutes behind schedule. Her DJ is doing his best to keep the audience distracted and happily twerking. (ER)

5:01 The Pharcyde just busted out Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" to end their set. That was fantastic. (JC)

The Magic and Hot Mess of Soulquarius, Reviewed By the Minute
Eran Ryan

5:14 When you’re cold af, but excited for the start of festival season. (ER)

5:17 It just took a solid 15 minutes to push through the tiny area between the second stage and the rest of the festival because it's surrounded by merch tents and there are way too many people. It felt like a scene out of a zombie movie, or the human version of the Day and Night parking lot nightmare. The people who put on Observatory festivals should definitely not be in charge of emergency apocalypse planning. (JC)

5:25 There’s no greater terror than being pushed by hundreds of people in a desperate attempt to squeeze through the one path allotted for foot traffic, water refills and merchandise sales. We can’t move and people are still pushing. This is bullshit but we  made it through. I’m beyond livid. (ER)

5:30 I've been waiting like 40 minutes to see The Internet. This must be dial up, NetZero, or something. According to a voice coming through a, hot mic they're trying to find a time slot. (NN)

6:04 People have started slowing down and the twerking gods are no longer appeased. It’s now raining. (ER)

The InternetEXPAND
The Internet
Bridget Arias

5:43 The Internet just spent like 10 minutes cracking jokes, working through some technical difficulties, and admiring the sunset, then they started up along with the rain. To be fair, the sunset was gorgeous. (JC)

6:13 So the Internet's set is being cut short even though Ja Rule and Ashanti are already delayed a ton. That's too bad, because they're probably the future of the genre. (JC)

6:40 This poncho I spent all of Friday looking for has caught all of 6 raindrops so far. Weathermen ain't shit! (NN)

6:44 I just caught an electric slide session at the outdoor stage before DMX’s set. My aunt Delores would be proud! (NN)

7:13 The crowd seems to be pretty unanimous that this is the worst festival ever, particularly considering how great the lineup is. The scheduling and organization is pretty bad even on Observatory standards. It's basically just the R&B version of Obi Wan yelling "You were the chosen one!" (JC)

The Magic and Hot Mess of Soulquarius, Reviewed By the Minute
Eran Ryan

7:32 DMX is here (almost an hour late). He must’ve finally found parking but then had to wait for all 50 people in his on-stage entourage to arrive. A few minutes later, he climbs on top of one of the stage speakers, with a bit of assistance of course. He can growl and bark all he wants, but we know he’s no spring pup anymore. Zack de la Rocha would be proud just the same. (ER)

7:34 After hitting the stage almost an hour late, DMX has dozens of people on stage with him and just climbed to the top of the the speakers to do a singalong version of "Ruff Ryders' Anthem." What a time to be alive. (JC)

7:43 People started walking away from the Ja Rule and Ashanti set only to be stopped dead in their tracks when the intro to “Always On Time” dropped. (ER)

7:51 I made it back to the main stage just in time to hear Ja Rule and Ashanti do "Mesmerize" for anyone keeping track of their middle school dance playlists. (JC)

8:16 "Bad and Boujee" Count: 6 (JC)

8:20 The DJ just made a joke about the rain and then launched straight into "Thought It Was a Drought" because of course he did. (JC)

8:30 Suga Free is 2pac, Prince, and Super Fly rolled into one. (NN)

Pretty Ricky
Pretty Ricky
Eran Ryan

8:48 Coming into the actual Observatory for a set was a huge mistake. Now they're not letting anyone out and fights are breaking out all around after Pretty Ricky had the mics pulled on them. II finally escaped from the Observatory. They had to people out the door to the backstage area because indoors was such a disaster. (JC)

9:00 Mya is supposed to go on now, but the Pretty Ricky crowd can’t get out of the building. People are pushing and shoving and yelling for security to let them exit through restricted areas. I pray a fire never breaks out here. (ER)

9:23 So is it Soulclusterfuck or Hellquarius? I've heard both, and neither seems unreasonable. (JC)

Eran Ryan

9:41 Mya to the rescue. Thank goodness. Fangirling from the photo pit. I can hear myself screaming over everyone whenever Mya offers up a hint about the next song she’ll be performing. Not sorry. (ER)

9:55  It's nice how the Soulquarius app tells you that Brandy's set is being moved once again, but it'd be way more useful if it actually updated set times in the lineup. Someone here really must've hated Moesha. (JC)

10:02 The people next to me just brought out a second bottle of Hennessy. How do I get in on this? (ER)

10:06 Erykah Badu is finally on the stage almost two hours after she was initially supposed to be, but I refuse to blame her for it in any way. Here's hoping the Observatory figures all of this out before When We Were Young. (JC)

Erykah BaduEXPAND
Erykah Badu
Nick Nuk'em

10:09 Erykah Badu’s signature drumroll just started. For a second, it feels like all is right in the world. (NN)

10:16 Everyone has made their way to the parking lot to watch Erykah Badu. I’d basically need to climb a tree in order to see anything. (ER)

10:22 Heading out early so as to not tarnish the memories of Erykah’s performance at Camp Flog Gnaw. Perfection. (ER)

10:30 Secretly hoping R. Kelly plays something whack like “If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time,” but only because I won’t be sticking around for it. (ER)

11:41 I've spent more time waiting for acts than watching them by this point. (NN)

11:51 R. Kelly just precipitated the most rain I've seen all day throwing, like, ‘90 singles. I’m still wearing my very dry poncho by the way. (NN)

12:05 “If you gotta leave, leave right now cause it's bout to get freaky,” advises R. Kelly after a intro loaded with fire cannons and all types of pyro. I'm a little scared to find out what that means exactly, but Uber surge is through the roof and I'm broke as hell. (NN)

12:20 Kelly is singing a chick in the pit instructions to wipe him down with a hand towel. She makes her way down to his dick and gets her Mr. Miyagi on for a bit. It’s unclear who’s enjoying it more, the chick, Kells, or the crowd. Perhaps it’s one of those situations where everyone wins. (NN)

12:39 Wait, is R. Kelly getting his dick rubbed again?! “Gone head mama, feel the head... Not that head, this head,” he says. I’ll leave it your imagination to decide which head is which. YIKES! (NN)


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