“You have to be proud of the city that you’re representing.”
With those simple words, Trick Daddy captured the whole vibe of Fadenfest. Newly 24-year-old Eric Faden wasn’t so much throwing a birthday party for himself as he was dedicating a night of epic rowdiness to the streets that raised him.
With three stages featuring 14 musical acts, including headliners Otto von Schirach and “Da Mayor” himself, Fadenfest was one shirtless, sweaty man’s incredibly loud, kind of shit-showy tribute to the 305.
The festivities were hosted by slick arty event space LMNT in Wynwood. But walking around its large patio and glowing rooms, the place felt more like a really upscale Churchill’s Pub. Kids in leather jackets and gravity-defying hair roamed, catching a bit of thrash metal here, some psycho surf rock there, and some almost inaudible hip-hop in the backyard.
Each year for this fest, Faden has tried to bring the disparate genres and fanbases of Miami’s vibrant music scene together. Why can’t rappers and punk rockers coexist?
They totally can and they totally did, but it is kind of hard to hear straight when two bands are playing directly across from one another at the same time. The sound at the hip-hop mainstage was also pretty gnar, but with enough drinks in your gut, anything can start sounding good. In the front of LMNT, there were various vendors and live artists. You could even get a massage for $1 a minute. Why is this a thing we don’t see more at music fests and clubs? All raves need to have a back-rubbing station, stat.
As for the early musical acts, we gotta give a quick shout out to the Gun Hoes for killing it, despite having to start their set while a louder band finished in the mosh mansion across the hall. We also enjoyed the loveable covers and impressive rap skills of Orange Flight. Back in the sweat lodge that was the Red Room, Nunhex had party people going absolutely wild. We caught a shirtless Faden smiling big while crowd surfing.
By 12:30 a.m., the band and MC sets on the outdoor and indoor stages suddenly halted. And so did Scarface, which had been silently screening all night. It was finally time for everyone to rush the main stage for some pure Miami madness, as Otto Von Schirach brought his whole crew out. It was a mob of interstellar characters, from the wolf man to the giant lion. Gold teeth were everywhere. The bass was explosive as Otto worked through his trippy Bermuda Triangle hits, from “Tipo Tropical” to “Hialeah Fever” and “Salpica.” Some dude passed out posters while a sweaty girl in a bikini gyrated on a speaker. Someone ran around hitting the air with a giant inflatable hammer.
It was head-scratchingly awesome and very, very Miami. After an hour of multi-dimensional booty shaking, the stage was cleared and Faden grabbed the mic, asking us to make room for Trick Daddy Dollars.
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In true superstar fashion, TDD made the people wait for his greatness. But he eventually blessed the mangy masses at 1:54 a.m., heading straight into his vicious verse off “I’m So Hood.” Camera phones jutted into the air as he worked into “Bet That,” then he gave his little speech about why all the local artists should be proud to be local.
He regaled us with tales of back in the day when no one wanted to hear Miami rappers. He toiled and journeyed from hood to hood pushing the Miami sound until finally, everyone from Atlanta to New York and LA was banging to jams. It was the perfect way to work into “Naan.” There was a slow, pretty moment when Trick dripped “Thug Holiday,” and then everybody lost their shit to “Jump on It.” But the truly illuminating, all in sing-along was his grand finale, “I’m a Thug.”
In the end, Fadenfest was a sloppy success. It had its quirks, but we’ve never seen so many different types of music lovers in one place. And in that way, Eric Faden absolutely pulled it off. There were even vegetarian options at the food bar. And for $12 to $20, how can you complain.
Sure, it was ratchet as shit. But so is this city. And the night was all about Miami.