New Orleans, Louisiana, a huge colorful city filled with great food and great music brings all of this wonderfulness into one special place every year, that special place being Buku Festival, a festival filled with any type of cajun food you can imagine, artwork from all over, and musical performances that can change your life. Covering Buku now for the 3rd time, I’ll admit this year’s lineup was the best year yet. This year was also extra special for Buku due to the fact the festival sold out officially on Friday morning, just hours before gates opened! Congrats to the entire Buku team on having a great sold out festival! Check out coverage from Day 1 below!

The first act we saw was Dallas, Tx’s very own, Post Malone. This dude has come a very long way from White Iverson. Since the release of the hit single, Post has accomplished getting on tracks with our favorite trap god, Gucci Mane, as well as landing placement on Kanye West’s most recent album, The Life of Pablo. Post Malone is performing all around the nation, headlining sold out shows, and with the release of his album supposedly happening this month, this growth can only expand into something much, much bigger. Before beginning his performance at Buku Fest, he paid respects to the recent deaths of Atlanta’s Bankroll Fresh, David Bowie, and A$AP Mob founder A$AP Yams as he continued into his single “Too Young.” Rest in peace to all three of these influential people. Check out shots from the performance below.

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Next up was Mr. Malibu himself, Anderson Paak. If we had to pick an all time best performance of Buku, it would most definitely be this man’s set. What a performance! Accompanied by his live band, The Free Nationals, there was just nothing that compared to his entire presentation. If you heard his debut album, Malibu, you most likely loved it. But seeing and hearing songs from Malibu performed live was an entire different story! He literally brought the Ballroom at Buku to life, filling the room with his unique vocals, smooth sounds, yet still keeping things so hype that even if you didn’t know who Paak was, you were still having the best time of your life. We even got to see an impeccable drum solo by Paak! This man can seriously play some drums, yall! If you haven’t yet, go and get Malibu NOW. Don’t miss him when he brings the funk to your city!

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Next was CHVRCHES, the Glaswegian trio who started recording music in a basement and managed to sell well over 500,000 copies of their debut album, The Bones of What You Believe, back in 2013. Since then, the trio has been featured by the likes of Pitchfork, Spin, Rolling Stone, and even have made U.S. television appearances on Jimmy Fallon, Kimmel, Letterman, and more. The band has headlined festivals of all kinds, and now here they are performing at Buku Festival, but they weren’t headlining which was a little odd. Nonetheless, CHVRCHES gave a performance that was equally as great, if not better than their previous headlining sets.

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And then, a few legends of New Orleans took the stage, two of those being Mystikal and Juvenile. Mystical, previously being one of the leading artists on Master P’s No Limit label, took his career to major heights and became one of the most known artists in the dirty south. His first major label debut, released by Jive Records, released in 1996 almost went gold. After that, his second album, Unpredictable, was in the number one spot on Billboards Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart, was number three on Billboard 200, AND went platinum. Then, in 2000, Let’s Get Ready released and went double platinum! His infamous “Shake Ya Ass” single was such a staple in hip hop before the album had even come out. Many more albums came after this, but to see him performing now, in this day and age, as if he hadn’t missed a beat, was honestly intriguing. This man literally has no limits, and gave a performance that matched that vibe. And Juvenile…just wow. To see Juvenile performing was something I thought I’d never get to see. For me personally, Juvenile was one of the first artists I had ever listened to in regards to hip hop. Juve the Great, going platinum in 2003, was such an iconic album, and to see these songs being performed was just incredibly nostalgic. The whole performance in itself was nothing but brilliant. Also performing earlier songs and most of his hit singles, the Buku crowd that was actually from New Orleans probably got the most joy from this set. These 2 men are staples in New Orleans music history, and it was an honor to see the two bless the same stage back to back.

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SQUAAAAAA!!! Buku’s Float Den became a literal zoo once Fetty Wap’s Zoo gang stepped on stage. On his first US Tour, selling out shows all around, including this festival, it’s evident that Fetty Wap is not just running off of hype from Trap Queen. With the release of his eponymous debut studio album, Fetty Wap, the Jersey rapper/singer has had quite a year already. A few months ago, Fetty was in a motorcycle accident, and wasn’t even supposed to be walking until this June. This is now the second time to see him walking and performing like nothing ever happened. The thing you have to take into account about Fetty Wap is that he isn’t doing this whole music thing just for fame. Fame is doubtfully even a factor. Fetty Wap is truly doing this to support his family, his fellow Remy Boyz, and the rest of his squad members. It’s clear to see that he’s a genuine dude, and he’s doing a really great job at being just that on top of his music career. You just have to commend him on the passion and the music he brings to his fans. Throughout his entire set, he just had the biggest smile on his face, just like his audience!

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And now, for the headlining act, and by far the most wild of all performers, Rae Sremmurd. Now, when it comes to Rae Sremmurd, you have to understand these dudes are literally partying in a way that you only see in movies, but in the form of a performance. It’s unlike anything you’ll ever see, believe it or not. Swae Lee is carrying around a whole pineapple, for whatever reason, and performing with it like it’s some prop. This is no joke. And Jimmi…well, he’s going absolutely nuts with beers, blunts, and dancing around on stage in any which way. He’s got all the best dance moves, too! From a media standpoint and as a photographer, normally you don’t see the photo pit full of photographers getting to get hype with artist like the audience does. But when Rae Sremmurd is performing, it doesn’t matter who you are, or where you’re at in the building. Every photographer a part of press inside this photo pit was having just as good of a time as the audience, jumping around with Swae Lee & Jimmi. If they forgot to get their photos, I honestly wouldn’t be surprised. This set was seriously the biggest party inside the Ballroom of Buku, and also the perfect ending to a great first day of Buku and left everyone even more excited for day two.

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All images by SayBrea.

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