EDM Dominated Dallas’ Mad Decent Block Party on Friday, But Hip-Hop Was What Made It Special.

On Friday afternoon and into the evening, the annual Mad Decent Block Party, which takes place in various cities across the nation, brought with it to Dallas a variety of EDM performers. And, on paper at least, it was those EDM performers — especially bill-toppers Kaskade, GRiZ, Keys N Krates and NGHTMRE — who were this party’s big draw.

In practice, though, the event was lifted thanks to the offerings of two hip-hop artists whose energy provided much-needed respites from the day’s otherwise oft-repetitive beats.

See Also: Around The Block. // The People of Mad Decent Block Party ’16.

The man behind such recent hits as “Cha Cha” and “Broccoli”, D.R.A.M in particular brought some levity to the day during his late afternoon performance, in part because his songs, regularly remixed by the EDM set, wasn’t necessarily as out of place as it first seemed to be, at least not sonically. Where he was able to separate himself from so much of the rest of the MDBP pack, though, was that he wasn’t tethered to his DJ set up, and was instead able to move about the stage and, at one point, the crowd itself so he could high-five, hug and pose for selfies with fans.

Later in the night, GRiZ’s set was similarly boosted. As everyone out in the crowd appeared to be mentally preparing for Kaskade’s party-closing set, GRiZ’s set became the night’s surprise standout, thanks to its blending of alluring electronic melodies with some stellar sax solos and the hype work of Dallas emcee and frequent GRiZ collaborator Jay Fresh, who, like D.R.A.M. before him, was able to use the entirety of the massive MDBP stage setup to whip the crowd into a tizzy.

The momentum in that set would eventually carry on through Kaskade’s headlining performance, which began with a literal bang as streamers and smoke plumes exploded from cannons as soon as he dropped his first beat. That set would prove worth the wait for the fans out in the crowd, but it was D.R.A.M. and Jay Fresh’s appearance with GRiZ that thankfully kept everything else in the night from feeling too one-note.

Without those contributions, MDBP probably would’ve been a decent (sorry not sorry) enough of a time. But, with them, the whole thing ended up being pretty damn great.

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