Glastonbury Festival 2013: top ten urban acts

The top ten urban acts to catch at Glastonbury 2013

Glastonbury Festival 2013: top ten urban acts

Photographer:Al De Perez

Chris Eustace - 11 June 2013

With R’n’B and hip-hop now such a big part of the musical make-up of Glastonbury (deal with it Noel), we thought we’d take a quick look at 10 of the best set to grace Worthy Farm with their presence later on this month.

Public Enemy (West Holts, Saturday)

While The Rolling Stones have hogged all the column inches, it’s important not to forget another set of legends are playing West Holts at the same time. Chuck D, Flavor Flav and co lead the way in producing a whole new kind of hip-hop, with fierce beats and political lyrics inspiring a wave of “conscious” rappers. With ‘Harder Than You Think’ soundtracking Channel 4’s coverage of the Paralympics last year, a whole new generation was turned on to PE, and when they follow it up with classics like ‘Fight The Power’, ‘Don’t Believe The Hype' and ‘Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos’, you’ll even forgive them for essentially inventing rap-metal.   

Nas (Sonic, Saturday)

You want more hip-hop legends? Look no further than Nas, who’ll play the Sonic tent in the renamed Silver Hayes area (formerly known as Dance Village) on the Saturday night. Having released ‘Life Is Good’ last year, easily his best since his 90’s classics ‘Illmatic’ and ‘It Was Written’, this is a great chance to see an icon back on form. He may have been in the game for 20 years now, but his fire and anger remain undiminished, they just come with more empathy and insight these days.  

EarlWolf AKA Tyler, The Creator & Earl Sweatshirt (John Peel Stage, Sunday)


Odd Future have splintered off into various splinter projects this festival season, and their de facto leader is set to show off his third solo album ‘Wolf’ down at Worthy Farm. God knows what the Green Fields regulars will make of it, as while the new record is a more focused take on his dense, glitchy rap, the live show is likely to be as raucous and confrontational as ever. There’s added intrigue with half brother Earl Sweatshirt, OF’s finest, most surreal wordsmith, set to make his festival debut alongside him to premiere songs from forthcoming solo album ‘Doris’.

Dizzee Rascal (Pyramid Stage, Friday)


Dizzee’s journey from ‘Boy In Da Corner’ to the UK’s biggest urban star has festivals at its heart, and while his grime roots are represented, with the head-spinning likes of ‘I Luv U’ and ‘Fix Up, Look Sharp’ still in the set, these days he’s a pop star through and through, with ‘Bonkers’, ‘Dance Wiv Me’ and new track ‘Goin’ Crazy’ all surefire winners. It’s also worth remembering that last time Arctic Monkeys headlined Glasto, Dizzee was on board to duet. With the two side by side on the bill this time, could history repeat itself?

Iggy Azalea  (Sonic, Saturday)

Two mixtapes and a huge online following have propelled Iggy Azalea into the mainstream. In her breakthrough hit ‘Work’, the rapper talks about how she fled New South Wales for the distinctly different sights and sounds of Miami, and the pummelling bass music you can find there looms large. Live she’s confident, witty, brilliantly funny and, most importantly of all, the songs are great, with rapid fire hooks coming at you from all directions, just like Minaj used to make.  

Professor Green (Pyramid Stage, Friday)

He might not be as active as usual at this one, having recently broken his leg, but song-wise, Prof’s on excellent form, with new single ‘Are You Getting Enough?’, featuring Miles Kane, another fine example of how his twisted wordplay has evolved as he’s moved from battle rapping to the Top 40. With Miles playing the John Peel Stage on the same day, bets on another bonus special guest appearance anyone?

Azealia Banks (Other Stage, Saturday)

Why you procrastinate girl? You got a lot but you just waste all yourself/They'll forget your name soon/And won't nobody be to blame but yourself.

212’’s lyrics are starting to seem eerily prophetic for Azealia, with her long-delayed debut album still yet to appear. Beyond all the Twitter beef, she’s still a formidable stage presence, and hopefully her Glasto show will showcase some new songs to back that up.

Stylo G (Gully, Saturday)

With new single ‘Soundbwoy’ about to make a sizable dent in the charts and the clubs as it takes on ‘summer anthem’ status, Stylo G’s time is now. Incorporating the slick sounds of R’n’B and abrasive dubstep with reggae, bashment and dancehall, it’s both catchy, energetic, and when that bassline hits, joyously uncompromising. He has a way with a chorus, and, having won permission from Bob Marley’s family to sample the reggae legend’s music in future songs, plenty of backup. You’re going to smell those speakers burning for sure.

Solange (The Park Stage, Friday)

Beyonce’s sister is busy following her own path as a singer, moving away from her earlier soul-revue style to embrace minimal 80’s house and floaty harmonies. Last year’s ‘True’ EP saw her work with ex-Lightspeed Champion man-turned uber-producer Dev Hynes. With Kendrick Lamar suitably impressed enough to add a verse to ‘Looks Good With Trouble’ recently. As you’ll hear, she’s got enough strong songs not to need to ride on the back of her sibling’s success.

The Nextmen (Gully, Saturday)

This duo are basically a Glastonbury institution already, having played eclectic, explosive sets at the festival for many years. While they came to prominence as hip-hop producers, they’ve since expanded musically to take in, as they put it: “dancehall, drum’n’bass, dubstep, reggae, roots, instrumental and actual hip hop, soul and soulful low-end boomp, funk & (UK) funky, indie, leftfield, ambient, pop and straight-up party jacking pleasers.” How are you ever going to get bored watching them?

Glastonbury Festival have released their full 2013 line-up, including a day and stage breakdown over more than 50 stages.

All tickets for Glastonbury Festival 2013, estimated to be approximately 140,000 in number, have now completely sold out.


Related Events

Hide Search Results

Festival Search


All Festival Tickets