Summer is over, but festival season is still running strong. Diddy just wrapped up his first-ever Revolt Summit, Rolling Loud is preparing to head to New York and much more is set to take place this fall. One of the primetime events this month is the re-introduction of Welcome To The West. Last year, Nipsey Hussle took the stage at Welcome To The West alongside Mozzy, Mack 10, Tha Dogg Pound and more. Given his untimely passing, this year’s festival will look to take things to new heights as they remember Hussle’s legacy and all that he embodied. As a result, this year’s show will honor the past, present and future of what West Coast hip hop can and will be going forward. Ice Cube, Bone Thugs N Harmony, DJ Quik will take the stage alongside rising stars like Roddy Ricch. Not to mention, Welcome To The West will look to honor the fallen west coast philanthropist and artist with his own tribute. To get an inside look at this year’s event, we chopped it up with Welcome The West’s co-founder E.D.I. Mean.
Welcome To The West is this Friday in Ontario. This year, Ice Cube, DJ Quik, Roddy Ricch and a number of others are set to take the stage. Where did the idea for this festival come from and what was the first step you took to take this idea and turn it into something tangible?
The idea came from my partner and I. We saw a void in the market for a true West Coast concert so we decided to move forward toward creating it, it was that simple. We based this concept around the West Coast so it’s truly authentic to our culture.
There are a number of people who enjoy music and go to various festivals throughout the year. What about Welcome To The West is different than other festivals out there? Furthermore, what is one thing specifically you did behind the scenes to make Welcome To The West unique that a concertgoer may not know about?
We really just catered thoroughly to the culture. Everything involved with this concert is based off of our lifestyles in California. We feel that separates us.
Often times, people will go to concerts, have fun and go home. However, there is a lot more that goes into it than that. What has been the most difficult thing about putting together a festival and what has been the most rewarding thing about putting together a festival?
The most difficult thing was probably lining up a date with both the venue and the artists that would work on everyone’s schedules. The greatest reward is the fans that love the creation.
As I previously mentioned, West Coast legends like Ice Cube and DJ Quik will be performing. In contrast, a newer artist like Roddy Ricch is also on the line-up. What about Roddy Ricch drew you to his music and made you reach out to him to be a part of this festival? Outside of Roddy Ricch, are there any newer west coast acts that you are a fan of that you’d like to be a part of this festival going forward?
Roddy Ricch is an artist in his own lane from the West Coast. We see Roddy as becoming a huge star in the years to come. As far as future artists, there are a few out there that we have our eyes on. You will have to wait to see our next move. We do enjoy featuring them before they blow up.
Roddy Ricch was notably featured on Nipsey Hussle’s 2019 single, “Racks In The Middle” produced by Hit-Boy. There are rumors that there may or may not be a Nipsey Hussle tribute at Welcome To The West. Is there anything you can tell us about that?
Regarding the tribute, it’s going to be very special and a lot went into it. We don’t want to share anything more than what is already public info, you will just have to attend to see it! It’s going to be amazing.
Nipsey Hussle represented much more than himself and his team. He represented an entire coast and culture. Going forward, what do you hope the future of west coast hip-hop music, fashion, etc. looks like? What role do you hope to play in the future of west coast music?
We would love to be a platform for West Coast artists to get exposure. We want to be that destination where young artist hopes to get to and the legends love to come back to. As far as the music it’s going to keep evolving, there are so many new sounds and styles, that it’s really hard to predict.
In closing, what do you hope the community gains from the festival? What will make Welcome To The West a success in your eyes?
We hope it will create unity in the community and pride for where we are from. Support from the fans makes it a success.
Purchase tickets to Welcome To The West 2 here.