Summer Smash 2024 Preview: Five Performances You CAN’T Miss

With the sixth annual Summer Smash FINALLY weeks away, there’s lots of legacy acts and new faces alike looking to light up Seat Geek Stadium on June 14-16. From Chicago icons like Chief Keef and Lucki to rising stars like Hardrock and Lazer Dim 700, this year’s Summer Smash is truly the biggest in Lyrical Lemonade history.

Here’s five sets you DON’T want to miss…

[Purchase tickets to Summer Smash here] 

Honorable Mentions: Lil Tecca, Rich Amiri, JID, Cactus Jack, Cash Cobain

5) Playboi Carti (and the entire Opium roster)

A multi-year headliner, Playboi Carti‘s crutch–and influence–on music in its current state is undeniable. Whether you’ve been a fan since the Ca$h Carti era or if ‘Whole Lotta Red’ turned you into a Vamp for a year there, know that Carti’s sets are the most rambunctious, raucous and pit-friendly (watch out for 175 who run circles around every Carti mosh) I’ve seen in my career. Something always goes down at a Carti set; don’t be the only one who misses it.

Headlining at last year’s fest, Carti came without Opium signees Destroy Lonely and Ken Carson, who performed up north at Lollapalooza in Grant Park. Alongside Homixide Gang and sounds from F1LTHY, the 00 cohort looks to squeeze every ounce of energy from the crowd at Summer Smash. Carti, Ken and Lone SHOULD have new records fairly close to release (Music, More Chaos, Love Last Forever) by the time they hit the stage… New music being performed is NEVER out of the cards with this three-headed GOAT.

4) OsamaSon, Nettspend, xaviersobased

In case you weren’t aware of the thriving underground movement in recent years, OsamaSon, Nettspend and xaviersobased are at the forefront of it all. With distinctive styles that swarm with distorted rage and muddy autotune, Osama (FLEX MUSIX), Nettspend (“Nothing Like U”) and Xavier (Keep It Goin Xav) not only have become the “it” voices in the underground, but remain tight-knit both as friends and collaborators.

A world where all three of them pop out on stage together is not a distant reality, especially if you’re into the more niche new wave talent we have coming out to Chicago this year (peep Hardrock, Lazer Dim, Baby Kia and Shedd Theory as well). Want to catch a glimpse of the future? Don’t miss the next wave show out at Lenny’s Tent (the marquee stage for all up-and-coming talent).

3) Lil Yachty

Lil Yachty and Summer Smash go together like lemonade and hot summer days; it just hits every time. A longtime friend of the company and one of the few MCs booked on almost every Summer Smash lineup since its start in 2018, Boat comes different for every festival, with this year looking to be his most turnt thus far. Off the back of his latest album ‘IT’S US, VOL. 1’ with his Concrete Boys collective (KARRAHBOOO, Draft Day, Camo!, Dc2Trill), it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Atlanta superstar brought out a slew of guests–Concrete or not–on stage with him.

Yachty’s catalog is filled to the brim with summertime anthems (“Broccoli,” “iSpy” and the notorious walkout to “Coffin”) that just call for sips of Lyrical Lemonade in between blasting lyrics with your best friends on the turf. Boat is must-see TV at Summer Smash. Let us know what tracks you want him to play in our comments!

2) Famous Dex

Famous Dex shows have become somewhat of a right of passage for Summer Smash-goers. If you were in attendance last year, you’d know that Dex jumped into the photo pit, dancing in just his socks and drawers in front of his home crowd without a care in the world. There’s something so freeing about watching a Lyrical Lemonade icon–nah, legend–do what he does best in front of the people who have been with him from the jump. It’s historic, tradition and feels like a national holiday when you hear that “DEXTER” tag blare throughout the speakers over the years–whether you caught us at Douglass Park or at Seat Geek. Famous Dex and Lyrical Lemonade have a bond that will never be broken, so if you’re a first-timer gracing the grounds, Dex in Chicago is like the President in Washington, D.C.

1) Chief Keef

Speaking of Presidents and homecomings, the only artist to one-up the larger-than-life Dexter is Lord Sosa himself. Yes, we did it. Chief Keef is finally returning to Chicago after a decade of exile, performing in his home state for the first time since 2012. Not even a hologram of Chief Keef was allowed to perform in-and-around Chicago, as police shut down his only scheduled show nearly a decade ago. Nevertheless, Chief Keef’s return will be tailor-made for viral moments, especially for die-hard Chicago drill fans waiting for the day “the king of drill” graced his city once again. If a 2.2 earthquake doesn’t come out of fans jumping to “FANETO,” then we’ve failed. Let’s do Sosa–and our city–proud by showing out for our hometown hero.

Check out last year’s recap below!