Nas, the veteran New York rapper, will perform on the main stage of May 17's Preakness InfieldFest, the Maryland Jockey Club announced today. "Royals" singer Lorde, previously announced, is the other headliner. Electronic dance music DJs Frank Walker and Glenn Morrison will open the main stage.
Nas is currently celebrating the 20th anniversary of his debut album, "Illmatic." It remains one of the most beloved rap recordings to date, thanks in large part to Nas' fluid, thoughtful and poetic observations of his upbringing in Queens. (The topshelf boom-bap production by legends Pete Rock, Large Professors and others didn't hurt either.) Since then, he has released 10 other albums, including 2012's Grammy-nominated "Life is Good."
Morrison, currently signed to Sony, has a platinum single called "Goodbye." Walker is a progressive house producer from Toronto.
The combination of Nas and Lorde is arguably the InfieldFest's most impressive in its six-year history. They are also heady artists that care deeply about the lyrics they deliver, much more so than the party-atmosphere they cultivate. They both have songs that should get the crowd moving, but these artists are not smiling hitmakers like Pitbull or Maroon 5. The feel and vibe of InfieldFest should be fascinating to witness this year.
Tickets for Preakness InfieldFest are available here.