Bonnaroo Artist | Ken Carson
Bonnaroo History | Newbie
Stage & Time | Saturday | That Tent | 4:45-5:45pm
Like we’ve been doing for many years now, we’re making it our mission to help you get acquainted with many of our favorite acts from Bonnaroo‘s 2023 lineup. After roaring back to life last summer, after two years off due to Covid and weather, this year marks Bonnaroo’s 20th installment (and 22nd anniversary), boasting not only another great and varied lineup, but also more changes and improvements then we’ve seen in years, with more flexibility in ticketing and camping, a reimagined “Outeroo” campground area, new activations, and further new ways to Roo. Back once again in its usual June 15-18 timeframe, we’re counting down the days until another great weekend on the farm.
As we dig through the entire schedule, we’ll highlight a spread of performers spanning across genres and stages, big and small, new and old, to bring you some of the most interesting, lesser-known, and most highly-recommended among this year’s crop of artists. And as our time at ‘Roo approaches, we’ll also be bringing you some special features and full list-style daily lineup guides, to help you plan your weekend ahead of the fest. While these previews won’t span every artist, and might omit some more obvious must-see acts, we hope they’ll serve as a way to help you navigate Bonnaroo’s gargantuan lineup, and to make the most of your busy weekend at the fest!
Grab your tickets right here if you haven’t already, and read on for our Bonnaroo Artist Spotlight!
A friend, peer, and collaborator of fellow hip hop breakout Destroy Lonely, who we’ve already previewed ahead of Bonnaroo (you can bet the two will make appearances during each other’s sets if they’re hanging around the fest all weekend), buzzy up and coming Atlanta rapper Ken Carson is also signed to Playboy Carti’s Opium imprint label, and also found fast fame in recent years thanks to a string of viral hits online. Born Kenyatta Lee Frazier Jr., Carson got an early start in hip hop as a teen, after his uncle, producer TM88, linked him up with his Atlanta production and songwriting collective 808 Mafia in 2015, with Carson beginning to release songs onto SoundCloud in 2017, eventually catching the attention of Carti in 2019. Like a lot of young artists who are just now popping off, Ken got his start in the middle of the pandemic, dropping a pair of EPs, Boy Barbie and Teen X, in 2020, with his debut full-length, Project X, arriving the following year. His run over the last three years has been prolific, even by hip hop standards, with a couple more EPs and mixtapes, a sophomore LP, X, last year, and an upcoming third full-length, A Great Chaos, set to arrive in July, in addition to a string of buzzy features. Thanks to tracks like “Yale,” “Rock N Roll,” and “Freestyle 2,” Ken has racked up hundreds of millions of streams online, and with his electronic-heavy production and focused, contemporary flow, the now 23-year-old is positioned to be one of the next generation of hip hop’s most promising figures. As we mentioned with Destroy Lonely, catching rappers like this in the middle of their rise is always an especially cool, memory-making experience at Bonnaroo, and though he doesn’t have the draw a of a Kendrick or Baby Keem, Ken Carson should be high on your must-see list for any fan of contemporary hip hop!
WATCH | “Freestyle 2” (Official Video)
LISTEN | “Yale”