If I said the word ‘Belgium’ and the first image that flashed in your mind’s eye was a ruddy, middle-aged European bureaucrat discussing Renaissance art and tipping back a Chimay…you might still be living in YesterLand. Welcome to Tomorrowland. Tomorrowland, which takes place in Belgium every summer, is in fact one of the largest electronic music festivals in the world—hell, one of the largest music festivals in the world of any type. But even that doesn’t quite do justice to this epic bacchanal. In addition to 180,000 people raving out to the knob-tweakingest DJs in the entire world, Tomorrowland boasts a fantastic landscape of sets and stages that look like the Olympics opening ceremony impregnated a world class amusement park in the mud puddle at Woodstock.
Now that we’ve set the scene, imagine taking a certain lackadaisical Atlanta-based rapper whose flow is so insanely catchy that he can get any club on any side road anywhere in America going up on a Tuesday, and thrusting him into…all that. That’s essentially what happened when superstar DJ Steve Aoki brought ILoveMakonnen out for a surprise cameo performance of their collabo “How Else” during his Tomorrowland set. Makonnen fans—not to mention Aoki fans–are legion, but you really don’t have to even know who either star is to catch goosebumps off the crowd response once Makonennen’s whipping arm gets working and Aoki turns the trap snares on the track from “triple time” up to “blast beat.” Luckily if you didn’t make it out to Belgium, the camera crew of Bud Light Music Series was there to document the moment in full techno-color. In fact, personality Rachel Finley AKA Steak even got to get up with Aoki and Makonnen as they dip their toes in the pool backstage. We get some insight into their creative chemistry, on stage and in the studio, as well as Makonnen’s fresh-off-the-set reaction to what may be his first arena moment. Typically low-key, Makonennsummed the moment up as “holy…look at all these people. I wish I had more time up there.” Us too, Makonnen. Us too.