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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 January 2021

Sole DXB 2019: The five musical acts not to miss this weekend

From hip-hop pioneers Wu-Tang Clan to new Jamaican reggae sensation Koffee, the festival provides a vibrant music experience

Burna Boy is one of the most exciting acts taking to the stage at this year's Sole DXB. WireImage
Burna Boy is one of the most exciting acts taking to the stage at this year's Sole DXB. WireImage

In addition to showcasing the latest trends in streetwear, Sole DXB is renowned for its brilliantly curated musical line-up that showcases both hip-hop’s evolution and its disparate influences.

Here are the acts to make sure you see this weekend.

Wu-Tang Clan

Make no mistake, the arrival of the New York collective will be a landmark moment for the UAE’s hip-hop scene. Led by producer and rapper Rza, the nine-member group is made up of brilliant rappers who have all gone on to amass their own fan bases as solo stars, such as Method Man and Ghostface Killa. But this will be a Wu-Tang show, so expect them to deliver the group’s brand of vibrant hip-hop that includes distinctive samples, heavy bass lines and flamboyant rapping.

Key album to listen to: Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers (1993)

The Wu-Tang Clan perform on the main stage on Saturday, December 7, at 10pm.

Black Star

This is another act to excite hip-hop purists. Comprised of Mos Def, who is also known as Yasiin Bey, and Talib Kweli, the New York duo is one of the most celebrated – and enigmatic – two-pieces in hip-hop history. Catching a Black Star show is rare and for many regional fans, this could be a once-in-a-lifetime moment. Expect them to perform tracks from their only album, 1998’s Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star, and if we are lucky, they may drop a few cuts from their latest project.

Key album to listen to: Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star (1998)

Black Star perform on the main stage on Saturday, December 8, at 9pm.

Burna Boy

The Nigerian is one of the leading artists of the Afro-pop scene, with his infectious tunes and smooth crooning has making dancefloor hits of Like to Party, On the Low and Ye. His latest album, African Giant, is up for Best World Music Album at the Grammy Awards next year. His music was also the soundtrack for a video that went viral in July, when Abu Dhabi cleaner Lucky Etinosa was filmed busting a move while listening to Burna Boy. You have to hope that Etinosa is lucky enough to see the artist perform this weekend.

Key album to listen to: African Giant (2019)

Burna Boy performs on Friday, December 6, at 9pm on Friday, December 6, at 10pm.


Koffee, will make her debut UAE performance on Friday. The Jamaican singer and reggae sensation has built an international fan base with single Toast and album Rapture, which is up for Best Reggae Album at the Grammys next year. While the vibes are sunny, Koffee’s songs often deal with sociopolitical issues facing Jamaica and, in turn, provide messages of hope.

Key album to listen to: Rapture (2019)

Koffee performs on the main stage on Friday, December 6, at 9pm.


The last time Wiley performed in the UAE, he was supporting pop-rap duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Yes, it was as weird as that sounds. Thankfully, he returns to Dubai for an event befitting his stature. With grime music making international stars of its artists, this is the ideal moment to truly appreciate one its architects.

Key album to listen to: Playtime is Over (2007)

Wiley performs twice on Friday, December 6. He is on at the Adidas Originals pavilion from 4.30pm and on the main stage at 7.35pm.


Read more:

Sole DXB 2019: tickets are available now

Yasiin Bey, aka Mos Def, opens art exhibition in collaboration with Dubai gallerist

After UAE gig, UK dance duo Sigma turn attention to Saudi Arabia


Updated: December 4, 2019 03:42 PM

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