By: Seamus Fay
Over the weekend of August 3rd – 6th, Michael Christmas and Cousin Stizz, two of Boston’s most promising rap acts, took on the famed music festival Lollapalooza in Chicago, fully representing for the home team and gaining plenty of Midwestern fans along the way.
Scattered throughout the festival, on social media, were short clips of legendary moment after legendary moment, and with all the talk on Twitter about how important and exciting the weekend was, I figured that the people, myself included, needed a first-hand account of what exactly went on at Lollapalooza. I decided to ask Stefan Kohli, who experienced it all up close and personal as he hung out with the Boston crew the whole weekend, to find out the happenings of such a significant weekend beyond what social media told us.
For those who don’t know, who is Stefan Kohli?
I’m a 21-year-old, senior in college, I take some pictures and really like music. Overall a pretty nice guy.
How did you originally link up with Tim Larew? Cousin Stizz? Michael Christmas?
I used to intern at Bodega in high school shooting for them between Instagram and various releases/collabs, so I initially met Xmas a whiiiiile ago. But then we re-linked at a Logic show in Maine, where I go to school, and started to shoot together more and more. I met Tim from basically bothering him in Instagram comments, but certainly glad I did. I met Stizz only like a year and a half ago at his secret basement show at the Grotto despite having seen him at some other Boston events. Definitely glad I introduced myself – those are all my guys now. Shoutout Boston.
What was your job at Lollapalooza for the team, and when were you asked to help out?
Tim and I were texting about maybe going to Lolla a couple months back, right after I came out to LA and had just released my first 100 HOURS project. I wanted to do 100 HOURS IN CHICAGO, and a couple weeks later we bought flights. I think my only actual job was to come out during Xmas’ set and spray a water gun, otherwise I was just shooting for 100 HOURS and having a good time.
You were there as Stizz sold out the House of Blues in Boston. How did him and Tim react and how did they find out? How did you all celebrate?
Tim called me on Friday afternoon only a few hours after the tickets had gone up for sale telling me that they were nearly sold out. While I was with everyone on the way to a Four Loko/Gucci Mane event, Tim & Stizz didn’t fly in until real late that night… so at 9AM the next morning we promptly began the weekend festivities with Henny in the hotel room.
It was also a legendary weekend for Michael Christmas. What was your favorite moment of Lollapalooza in terms of his performances?
I’ve seen Xmas perform quite a few times, but this was his biggest show yet, and the crowd was super engaged the entire time, especially when Stizz came out to do “Lambo”. Though I must note, none of it would’ve been the same without the Potash Twins.
You tweeted that you shot 7 rolls of film this past weekend. Who was your favorite person to shoot?
I had the most classically Sampha interaction with Sampha when I took his photo. It was truly wonderful.
Lastly, what’s one story you would like to share about Lollapalooza?
Greg lost his camera. Twice.
Throughout that entire Lollapalooza weekend, I found myself glowing with pride as I watched Boston’s own kill it in Chicago and not only show their fans the progress they had made, but show their managers, DJs, friends, etc. that the underdogs can’t be counted out. I think the following Michael Christmas tweets sums it all up. Thank you to Stefan Kohli, Tim Larew, Michael Christmas, Cousin Stizz, the SuperSmashBroz, Greg Gaffney, and everybody else involved in that weekend for giving the people back at home something to be proud of and inspired by. The city appreciates each and every one of you.