E.D.I. Don (born Malcolm Greenridge) plans to honor Nipsey Hussle with the 2nd annual Welcome to the West Festival September 20, 2019. The festivities will take place at the Toyota Arena in Ontario, California. While E.D.I. Don may no longer be in the limelight of the mainstream rap scene; the MC is proficient in knowing who can rock the mic and bringing them to the masses.
E.D.I. Don founded Welcome to the West with business partner Jason Gazzini to celebrate the west coast and its impact on hip-hop culture. “The festival came about out of a desire to see some of the artists that we grew up loving, and some of the new artists that we appreciate to do a show that didn’t require too much, corporate sponsorship or radio involvement,” E.D.I. Don said. “We felt like the Southern California area needed it at this point, and it didn’t take very long for us to put it together,” E.D.I. Don added.
Gazzini and E.D.I. Don decided to collaborate after meeting through a mutual friend. They started a club in East Hollywood, and thus Cabana Life Concerts was born with Welcome to the West being the first child of the duo’s union. This year’s headliners include Ice Cube, Too Short, Roddy Ricch, DJ Quik, Dom Kennedy and more.
Last year, Nipsey headlining the festival drew in significant success. Gazzini and E.D.I. Don will soon bring the MC’s together to honor the would have been 34-year old. E.D.I. Don was in Atlanta at the time Nipsey was gunned down. He began getting phone calls from friends in Los Angeles following Nipsey’s death March 31. On his initial reaction, E.D.I. Don said he felt the same way he did when Tupac Shakur passed. As a member of Shakur’s Outlawz crew, the rapper was in Las Vegas the night Shakur was shot September 7, 1996, and later died at the University Medical Center six days later. “A monumental lost to not only the hip-hop community but just the human community as a whole. It’s just super unfortunate,” he said.
E.D.I. Don also mentioned that the two fallen MC’s deaths personally impacted him. However, he did not want to go in-depth on how their deaths specifically affected him. “I would have to call my therapist to come in and help me with this sh– because it’s still a process,” E.D.I. Don said. “You don’t just deal with it in a week or a month or a year.”
As of now, Gazzini and E.D.I. Don doesn’t plan on expanding the Welcome to the West Festival. “Right now, Welcome to the West is for the west and by the west.” However, the Outlaw said the festival would take place in other cities such as Denver, Phoenix, and Las Vegas further in the future. “We have more in store. This is only the beginning for us,” E.D.I. Don said.
Tickets are still available at www.thewestfestival.com.