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Fire Is Gold: sand, a heatwave and the best hip-hop in town

Belgium, what a festival country. From WeCanDance at the beach, to Fire Is Gold in the desert during a heatwave. Coming from Vilvoorde, the Antwerp Middenvijvers is the new setting for the third edition of one of Belgium’s finest hip-hop and R&B festivals. Dutch, Belgian and international artists such as Ronnie Flex, Dvtch Norris and Aya Nakamura filled the line-up. But next to hip-hop, the festival also works on its street-credibility every year by decorating the site with street art, dance battles and streetwear.

Article by Yaell Monas, pictures by Bavo Goossens


What is a hip-hop lineup these days without some good Dutch artists on the lineup? We have to thank Vunzige Deuntjes for their stage at Fire is Gold, and for bringing out some of the most iconic Dutch rappers of the past years. Next to Broederliefde, Leafs Sensei (who just announced he will be moving to Japan, what?!) they brought out legendary grind king Bizzey. 30 degrees, full sun on the audience and Bizzey who goes from 'Laag' to 'Last Man Standing' while every girl in the crowd is shaking their asses. We would've loved it to be a bit more live though. Although the combination of the beats and the heat made no one else complain.

Next big name from our neighbours was Ronnie Flex and his Deuxperience live band. We've seen Ronnie in Trix with his usual Nori show, but his live show is on a whole other level. A strong voice, great backing vocals and a band where many other artists would be jealous of. Flex knew exactly how to entertain his crowd for an hour without being the trappy Nori many of us know him for. The most fun part of Ronnie Flex: every single person in the crowd knew the lyrics to every single song on his setlist. Ronnie, we guess you made it.


Dvtch Norris can call himself one of the most real hip-hop artists on the Fire is Gold line up. It seemed like he had a rough time as he kept screaming 'fuck' in between his songs and apologised for letting his fans down. Wrong thought Norris, your performance was incredible due to its realness. The beginning was a fuck-up, but something we can all relate to. After a few fucks, swears and throwing around with water bottles he got his shit together and went back to an amazing show.

To be honest, it's never easy to play at the same time as a rapper and beatmaker like Hamza, who got a shitload of support from the crowd. He was probably one of the most popular names on the line-up, and he deserved the shine. After his podcast episode at 'No Jumper', 5 studio albums and 13 million streams on Spotify, there were high hopes for his show. He came through with everything we expected.


We apologise in advance to Aya Nakamura, but Zwangere Guy was the best artist of the evening. Although he played at the same time as the French Goddess who won the charts with 'Djadja', a song that is still stuck in our head after last summer, Zwangere Guy came through as Zwangere Guy is supposed to come through. With his greasy Brussels accent, his lack of clothes and his middle finger as high as possible in the air to all the fascists and racists. Will this artist ever disappoint us? Probably not.

Oh, by the way, Fire is Gold was all about fashion, having the best outfit and figuring out how to keep it all clean through the dusty desert. Check out our fashion video below or on our Instagram account and IGTV!

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