New York City got a special treat Wednesday (February 1) night as A$AP Rocky headlined his first hometown show at Irving Plaza. The Harlem emcee, joined by up-and-comers G-Eazy, Flatbush Zombies and Danny Brown, among others, shut down the at-capacity venue.
Dusk settled over NYC as dozens of fans gathered outside the Gramercy venue patiently awaiting their chance to see the A$AP frontman. Unmoved by the hustle and bustle of downtown’s Union Square, the funky crowd of new age hipsters stayed put in a line that stretched well around the block. Inside, the diverse group of hip-hop heads, rocking everything from Supreme skullies to green and yellow wigs, were in for a night of head-bopping excitement.
Fresh off the early leg of his tour in Buffalo and Canada, A$AP Rocky put on for his city with yet another memorable performance. Performing songs from his insanely popular Live.Love.A$AP release, Rocky, along with the A$AP Mob, hit the ground running amping the restless crowd with a performance of “Pretty Flacko.” The New York native quickly switched gears, clearing the stage, requesting “purple lights” and a mic-stand and serenading the crowd with bangers like “Wassup” and “Purple Swag.”
While things slowed down a bit, the crowd quickly regained its energy as the rapper welcomed the Trill OG, himself, Bun B for “Purple Swag” with the Trillioniare following up with a solo performance of “Sippin on Some Sizzurp.”
As if that weren’t enough, Rocky had more surprises under his belt. The emcee also welcomed fellow crew members, A$AP Ferg, A$AP Twelvyy and A$AP Nast for performances of feel-good tracks “Kissing Pink” and “Trilla.” He also brought out buzz artist School Boy Q for “Brand New Guy” and wowed the audience with a surpsrise appearance from a dread-tossing, shirt-spinning Waka Flaka Flame for an encore of “Pretty Flacko,” which Waka followed up with a solo performance of “Oh Let’s Do it.”
It wouldn’t be an A$AP show without crowd surfing and plenty of it. Throughout the night, A$AP Mob members stage-dove into the audience with fans happily serving as human conveyer belts, carrying them across the venue. Some fans even tried their hand at it, with one fan eventually surfing his way on stage.
As per the crowd’s request, Rocky welcomed the entire A$AP Mob on stage to conclude his set with “Peso,” as loyal fans rapped along verbatim. Following the performance the emcee said goodbye to concert goers, who stood their ground with hopes there would be more. And there was.
With A$AP Twelvyy obliging the crowd’s request for “one more,” Rocky came back on stage to perform an acapella performance of “Out of This World.”
Detroit emcee Danny Brown was a favorite of the night. The 30-year-old rapper wowed the packed house with dope bars and rock star edge. Rocking a half shaved head remniscent of singers like Rihanna and Cassie, Brown’s eclectic style immediately snatched the audience’s attention. The rapper performed head-banging tracks from his 2011 mixtape XXX (Triple X) including “Blunt after Blunt,” “Got that Income Tax Swag” and “I Will” — an ode to oral sex that was especially popular with the ladies.
New Orleans newcomer, G-Eazy opened the show warming up the crowd with bangers from his 1950s inspired mixtape Endless Summer including “Outta Pocket” and “Sex Money.” The self proclaimed “James Dean of Hip-Hop” hit the stage with a slick back coif and bowtie, winning over the crowd with his smooth style and relaxed flow. Fresh off his nationwide tour with Shwayze, the emcee delivered, engaging the crowd with his high energy and cool boy swag and reaching out to greet eager fans throughout his performance. G-Eazy ended his set with the YouTube hit “Roundabout Sue.”
Brooklyn duo, Flatbush Zombies also performed. Kicking off with their latest single “Thug Waffle,” the emcees hyped the crowd with their high energy and aggressive lyrics. Joined on stage by just one member of their crew, the three emcees commanded the stage as if the an entourage was up there with them.
Following the first act and throughout the show, the venue payed homage to the late Soul Train legend Don Cornelius who passed away earlier that day. Between each act, a large projector descended from the ceiling showing vintage clips of dancers busting a move on the iconic “Soul Train line.” Anxious fans found themselves booing the gesture, chanting “A$AP” as the footage played while others enjoyed the visuals as they waited for some of their favorite acts to hit the stage. —Shamecca Harris