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Photos By Jessica Lehrman
Last night at Brooklyn’s recently re-opened Coco 66, Smoke DZA, Riff Raff and Stalley joined Scion A/V for their monthly Open Mic event. Entry was granted strictly to contest winners, who have been hacking away at their social media accounts during the preceding weeks in hopes of being the next lucky winner.
The quaint bar held a thin, anxious crowd awkwardly lined along the wall—suffice to say, it wasn’t the usual “industry” shindig many fans have come to expect. Red lights tinted the haze of smoke that gripped the air, as Smoke DZA’s vocals boomed through the speakers. Readying his mic from backstage, he ruffled the crowd before breaking into his set. The audience raved once he began performing, with his contagious energy drawing everyone close to the stage. Several fans screamed out to the Harlem rapper, “Kushed god!” DZA chuckled, making it obvious that he enjoyed the intimate moment.
Without question, Riff Raff stole the show. He commanded attention, whether it was by gimmicky sentiments or genuine fascination. Riff Raff’s demeanor on stage was very casual yet wholly determined in delivering a great performance. The Texas rapper was more than capable keeping the audience’s attention span completely in check. With just the right level of turn-up, Riff Raff made the crowd react and rave to his every rhyme. His setlist was a blur because of the way each song seems to run into each other, but it makes one wonder if even that was purposeful.
Riff Raff’s whimsical persona deceptively masks the fact that everything is premeditated. Within minutes of conversation, his self-awareness became obvious. After reflecting on his new work with Skrillex, he listed off a few faces he’d like to see at his future shows. “Hopefully all the people here this year will come back next year,” Riff Raff told XXL in an interview after the show. “Maybe Adele, or maybe Brittney Spears will come out. Hugh Hefner and Bill Gates.”
Although it was Stalley who closed out the show, a chunk of the crowd had dispersed following Riff Raff’s set. Still, that the didn’t prevent the Ohio MC from delivering a great performance. Full of heart and hustle, Stalley maintained his zeal throughout the set. He started off performing more mellow cuts, picking at his beard before raising the energy. Although some of the attendees left before he commenced his set, a number of tried-and-true Stalley fans were present that night, raging at the front of the venue like a rock concert. More fans entered from the bar before Stalley performed some new material, including his new Scarface-featured single “Swangin.’” The show let out soon after, but not before he gave the audience a positive speech—a fitting coda to Maybach Music’s resident blue collar rhymer. - Written by Miss Ls (@MiSSLs)