Watch Lil Yachty, Desiigner, G Herbo, Denzel Curry, Lil Dicky and Dave East Perform at 2016 XXL Freshman Class Concert
New York was officially introduced to the 2016 XXL Freshman Class Tuesday night (June 28) when Denzel Curry, Dave East, G Herbo, Lil Yachty, Lil Dicky and Desiigner performed at the annual Freshman concert to celebrate the cover.
Inside PlayStation Theater in Manhattan's Times Square, the 16-and-over crowd was eager to see their favorite rapper on the cover grace the stage. While chants of "Lil Yachty" were heard a bit louder than the rest during DJ Suss One's opening set, the fans were about to see one of the livest shows from each of the six performers. Noticeably absent were fellow 2016 XXL Freshman Lil Uzi Vert, 21 Savage and Anderson .Paak, who all had previously booked shows on the same date, in addition to Kodak Black, who's currently incarcerated.
The self-proclaimed "Project Baby" may have been locked up but his presence was surely felt when Denzel Curry, the first Freshman to kick things off, started his set with "Skrilla" and prompted the crowd to shout "Free Kodak." If there were a few people in the building unaware of the Carol City, Fla. representative before the show started, they surely recognized how he commanded the stage with tracks like his Imperial banger "ULT" and "Zone 3," off Nostalgic 64.
Harlem's own Dave East stepped up next with a bottle of Hennessy in his hand. "New York City, what the fuck is up?" he asked before moving into his Hate Me Now cut "KD." The Tune Squad-produced "Get Acquainted" followed, but it was his "Cut It (Freestyle)" that got the crowd revved up.
G Herbo proved why he landed a spot on the Freshman Class cover, busting out the lyrics to "Kill Shit" sans Lil Bibby from the jump. Rocking Timbs and never staying still for too long, the Chicago native was one of the only rappers of the night to bring out a special guest. Zuse joined Herb for their collabo "Heaven or Hell." "I go hard and I grind for mine and people who said I wouldn't be shit," Herb rapped. The MC's new album, Humble Beast, arrives later this year.
The fan-voted 10th spot winner Lil Yachty seemed to be the guy everyone in the crowd was waiting for to hit the stage. With the lights turned off and almost every camera phone lit in the sea of people in front of him, he jumped into "Intro (Just Keep Swimming)" and kept the momentum going with more tracks from his Lil Boat mixtape. "Ice Water" and "1 Night" got solid reactions from the crowd but it was "Minnesota" that shook the building. The ATL rhymer, joined by his Sailing Team member Burberry Perry, had the crowd open up a circle to go wild in as he spit the lyrics to the Grandfero-produced song.
Mr. Professional Rapper Lil Dicky was the comedic entertainment for the night while still displaying his lyrical skills with ease. He hit the stage dressed in a blue-and-pink windbreaker, moving into album cuts like "Work (Paid for That)" and his Fetty Wap and Rich Homie Quan-assisted tune "$ave Dat Money." One of the more hilarious moments of his set was when he stripped down to his underwear and gave one lucky lady a lap dance as his "Lemme Freak" sounded off. Being the gentleman that he is, Dicky then sent her on her way with some flowers.
Saving the Billboard Hot 100 chart-topper for last, Desiigner kept the energy on 100 from start to finish. The Brooklyn boy went wild on stage, jumping around endlessly while performing songs like the new Mike Dean-produced "Overnight" and "Shooters," off his recently released mixtape New English. The highlights of this main event were undoubtedly his massive hit "Panda," leaping stage dives into the crowd and the XXL Freshman freestyle, unofficially dubbed the "Timmy Turner" song, which he performed in its entirety.
Witness the guys take the stage below and remind the naysayers why they made it into the 2016 XXL Freshman class.
See Photos From the 2016 XXL Freshman Class Concert
Watch Dave East Perform at 2016 XXL Freshman Class Concert
Watch G Herbo Perform at 2016 XXL Freshman Class Concert
Watch Lil Yachty Perform at 2016 XXL Freshman Class Concert
Watch Lil Dicky Perform at 2016 XXL Freshman Class Concert
Watch Desiigner Perform at 2016 XXL Freshman Class Concert
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