Last night I went to Best Buy Theater in NYC to see a show hosted by Vibe. The lineup was Funkmaster Flex, Pusha T, A-Trak, and A$AP Mob. My live hip-hop experience is fairly limited, so I was pretty excited to see what seemed on paper to be an awesome lineup. Funk Flex started the night off by droppin his usual bombs and more or less playing what you’d expect to hear from one of his Hot 97 mixes. Nothing to write home about, but still pretty cool to get to see the DJ who I spent the first 18 years of my life listening to come out and rock a set. Up next, Pusha T was far far and away the highlight of the night. Anyone who goes to concerts somewhat regularly knows that song selection can make or break a performance when you make it out to see one of your favorite artists, and Pusha gave the crowd exactly what they wanted to hear. The mostly young crowd was treated to, among other cuts, “Grindin,” “New God Flow,” “I Don’t Like,” and most importantly, “Popular Demand.”
Overall, complete demolition by Pusha T. On deck was A-Trak, who came out and showcased his world class DJ skills, laying down a filthy hip-hop set with some trap and just a little bit of EDM sprinkled on top. If I learned one thing last night, it’s that A-Trak ain’t nothin’ to fuck wit with a pair of turntables in front of him.
After A-Trak, it was time for A$AP Mob, and man did they just come out and take a giant dump all over Best Buy Theater. When the A$AP Mob DJ dropped his first beat, about 12-15 dudes came running on the stage, half with microphones and the other half just because they felt like it. Afterwards, another 12-15 came out just to hang out on stage and sit on the DJ riser and take cell phone pictures and drink 40′s. Except for the 2 or 3 legitimate verses we got from Rocky, every single song was played with vocals, with random people grabbing mics and shouting out a couple words here and there as they see fit. After 35 or so minutes of the worst excuse for a live performance by a notable artist I’ve ever seen, the the dump intensified, becoming a three- or even four-wipe affair as the music stopped for 20 minutes in lieu of a booty shaking contest. It took almost 10 minutes for these idiots to form a line of 7 or 8 marginally poor looking chicks on stage, and another 10 for a pair of 30 second rounds of a contest clearly meant for A$AP to make sure they had some females lined up for after the show. At this point, my fire crackers had worn off and I wanted to go home and get some pizza, but I was still gripping one last joint, waiting for Rocky to take over the stage and give the fans what they came to see, “Goldie.”
It never happened. When the music resumed, Rocky did one verse of “Fuckin’ Problem,” the Mob did “Peso,” some people who had no business holding a mic in their hand said some stupid shit, and it was time to go home. Just a disgusting display of how never to treat your fans. A$AP was the headliner, and you know everyone is there to see Rocky, not Ant and Bug and Dirty and whatever the hell their names are. I’m down to see some new faces, and more performers usually means more energy, but someone’s gotta tell these guys they’re not fucking Odd Future. I wasn’t the only one who was thinking this way; disappointment among the crowd was palpable as the show plunged into the shitter with no apparent hope for return.
So, A$AP Rocky, if you really have as much $$$$$$ as you say you do, then maybe you could gimme my 40 fucking dollars back, because you sucked. Funk Flex, Pusha, and A-Trak were easily worth $40 or more, but A$AP stole an hour of my life that I’ll never be able to get back, and I think I deserve a refund for that.
P.S. One highlight of the A$AP set was Flatbush Zombies coming out for “Bath Salts.” Those guys ripped, sounded exactly like they do recorded.