Another night, another packed house at The Ritz. However, this concert had a different feel to it. It was in your face, brash and loud hype from none other than A$AP Rocky.
The rapper who leads the A$AP Mob came out in full force on Nov. 10, ripping off rhymes and flows like there was no tomorrow. The two performers before him, Danny Brown and Schoolboy Q, got the crowd riled up and ready for one of the most hyped concerts The Ritz has ever seen.
Brown was up first, and he led off the night with a bang. The Detroit based lyricist dropped a few songs from his album XXX as well as his mixtape The Hybrid before handing the mike off to Schoolboy.
Schoolboy kept the rhythm flowing and showcased why he and Kendrick Lamar are such close friends. He busted out a few songs from his independent albums Setbacks and Habits and Contradictions. He then brought out a guest, his old friend and fellow member of Top Dawg Entertainment, Ab Soul. He was also one of Lamar’s openers back at his Ritz show in late September. After that, Q had time for one more song. The familiar opening for Lamar’s “Swimming Pools” began to stream through the speakers, and the crowd looked around for a glimpse of Dr. Dre’s latest protogé.
“Unfortunately, Kendrick couldn’t be here tonight. I guess I’m just gonna have to do this without him,” said the Philly-based rapper. He then did his own cover of “Swimming Pools.” The crowd chanted every word along the way before he exited the stage.
Then the man of the hour, A$AP Rocky, finally entered the stage. The crowd roared in excitement. They were ready for Rocky to tear into some of his trademark flows. Before going into his act, he said a few powerful words about racism and equality. The he brought down the house.
Rocky brought out flows, rhymes and raps from all of his albums including a sneak peek of his long awaited new album, LongLiveA$AP, which is now slated to drop early next year. The bass was more subdued than when Kendrick came to town, yet Rocky’s lyrics more than made up for it. The Harlem-based rapper used his words to convey his own message and that of the A$AP Mob that is featured so prominently in all of his work, either behind-the-scenes or in front of the microphone. “Purple Swag” discussed the only things that Rocky saw in his early life and career. It also served as his homage to the Houston hip hop scene. The audience certainly loved every second of it.
Then came the two singles from his new album. He started off with “Goldie” which featured an almost comatose sound with vocal distortions due to Rocky’s chill demeanor. Then came his newest hit, “F— Problems,” which only came out a couple of weeks ago. The track featured a faster beat. Everyone chanted, “All these motherf—ers wanna dress like me/but the chrome to your dome make you sweat like Keith!” After he was done, he thanked the roaring crowd and exited the stage. Eventually, everyone slowly piled out of The Ritz, the sense of hype still present despite the wind down.
Jordan Llanes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org