2017 Adult Swim Upfront Party
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Drake Breezes Through His Rolodex Of Hits At Adult Swim's NYC Party

Drizzy really can't do much wrong. 

It's really hard not to be a Drake fan, even if you're more of a purest and favor his So Far Gone and Take Care years as opposed to the reggae-saturated and "overly hyped" More Life era. When Drizzy hits a live stage, you can't deny his natural star power. This was most definitely the case during his pop-up show at New York City's Terminal 5 in support of Adult Swim's annual Upfront Party event (May 17). The "Passionfruit" rapper took his fans on a quick time warp through his countless number one hits and even managed to bring out a couple of his co-signees, in true Drake fashion.

After doors to the NYC venue opened around 9 p.m., the crowd, having just returned from various happy hours nearby, rolled into the dimly light space to get the best view of the stage.  Anticipation was clearly building at a high level as security in yellow shirts began prepping the stage and setting up a metal perimeter. Rowdy cliques who had probably sipped a little too much rum & cokes, began vying for arm room so they could get the best photo for Instagram and Snapchat. If organizers made them wait any longer than fifteen minutes past 11 p.m., things probably would have turned into a WWE match, but luckily, it was showtime and well worth the wait.

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After an instrumental intro, the Toronto native emerged from stage left, in his typical diddy-bop and shimmy dance routine. The speakers almost couldn't compete with the huge roars from the now-packed floor, but as soon as he uttered his first bar, fans lowered their tone. "New York City, what the f**k is up," Drizzy pressed. Without a second more to waste, he dived right into it.

One thing to point out is that Drake is an artist of the fans. He knows what they want, what they need, and all that in between. And unlike some artists, he knows that just as much as we want to hear the new stuff, we can't leave without hearing the "oldies" – a trait he might have inherited from his former label mate and family, Lil Wayne.

Another thing to note is that Aubrey didn't play more than a snippet of each song. With more than 20 songs to make it simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100, his need for speed is somewhat understandable. The Canadian-bred artist began with tracks from his recent playlist, including "Free Smoke," "Passionfruit," and "Blem." Rewinding the clock, he took the time to revisit his 2013 album, Nothing Was the Same with "Started from the Bottom" and "Worst Behavior." Although Drake might have more hair on his chin and an extremely chiseled physique now, but he didn't have a problem taking it back to his baby fro and 5 o'clock shadow phase with "Headlines" from 2011's Take Care.

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Next up, came the cosigns and guests performances. As the culture has come to know, a cosign from Drake can mean longevity in the game. Playboi Carti was the latest to earn Drake's praise, with the rapper dubbing the 21-year-old, the artist to watch this summer. Speaking of validations, his next guests don't even need an introduction now, but they were once regarded to many, as the dudes on that "Versace" song. But countless hits later, Migos hit the stage and those metal borders could barely contain the crowd. Drake graciously stepped aside, allowing Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff to perform "T-Shirt" and, of course, the Donald Glover-certified track, "Bad and Boujee" from their 2017 project, Culture.

Sadly, it all started coming to an end. Fans were almost tired out from mouthing the words to just about every hit hip-hop song. But with a good ten minutes left in his set, Drake topped off the night with more singles from More Life as one of his final bars came from "Fake Love." "I've been down so long they look up to me" seemed fairly appropriate as a ray of white light cast a spotlight and fans reached up for one last pic. What a time.

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A$AP Ferg (L) and A$AP Rocky attend A$AP Mob Yams Day 2019 at Barclays Center on January 17, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

Yams Day 2019 Was A Millennial Hypebeast's Wet Dream

It's somewhat fitting that the theme for the 2019 Yams Day is WWE wrestling. While it pays homage to the late Yams' favorite sport and pastime, it perfectly encapsulates today's concert culture for the millennial hypebeast.

After wading in the brisk weather of one of the colder Thursday's of Jan. 2019, 20-somethings and late 90s babies flocked to their assigned sections of Brooklyn's Barclays Center to pay tribute to the founder member and enjoy A$AP Rocky's "Injured Generation Tour."

The crowd is more salt than peppered, even more than a Lil Wayne concert. Puffer jackets decorate the rows of the rickety stadium chairs. And young clear girls donning cornrows, tube tops, cropped shirts, and a rainbow of colored, high-waisted camo pants weave in and out of the aisles. Boys in beanies, florescent skullcaps, and cross-body bags are seen down below migrating in huddles by the main stage and sub-arena masquerading as a wrestling ring. If you needed a gentle reminder of just how influential black culture can be, you found it here.

Rocky, the mob's fierce leader, encouraged the crowd to form a pit in the center of the venue. And just like WWE, a single spotlight highlights the pit as shirtless boys crash into one another, limbs failing and heads bobbing. It surely looks like it hurts, but as mentioned several times throughout the night, it's all for show, and for fun of course.

Each mosh is ricocheted off of one another so much so that from the lower level (which is actually one level above the floor), looked like a violent sea rolling up to shore.

The only thing keeping these kids up, besides the body of the person beside them, seems to be the revolving doors of performers which included a long list of ragers like Ski Mask the Slump God, Flatbush Zombies, Joey Bada$$, Metro Boomin, and of course A$AP Mob.

Weed fogs the air as fans light up to commemorate the fallen members of hip-hop. That includes more than Yams today, as XXXTentacion recently passed away in 2018. And it wouldn't be a night if someone didn't yell "Free Tekashi 6ix9ine." "No one deserves to be locked up," it was stated.

"Millennial" and "hypebeast" haven't always found the perfect harmony, but when they do it produces a unique experience. Black boy joy is one of the better products. A$AP Ferg and a variety of other friends and family partake in a fun-loving game of dance-tag, flinging their arms and bodies around as Lil Wayne and Swizz Beatz's "Uproar" cuts on. Other jams of the present and past like Crime Mob's "Knuck If You Buck" and Kendrick Lamar's "M.a.A.d city" also blast through the speakers, while the n-word echoes through the spot.

 

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$ummer $lam or #YamsDay? 😂

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Millennials are fearless. What's more courageous than the kids entering the pits of destruction, are the musical acts that run off the cliff of the stage into the audience. They are so certain their fans will catch them, they often dive head first, flipping into piles of extended arms.

The surprise guests of the night, Meek Mill and Soulja Boy, are perhaps the most trending acts in the social realm. Soulja Boy reenacts comedic interview from The Breakfast Club, reciting "Draakee" as he walks from one end of the stage to the next. Meek creates a "moment," performing "Dreams and Nightmares (Intro)."

 

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Bedtime is approaching but there's not a yawn in sight around this crew. If you're looking for the millennials, you can find them turning up at Barclays.

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Joey Purp Gives New York A Taste of ‘QUARTERTHING’ At Album Listening Party

Chicago’s Joey Purp is making his long-awaited return to the hip-hop scene this Friday (Sept. 7) with his forthcoming project, QUARTERTHING. We haven’t heard much from Purp besides a pair of loosies (“March 12th”, “Bag Talk”) and a few guest features with Vic Mensa (“Down for Some Ignorance”)and more over the last two years. But make no mistake, Purp has been hard at work crafting the follow-up to his promising 2016 mixtape, iiiDrops.

To celebrate the impending release, Purp took to New York City’s Golden Unicorn in Chinatown Thursday night (Sept. 5) to host an intimate listening party for the project. Draped in an Adidas track jacket, black pants, and a pair of white Nike Air Force Ones, Purp was in high spirits throughout the night, mingling and taking pictures with those in attendance. While the space felt like a mix between a high school reunion and a karaoke bash, Chicago’s essence was felt by way of Purp’s crew and beer provided by Chicago-based brewery, Goose Island. It was a festive affair as guests took in Purp’s new music with head nods and a few dance moves showing their approval of the project.

“QUARTERTHING” is about life,” Purp said on the concept of his new project. “My life and the lives of people that I know. It’s just about us in every sense of the word.” The 14-track project features rap royalty like RZA and GZA, with fellow Chi-town wunderkinds like Queen Key, CDOT Honcho, and Ravyn Lenae.

What’s sure to bring in new fans are the variety of production on QUARTERTHING being handled by Smoko Ono, DJ Khalil, Thelonious Martin, Knox Fortune, and Nate Fox of The Social Experiment.

 

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QUARTERTHING SEP. 7, 2018

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The biggest reactions from the project came from the hard-hitting “God Body Pt. 2” featuring RZA and introspective “24/k Gold/Sanctified” featuring Ravyn Lenae. There’s a little bit of everything on the album from braggadocious raps on “Look At My Wrist” to the speaker rattling records like “QUARTERTHING.” Purp explained the diverse music scene he was exposed to growing up in Chicago helped inspire the sound of the project as he was applauded for incorporating Chicago house music on “Elastic” and Chicago Juke on “Aw S**t!” The record “Lebron James” received the most adulation as Purp is heard rapping over gritty production reminiscent of the early 90s hip-hop scene.

“It’s cool seeing everybody here. I’m grateful. Grateful for the love and people that are interested in hearing this project,” Purp tells VIBE after the event. Despite being absent from the limelight, Purp is confident in his path.

“Whatever God has in store for me I’m ready. Whether it's being on top of the world or at the bottom of the bottom. That’s what’s meant to happen and it’s going to happen.”

Purp recently released “Elastic,” which also features a perfect Billy Squire sample. QUARTERTHING arrives on streaming platforms Friday.

In the meantime, jam to “Elastic” below.

QUARTERTHING tracklist 1 “24/k Gold/Sanctified” (Feat. Rayvn Lenae) 2 “God Body Pt. 2 (Feat. RZA) 3 “Hallelujah” 4 “Elastic” 5 “Aw Shit!” 6 “QUARTERTHING” 7 “Paint Thinner” 8 “Look @ My Wrist” (Feat. CDot Honcho) 9 “2012” 10 “Fessional/Diamonds Dancing” (Feat. Queen Key) 11 “Karl Malone” 12 “Bag Talk” 13 “LeBron James (Thelonious Martin)” 14 “In The Morning” (Feat. GZA)

READ MORE: Joe Budden Talks Creative Beefs With Diddy And Leaving Rap Behind

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Drake performs onstage at Madison Square Garden on August 25, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
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Drake And Migos Light Up Brooklyn With Hits At Barclays Center

Drake and Migos gave Brooklyn a party Friday night (Aug. 31) as fans filled the cavernous halls of the Barclays Center for the highly-anticipated Aubrey & The Three Migos Tour. In support of his record-breaking number one album, Scorpion, the 6 God embarked on a 57-date tour across the country, hitting cities like Chicago, Toronto, Miami, and Boston.

With New York holding a special place in Drizzy’s heart, the Big Apple is getting quite the treatment with Drake and Migos performing seven shows in nine nights. It was an energetic night as both the 6 God and the Atlanta trio delivered incredible sets giving Brooklyn fans an exciting show to remember.

Migos got the night off to an explosive start as the group ran through their extensive catalog of hit records. Classics like “Hannah Montana,” “Handsome & Wealthy” and “Pipe It Up” delighted fans who rapped along. Migos’ electrifying presence brought on boisterous cheers from the Brooklyn crowd as highlights from Culture and Culture II, including “Narcos” and “Slippery,” rang through the Barclays Center.

Audio feedback issues during their set caused no problems, as they maneuvered through “Kelly Price” and “Deadz” without missing a beat. Before making their exit, Quavo praised the old and new fans for their nonstop support saying, “Thank you for making us the number one group in the world.”

As fans were still gathering themselves after Migos’ thrilling set, Drake wasted no time diving into the A Side catalog of his latest album, with hard-hitting tracks like “Talk Up,” “Mob Ties,” and “Energy” booming through the giant speakers stationed high above the stage.

Fans rapped alongside Drizzy on “Elevate” and “Emotionless” while marveling at the bright, miniature drones on stage and the inflatable yellow Ferrari making its rounds through the arena during Drake’s guest verse on “Yes Indeed.”

“This that Friday night Brooklyn sh**,” Drake said in response to the raw Brooklyn energy that radiated throughout the venue. “This not Madison Square Garden. We definitely in Brooklyn tonight.”

READ MORE: Drake Parties With Quavo And French Montana In “Nonstop” Music Video

Drake took a moment to speak on his long history with New York City before jumping into a medley of his throwback records. “Do you realize how long we’ve been together,” Drake asked as he reminisced on the moments he’s experienced in the city —- like his first performance at the famed SOB’s or hearing “Best I Ever Had” on the iconic radio station Hot 97. Fans wallowed in the retro vibes as Drake blazed through a vintage medley that included “Trophies,” “Over,” “Headlines,” “Yolo,” and more.

Migos, French Montana (who served as a surprise guest) and a group of backup dancers joined Drizzy on stage to bring the night to an even higher level. After their fiery set earlier in the night, Migos kept the momentum going with a lively performance of their collaborative banger with Drake “Walk It Talk It.” The quartet followed that up by rapping through their respective verses on “Versace” with quickfire precision. French Montana joined the party afterward, performing his standout chorus on Fat Joe and Remy Ma’s “All The Way Up” and his number one record “Unforgettable.”

After a brief intermission, Drizzy put a smooth relaxing vibe on the night as he moved on to his B Side records. Performing mostly R&B hits, Drake sang his way into the hearts of all the women in the audience belting out vocals for “Jaded” and the Michael Jackson-assisted “Don’t Matter to Me” while also covering the King of Pop’s timeless record “Rock With You.”

Acknowledging the strong, independent women in the audience, Drake had the ladies in their bag with “That’s How You Feel” and “Nice For What” while recognizing Brooklyn’s rich reggae history with “Controlla” and “Work.” The troupe of dancers joined him on stage once again, taking part in the Shiggy Challenge during a booming performance of “In My Feelings.”

READ MORE: #DoTheShiggy: Drake Brings Out Shiggy On Stage At NYC’s Madison Square Garden

As the show neared its end, a tireless Drake reignited the flames with his guest verses on Blockboy JB’s “Look Alive” and Travis Scott’s “Sicko Mode.” Drake kept his foot on the pedal with “Nonstop” and “I’m Upset” before taking another moment to reflect on his early beginnings.

A video montage showcasing a young Drake alongside his longtime friends and OVO brothers 40, Oliver, and Future played on the screen above the stage. The crowd cheered and applauded Drake’s 10-year journey that took him from his mother’s basement in Toronto to becoming one of hip-hop’s titans.

When the video finished, Drake got right into the anthemic “God’s Plan” with massive amounts of confetti falling from the rafters. While fans relished at the moment Drake left the OVO faithful with a moving, uncharacteristically sociopolitical message.

“All of us are living in a country where we have to deal with people telling us we don’t understand, how divided we are, and how bad sh** is getting and how we gotta deal with this fu**ing idiot that’s in office,” Drake said.

“They’ll sit there and tell us this country is falling apart because of us. But tonight we got 16,000 people from all different backgrounds inside one building and all we’re doing is chilling and having a good time. This is how the country should be.”

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