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Tristan Stefan Edouard

Rewind: G-Eazy's Endless Summer Tour Brings The Hits To Chicago

A night to remember.

G-Eazy has been on the road nonstop this year. After wrapping up his Beautiful & The Damned Tour with Trippie Redd, Anthony Russo, and Phora, the Oakland native is now embarking his Endless Summer Tour featuring Lil Uzi Vert, Ty Dolla $ign, YBN Nahmir, Murda Beatz, and P-Lo. The “No Limit” rapper made a stop at Chicago's Huntington Bank Pavilion for an incredibly wild Tuesday (Aug. 15) evening. The tone and energy were set from the moment the YBN crew could be heard and seen near the box office on a small fleet of dirt bikes, riding around the outdoor venue.

Aside from the packed-out venue full of ungodly priced drinks (water included!), warm weather, and noticeably skewed racial dynamics between the workers and the concert attendees (another story for another time), an army of rabid, yet pleasant fans who were ready to see young Gerald rock the house once again. The city of Chicago offered a fitting backdrop to celebrate his ongoing string of “Ws” as, by his account, he’s been performing across the city since his early days. In fact, some of his fans who attended the show watched him gradually work his way from performing at minor in-store appearances “with only 10 people,” and small, intimate venues in Northside Chi, to large-scale festivals like Lollapalooza and bigger settings such as the Aragon Ballroom.

“I don’t know if any of you all know how much I’m in love with your city and respect I have for it, but the first show I ever played at was at Leaders for an in-store performance of, like 10 people or some shit,” he reflected before the red-hot crowd. “Then I remember coming back and playing at Schubas, then later on playing at Aragon Ballroom a bunch of times, Lollapalooza twice. You realize this is one of the greatest cities on the planet!”

And while he kept fans on their toes the whole night with stunning visual effects and a passionate stage presence, it took a minute for most of the young crowd to bring that same energy throughout, despite performances ranging from solid to amazing.

First up on the opener's circuit was the HBK Gang affiliate P-Lo who was fully charged up from the get-go. The San Francisco native hopped out to “No Idea” from his latest release, Prime and went on give solid and hype performances of songs like “Feel Good” and “Put Me on Something”. While most of the fans near the front and upper middle of the pit were rocking heavily to his jams, others from the lower middle section in the back weren’t quite as familiar as most were still mingling and getting snacks (because, of course, Chicagoans make entertainers work for their attention).

Eventually, attendees caught on to the vibe, thanks to P-Lo’s highly-energetic work rate and ongoing interactions with his the fans in the crowd. He even stopped to have a hearty swig of a fan’s gigantic cup of a Bud Light Straw-Ber-Rita.
From there, it led to P-Lo’s fun and spirited performance of “Same Squad” where he had fans grab their best friend and move from side to side while doing the same with his DJ. His set was lit and this certainly was not the last anyone would see of him during the show.

After a brief intermission, Birmingham, Ala.’s rising sensation YBN Nahmir came out the gate swinging with his viral banger, “Rubbin’ Off The Paint” followed by his booming “Bail Out” during his set. From there, he continued to have the crowd rocking by paying homage to the incarcerated Tay-K with “The Race (remix)”, complete with colorful, glittery digital graphics which changed with every song.

When YBN Almighty Jay arrived, draped in his mini-bike gear (which from afar looked more like a bulletproof vest one didn’t catch them on their bikes earlier) he went on to showcase his catalog of bops like “Chopsticks”, the glossy “2 Tone Drip”, and high-octane rapid-fire duet with YBN Nahmir “No Hook”. And with the lingering controversy with the infamous Chicago Police Department and their recent instances of police brutality, the entire YBN gang took a moment to have the crowd put their middle fingers in the air and having them yell, “when I say f**k, y'all say 12!” leading into the somewhat related, “Changes.” After announcing they’ve hit 110 million views on YouTube, P-Lo got back on stage to party with the gang once again, before they abruptly closed their set.

The baby-faced crew had a solid stage presence and a performance quality that was better than what some purists would like to believe, however, after YBN Nahmir and YBN Almighty Jay each performed their biggest hits, the overall energy began to hit an inconsistent wave of dying down, to picking back up and so on, likely because of the lack of familiarity rather than anything related to their noticeable effort.

N The Night 🌌 #YBNmixtape #Sept7 🍽

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The gold and platinum plaque studded producer Murda Beatz was initially a head-scratcher after a glance at the lineup due to A. being a very strong producer/beatmaker who, as a personality, lacks a similar captivating star power, presence, and charisma as DJ Khaled who has a similar style of performance. And B. one would be a poor fool to believe would bring out his A-List clientele like Drake, 2 Chainz, Nicki Minaj, and especially 6ix9ine for obvious reasons. However, the Canadian hitmaker, whose wrist was dripping with the shiniest diamonds, showed and proved and by delivering a fun set by having the crowd rock out to a string of hits like 6IXN9NE’s “FeFe,” “M&Ms” with Blac Youngsta and Offset, and even A$AP Ferg’s “Work.” He and his fellow hype men kept the crowd moving with his booming production while shooting “Murda Gang” branded water guns into the fired-up crowd.

Murda also took a moment to unveil his newest member of his Murda Gang crew, Chicago artist Lil Geno, who performed his tracks “Finessin” and “Hit Me a Lick.” Unfortunately, the predominantly white crowd wasn’t quite hip to him and didn’t catch on despite his commendable performance. However, a memorable moment occurred when he was christened as an official member of the squad when they stopped to deliver the announcement and fit him with a dripping gold medallion a la Kanye West/Roc-A-Fella style.

Things continued to remain a bit flat when he transitioned to two of his songs, a Smokepurrp collab from the Bless Yo Trap tape and a Trippie Redd melody which made his set a bit dull, but it turned around immediately when he went into an even more explosive string of his biggest hits like Migos' “Walk It Talk It” and “Motorsport” where he had the ladies sing every word of Cardi B’s scene-stealing verse, and of course the crowd-pleasing anthems from Drake “Nice For What” and “God’s Plan.” Despite a few misses, Murda Beatz gave a solid set that kept the party going.

After entering to the sounds of “Paranoia,” Ty Dolla $ign went on to deliver a sultry, rock star performance that had the fans going insane by performing jams like “Pineapple” and “Missionary.” But the Taylor Gang heavyweight managed to have some fun in between alongside TeeCee 400. During his set, he even took a moment to show love to the city and pay homage to the late Drill music icon, Fredo Santana.

 

The longtime YG and DJ Mustard collaborator practically blew the roof off when he gave a shirtless, rock star performance of Post Malone’s “Psycho” (which he wrote), where he delivered such a high-quality performance making fans wish he kept it for himself. Afterward, Ty closed out with the most interactive performance of the night, singing “Or Nah”. But what made this stand out the hardest was when he got off stage and walked throughout most of the pavilion (with security in tow) and continued singing within the crowd while being chased by a pack of young women. It was the finishing touch to make his set a glorious one.

Shortly after Ty Dolla $ign's set, a newly blond-haired G-Eazy unveiled himself from the shadows and behind a double door with blinding light behind him. With the Holy Cross appearing across the multiple monitors among other brightly lit graphics, he wasted no time performing the compelling and electrifying “Pray for Me,” followed by songs like “The Plan,” “Sober," and “Eazy,” each with passionate conviction. One can’t help but be glued to the stage.

What’s different about this his Endless Summer Tour set up compared to his The Beautiful and Damned Tour is how the stunning visual effects complimented the show. Each set had an over-the-top and immersive effect matched with the right lighting that specifically complimented each song. G-Eazy brought out the engulfing fire and brimstone during his dark alluring performance of “The Beautiful and Damned,” the inner workings of the internet with web pages, emojis of himself, and random cameos of the Lil B’s Twitter avatar during “That’s A Lot,” and even took us to the basketball court with the Yo Gotti and YBN Nahmir assisted “1942.” And what made it spectacular was how Gerald didn't lean on the effects as he delivered his passionate set. He amplified the emotional impact and value of every song, creating many deeply immersive moments (even the “thunderstorm” introduction before one of his songs felt eerily realistic.)

G-Eazy wasn’t selfish with the spotlight as he brought out YBN Nahmir to perform his verse from “1942,” Murda Beatz who joined him on top of an old school Ford Mustang on “Goddamn” during the second act of the show, and once again, P-Lo to perform their each of their popping duets, “Feel Good”, “Light This Bi**h Up”, and “Power” sans Nef The Pharaoh. And like Eazy himself, there were no slouches on stage; they helped make his set an enjoyable one.

But just when (some) fans thought it was a wrap, he came right back to give fans a powerhouse performance of his biggest hits like the Halsey-assisted, “Him and I.” While performing “No Limit,” Gerald brought out hip-hop lawyer Steven Reisman aka $2 Dollar Steve to the help shower fans in the pit with cash as the ladies sang Cardi B’s verse.

While Lil Uzi Vert was sorely missed from the show, the Endless Summer Tour was an enjoyable evening of electrifying performers matched with dazzling effects and good vibes. Casual music fans and those who aren’t as familiar with G-Eazy’s music appeared to enjoy themselves as well.

If you’ve experienced the Beautiful & Damned Tour, you may not want to miss the Endless Summer Tour.

READ MORE: G-Eazy's Beautiful & Damned Tour Reveals Beauty Of The Grey Area 

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Anderson .Paak's Grammy Glow Lights Up New York's Hammerstein Ballroom

"I told y'all I would come back but I had to come back with a motherf***in Grammy yo!" Anderson .Paak belted to the crowd inside of New York's Hammerstein Ballroom. On Friday (Feb. 22), the musician was elated to return to New York for his Andy's Beach Club World Tour with opening act Tayla Parx and his band, the Free Nationals. His energy has unsurprisingly remained on a thrilling high since taking home his first Grammy just three weeks ago.

The Cali native was a breath of fresh air for the crowd in attendance, who after a long work week was ready to hear some tunes from his stellar albums Venice, Malibu and his recent musical offering, Oxnard.

.Paak was that jukebox for the crowd, with select bubbly tunes from Parx, who just like her main act, has a funky vibe to herself. Parx, an artist who most recently wrote on Ariana Grande's "Thank U, Next" as she told the crowd got the energy bubbling with known covers and performances of her songs like, "Mama Aint Raise No B****." Parx set up the funky vibes that .Paak would go on to later execute and perfect.

The musician jumped out on stage an hour and a half later and started his heading set with the song, "Bubblin" that earned him a Best Rap Performance Grammy.

From the jump, his megawatt smile peaked under his red bucket hat as he performed more deserving tunes like "Tints," "Trippy" and "Come Down."

 

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flashing.. lights.. 🔦

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His bliss of just being in the moment was abundantly clear as well as his chemistry with the Free Nationals. He danced along to their song "Beauty & Essex" featuring Daniel Caesar, grooving to the smooth beat while transitioning to "Saviers Road."

There was not a moment in the night that skilled drummer wasn't in tune with the crowd. At one point, he even crowd surfed, calling out New Jersey natives to catch him. Because of his old soul, the musician easily crafted his flavor of soul and funk to keep body rolls going throughout the evening with cuts like "Smile/Petty" and "The Heart Don't Stand a Chance."

Although his drum solos showed off his musical talent and capabilities, .Paak's tribute to late rapper, Mac Miller with a performance of their song "Dang!" towards the end of the concert is what really sealed the deal.

"If you miss Mac Miller like we miss Mac Miller make some f***ing noise! Say we love you Mac, say we miss you Mac," the Oxnard musician urged the crowd to yell, and the crowd obediently obliged.

Seeing the crowd and .Paak arrived in sync one last time for Miller was the finishing touch for the concert. Although .Paak's crowd demo was young working adults, they won't forget the moment they shed their corporate garb to be a little weird and carefree again.

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The “Necessity Of Expression,” As Explained By Jacob Banks

Jacob Banks is pressed for time. With just a few hours before his headlining show at New York’s massive Brooklyn Steele, the Nigerian-born, Birmingham, UK-raised artist has gone all day without so much as a bite to eat. “Can we make it 10 minutes, 15 tops for the interview?” his tour manager asks. “It’s been a crazy day. He still has meet-n-greets and hasn’t eaten yet.”

Seconds later, Banks emerges from a backdoor inside the Williamsburg venue. He smiles and offers hugs, possibly sensing a brewing push-and-pull between press and a protective handler. He quickly diffuses potential rising tensions by giving an OK to his camp and escorting me into a tiny greenroom.

“Just do your thing,” Banks says at the onset of the interview. The irony of his statement is that I, and the rest of the nearly 2,000-person crowd, chose to spend their Friday night watching him do his.

On stage, the 27-year-old is a behemoth. Standing at 6-foot-4, he never scowls nor grins at the audience during his songs. Instead, his eyes are focused and his face, stoic. It’s intentional and penetrative. Mr. Banks and the mandem—Danny his guitarist, HB his drummer and bass player, and musical director Smoove—are there purely to serve the moment. You bought a ticket? Cool. Jacob & Co. are there to deliver.

 

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NYC, the gang and I are ever so grateful, thank you so much 🌹 Boston, let’s show out tonight 🚀

A post shared by Jacob Banks (@mrjacobbanks) on Feb 23, 2019 at 10:51am PST

However, before the night’s performance, and in the midst of choreographed chaos backstage, Banks is chill, soft-spoken and full. Not full of himself, but full of experience, which translates to a gentle but firm assurance. He crosses his legs while he sits and adjusts his glasses from time to time when they slide down the bridge of his nose. That fullness allows for him to have great empathy, a byproduct of the many villages he says raised him.

“I was raised by culture: African culture, Caribbean culture, youth British culture, which is Caribbean culture,” he says. “I was raised by the streets. I was raised by the nerds. I was raised by cartoons. I was raised by happily ever afters and real life tragic endings as well.”

Speaking of those very cultures, there’s a knock at the door. His food has arrived. “What did you have?” his tour manager questions. Take a gander at Banks’ Twitter profile and you’ll read that he considers himself a jerk chicken connoisseur. However, someone else will be partaking in his beloved dish. Tonight, Banks is having the curry, while the oxtail will go to another famished member of the tour. How the British entertainer was able to get authentic Jamaican dishes in Williamsburg is equal parts impressive and mind boggling, but I digress. There are more important things to dive into right now.

Banks released his debut album Village via Interscope in November 2018 and to celebrate, he played FIFA at home with his two cats. For the singer-songwriter, music is “purely a necessity of expression” that he doesn’t let get to his head. “I have meticulously created a life where I don’t need that validation. I exist outside of music,” he says.

It’s odd to hear him speak so humbly about his art. As the night rolled in and fans stood eager to hear his robust voice, Banks performed songs from Village and his EPs The Paradox and The Boy Who Cried Freedom, which merited everything from a woman’s shrill “Sing daddy!” to the New York male equivalent “Yerrr!” from the diverse crowd.

The stand out moment of the night, however, came during his delivery of the pensive, almost spiritual “Slow Up.” Written as a note to himself that he wished he stayed younger for longer, Banks reflected on exactly when he knew he wasn’t a kid anymore: “What I've learnt from a mirror/Look too hard and you’ll find you a stranger/Love is just a decision/The choice is yours.”

“When I look back, I think I was eight. I remember thinking—well, obviously at the time I didn’t know, it was just life happening—but at eight I thought I have to be my own cheerleader,” he reflects. “I realized it wasn’t going to come from nowhere else.”

As Banks reached the second chorus of the triggering ballad, a growl from the deepest hollows of his belly emerged, setting the audience ablaze and prompting many to abandon their phones and inherit the vulnerability of the moment. At the close of the song, he hung onto the microphone and rested his head into the crease of his arm, almost spent from the effort of mentally referring to his adolescent self. In return, a chorus of applause came barreling toward the stage.

Banks’ voice is Thor’s hammer, a lightning strike against mediocre industry standards. The cacophony of car alarms you may suddenly hear outside of your window isn’t caused by a neighborhood perp. It’s because of Banks’ rich baritone, nothing more, beloved.

 

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Sang about Caroline in a cold locker room for you lot ❤️ Catch the full vibe on YouTube Another one courtesy of the wonderful humans at @youtubemusic #artistontherise Brought to by @wearenob0dy and @frmwrkldn

A post shared by Jacob Banks (@mrjacobbanks) on Feb 15, 2019 at 9:57am PST

When we’d almost forgotten our 15 minutes together were coming to a close, a prompt second knock at the door served as a gentle reminder. “We’ll take five more minutes. I was on the phone for a bit,” Banks lies to his publicist, Stefanie. There was no such call, but giving to the moment is what he does and if the moment needs more time, then so be it. There are more questions to ask the man of the moment.

I prod about the several drug references on standout tracks like “Mexico,” “Kumbaya,” “Nostalgia” and “Witness.” As a man who doesn’t drink or partake in substances, Banks says the lyrics (“You're so far away but when someone drops your name/You come pourin' through my veins/Like that Hollywood cocaine”) are less about a habit and more about needing a place to go.

“Drugs are in pop culture. I see it everywhere. It doesn’t bother me really. Do what you want, it’ll kill you, but do what you want,” he laughs. “Ultimately, I understand escapism. I understand needing a place to go. One can make the argument I’m addicted to expressing myself.”

He chats more about recognition versus representation and the importance of being seen but also realizing it’s not just important that you’re seen. But whether Jacob is visible or not, whether you hear his music or not, it’s still all good. He’s still G, as he’s often says, because Jacob made it so. Jacob will always be speaking his mind as Jacob, regardless.

“It was important for me that when my album came I didn’t let it define me,” he says. “I exist outside of Jacob Banks the artist,“ he said.

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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 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? 😂

A post shared by Barclays Center (@barclayscenter) on Jan 17, 2019 at 6:08pm PST

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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