While the Polar Vortex was sifting white powder all over the East Coast, rap&B singer Ty Dolla $ign came to the Left Side blazing (literally with joint in hand) for his performance at HOT97’s Who’s Next? showcase Wednesday (Jan. 22). A beanie and snapback-wearing crowd of youngsters piled into SOBs, eager to take in fresh talent and in some cases, put each other on notice.
“She doesn’t even know who Ty Dolla Sign is!”, one lady said aloud, referring to a presumably clueless bystander. Her friend’s response gave a nod to Kevin Hart, “Well she’s gonna learn today!”
The appetizers to Ty’s set came in the form of Brooklyn MC Gliffics, New Jersey rep Tijon and Virginia lyricist Black Cobain. The former struggled to raise the energy levels, despite having a sidekick crooner, and resorted to bribing the crowd by offering up rolling papers out of his own pocket. Tijon infused the turn-up, waving the flag for underground indy artists, vouching for “rat kids becoming rat kings” followed up fellow crowdpleaser Black Cobain. Decked out in all-black-everything from his fitted cap down to his Timberland boots, the Board Administration signee delivered a bright set of reflective, lyrical, and charismatic tracks oozing with soul.
When it came time for the headliner, the stench of some yet-to-be-legalized weed wafted in the air, even creating a hazy entrance for TGOD’s own. Ty wasted no time in jumping into his well-known cuts “My Cabana” and even little-known contributions, like the hook on YG’s “Toot It And Boot It.” He then launched into his Beach House EP, which has hit #2 on iTunes and #9 overall.
“God is good. Thank y’all for the support” said Mr. $ign.
His set doubled as a puff-puff-pass session as he shared his smoke with the crowd and offered mellow vibes with such cuts like “Irie” off his 2013 Beach House 2 mix tape, sans Wiz Khalifa.
With his Bombay Sapphire dry gin in tow, the L.A. native prefaced his final song of the night with, “This is the most successful song in my city” before cranking out his single “Paranoid.” Despite the glorification of his vices throughout the track, Ty’s worst behavior worked in his favor. The king of ratchet R&B left his mark on the city, leaving more heat than what he came with. —Tanay Hudson