“LEMMEE HEAR YA MAKE SOME NOISE!”
DC Young Fly warmed up Chris Brown’s The Party Tour crowd at Philips Arena on May 2, with arena-filling energy, some serious hype-man skills, and the help of some classic hip-hop. Even though the audience was still sparse, when the DJ spun Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It”, and then Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison”, the party was underway, and I got my dance break.
Check out DC Young Fly, Atlanta’s own Westside comedian, actor, rapper, and singer, on his YouTube channel.
It seemed the official food and bev break hit when the straight-out-of-Brooklyn Casanova 2X stormed the stage, and after I’d overheard people chatting about it. “Yeah, people weren’t feeling it.” “Well, he was talking about killing and murder and shit.” “That’s New York.” “Still.” My survey sample here was pretty small, so I’m not sure if that was the specific reason why Casanova’s set was, while in no way a fail, a noticeable lull in the evening. Could it be a North-South thing? Or that he seemed to do a lot more striding across the huge square center stage than connecting with the audience? I’ll leave that assessment to rap industry experts.
He’s obviously endorsed by Chris Brown. Casanova was not only at The Party, Chris reps Only Hood Bosses in Casanova 2X’s Be Safe Tho collaboration with him, “OHB“. You can decide for yourself via that link if you would’ve raised your hands here in Atlanta for this act.
Next up, Atlanta’s kapG is rapidly becoming a household name. He’s a Mexican-American artist signed to Pharrell’s i am OTHER label. This April he dropped a mixtape, Supa Jefe (totally makes me chuckle), featuring the single “I See You” with Chris Brown.
“I See You” is a hip-hop summer party song about hooking up with a sexy lady. I’ll tell you this much, it would definitely get me on the dance floor, and now it’s in my playlist.
O.T. Genasis made the house shake with the other new entry to my playlist from The Party Tour. I’m a sucker for the audience pumper “Push It” and had to restrain myself as I recorded full length video of that performance. “Go get the money, go get the money, go get the money, go get the money…” Uh-huh, yeahhh. And yeah, me too, I’m “in love with [the]” “CoCo“, another perfect example of music where lyrics are either concerningly questionable morally, completely irrelevant to my own lifestyle, or downright f’g offensive — yet, the song’s got a hook, a beat, a rhythm, a je ne se qua, that moves me nonetheless.
It was during this act that I saw the most meta thing. While most phones are glowing in the air these days at concerts, this girl’s camera wasn’t facing the stage, but facing her–facing the stage, recording her groove-on. She was watching herself in that phone far more than she watched the performers. Clearly she was enjoying herself, that girl going about loving herself being her. Well, her smile was infectious, so rock on, selfie girl.
For press photographers, often only the first three songs of a headliner are made available to us before we’re kicked out entirely. So I didn’t get to see Usher onstage, though I’d had a lucky breeze-by with the hooded superstar backstage before the show. I’d find out later (thanks to Rap-Up.com) that not only did Usher join The Party, but so did Future, Breezy, T-Pain (!), JD, Da Brat, Boosie Badazz, Waka Flocka Flame, Monica, The-Dream, 2 Chainz, Dem Franchize Boyz, Yo Gotti, and Meek Mill. Dang, Mr. Brown, you know how to throw one.
Chris Brown entered the arena Cirque du Soleil-style, with dramatic bravado on trapeze lines complete with gorgeous athletic dancers, adding spectacle to the motivation to get up off the seats, and filling the space with screams and bass.
Additional photos provided by Libro Musica guest-photographer, Tash Photography.