Better Than: Watching rappers perform at ground level.
Hip-hop doesn’t usually do small, intimate “living room performances,” but maybe that’s because rappers haven’t found the right living room. Last night, Travi$ Scott and A$AP Ferg took over producer Mike Dean’s SoHo penthouse loft for the latest installment of The Boiler Room’s concert series. The influence of the homeowners–Dean and model girlfriend Louise Donegan–was palpable; scantily clad fashionista types rubbed elbows (and occasionally other body parts) with rap kids decked out in streetwear du jour like Been Trill and Pyrex Vision, puffing away on G Pen vaporizers.
See also: Kanye Producer Mike Dean Talks Yeezus
With no stage setup, Travi$ Scott created his own ad hoc version by climbing on top of Dean’s black baby grand piano. Under a gleaming chandelier, the rapper/producer performed songs from his recent Owl Pharoah mixtape kicking off with the insanely underrated “Quintana” and “Upper Echelon.” He ran through “Quintana” twice amid mic issues and disruption from the crowd. “Hey you white fuckers! It ain’t no mixer!” Travi$ shouted, literally pointing out guests too engrossed in conversation during his set.
A$AP Ferg then jumped atop the piano too, which seemed precarious to everyone but the rappers, for the collaborative “Uptown.” The duo got a particularly
drunk stupid overzealous fan to join them after she promised to take her top off. She ended up doing her best Miley Cyrus twerk impression but got cold feet about showing skin. Needless to say, she was banished from the piano.
Ferg’s live chops have markedly improved from previous NYC appearances and he adeptly commanded the crowd for the remainder of the night. Without the requisite A$AP Rocky cameo or support from the myriad of secondary and tertiary A$APs at his side, Ferg held his own. Good timing. Ferg’s debut album Trap Lord is slated for Aug 20th release. “I know you motherfuckers downloaded my album for free,” he proclaimed.
If crowd reaction to the singles “Work” and “Shabba” was any indication, then these were early adopters. Neither song has been a crossover hit but everyone in the house seemed to know every word and the line, “A couple model bitches, thought I balled for the Lakers” from “Work” was especially perfect for the occasion. A sweaty, living room mosh ensued and Travi$ crowd-surfed; both rapper and fan, for a moment, blissfully forgetting where we were.
Critical Bias: Mike Dean is my favorite southern rap producer.
Overheard: “Hey you white fuckers! It ain’t no mixer!”-Travi$ Scott
Random Notebook Dump: Why does every rap show have a twerk segment? Thanks Miley Cyrus.