Filed under: Features,Harlem Nights,In The Trenches,Is It Live Or Is It Memorex?
Written by: Robbie Ettelson
Photo: Michelle Grace Hunder
Following the always entertaining festivities surrounding the Carbon festival (which I’m under strict orders never to speak of publicly), heading to the A$AP Ferg show at the Corner Hotel seemed like the perfect way to cap off a week-long bender. The venue was filled with excitable kids eagerly throwing-up ‘bows to the sounds of the local androgynous “It’s a Trap” Lady known as Mafia, before the curtains were drawn to prepare for the main event.
My expectations were set as low as humanly possible, since in my experience Ferg is a remarkably poor rapper according to my increasingly narrow-minded set of standards. As it turns out, the self-proclaimed Trap Lord didn’t let petty details such as this stand in the way of providing an hour of solid entertainment.
Hitting the stage in a gas mask and hoody, Freg had the crowd appropriately “turn’t up” immediately, before revealing some kind of all white everything high-end designer outfit which incorporated a shirt collar, braces and some straight-jacket straps. As usual, the pointless attempts of the audience to film the show on their increasingly enormous phones proved to be an eyesore, and I’m fairly certain that filming the stage while jumping up and down is not a recipe for a timeless piece of footage to share with your buddies on Tumblr.
Clearly realising that he needed to pad the show out to compensate for the fact that he only has two hit records at this stage in his career, Ferg pulled out every trick in the rap show book. He began by complimenting the audience on how much more live they were than stuffy American audiences, called everyone his “A$APians” and encouraged the largely saltine cracker coloured crowd to sing along to the dreaded N-word, plus the old chestnut that is “this side of the room is realer than the other side.” The real comedy began when he called up a gaggle of eager young female fans to the stage to dance, proceeding to drop a Miami Bass beat and unsuccessfully attempting to convince a couple of them to reveal their boobs.
When this plan didn’t work, A$AP Ferg commanded the crowd to yell “Get the fuck off the stage” to any gal he pointed to that wasn’t considered hot enough, which was a brilliantly ruthless piece of public humiliation via the medium of performance art on one hand, and a handy technique for his weed carriers to pick out which dames to bring backstage on the other. A couple of songs later and we had another pause in the action, this time for the good ol’ staple known as, “can any of you motherfuckers out there rap?” This seemed to amuse the audience until Freg made the mistake of attempting to freestyle himself. Fortunately he was able to redeem that poor display by dropping “Work” and “Shabba Ranks” to the delight of the room, several who tried their hand at crowd surfing.
As thing began winding-up, dude popped a bottle and began pouring it into the crowd, which resulted in the literal definition of a “thirst pit” and one young scallywag even snatched the champagne from Ferg’s hand for a moment, much to our host’s disgust. After requests for an encore of sorts, Ferg just decided to play “Work” again, a move which summed-up his effective but unambitious show to a tee. His fans were happy and left mildly amused, which was the best that anyone could have hoped for under the circumstances.
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