With O'Grime and YNG
June 12, 2011
Better Than: The outcome of the NBA Finals.
Last night, hip-hop cult sensation Lil B performed to a small crowd at downtown nightclub Eve. The event was announced the day before, promoted almost exclusively on Facebook, and subject to a fair amount of inquiry as to whether or not it was actually occurring.
By the end of the night, though, Lil B showed up. And to some degree, he performed a set, though not to the complete satisfaction of his entire audience.
When Crossfade rolled up at about 11:30, an hour and a half after the event's start time, no one was there. Or there was a slow, pathetic trickle of disappointed Heat fans, and a few packs of bros standing around each other, occasionally busting into choreographed dances like Based God's "Cooking Dance."
While Lil B is a cult sensation and, in the age of New Media, the internet delivers every celebrity to the digital doorstep of every fan, the rapper is not that big of a deal in South Florida, especially with less than a day's worth of promotion. And $25 at the door. On a Sunday. Try $15 on a Sunday? Maybe. Or $15 to $20 on a weekend night? Now we're talking. But that much money on a Sunday night with a day's worth of Facebook promotion for an artist that is already kind of a subterranean phenomenon (plus the Heat's loss) are not ingredients for a successful party.
And so the evening was mostly a weird waiting game, as everyone stood around in anticipation of Lil B's arrival while DJs mixed new "swag" hip-hop artists, like Souljah Boy, with Top 40 summer jams like Rick Ross's "9 Piece." Rapper YNG phoned in a dull, pop-rap set.
The audience was bogged down by the lull in excitement until Miami-based swag outfit O'Grime took the stage with high-energy banger "Kush Smoke Pussy." Actually, all of O'Grimes jams were bangers, with "epic," sometimes dubstep wobble bass-laced instrumentals backing up big, dumb, repetitive choruses a la Gucci Mane -- or, yes, Lil B. The group's praise for their supreme deity was clearly received as the Based God suddenly showed up and jumped onto the stage.
O'Grime seemed a little frazzle by B's sudden appearance. And for a moment, it appeared they were going to give up their set -- which, at that point, was only a song deep. Lil B humbly encouraged them to finish what they started, and the duo led the audience through hands-in-the-air jams like "Taco Bell Swag" and NBA Playoffs anthem "Udonis Haslem," featuring the nimrod chorus of "Udonis Haslem/I'm so handsome."
While the audience had begun to loosen up as O'Grime took the stage, they were totally hot 'n' ready by the time Lil B crashed the party. After the Miami rappers finished their set, B seamlessly kicked off his set with "Wonton Soup" and proceeded to check off a very small (relative to his nearly infinite digital discography) checklist of now-classic Lil B songs.
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In line with hip-hop show cliche, B performed with the album version of songs simply playing in the background. But unlike the average hip-hop performance, the MC didn't even bother pretending like people wanted to see him rap along to his records, instead opting to pour cups of Grey Goose for audience members, autograph articles of clothing, and smoke every blunt forcefully shoved in his face, all while his music blared. This really was a Lil B-themed party (or maybe even something like a record shop in-store signing) as lines practically started to form at the foot of the stage to get a drop of vodka, a signature on a pair of Vans, or maybe even a tweetable image.
While most of the audience, which consisted of about 70 people, were worked into an ecstatic lather, Crossfade couldn't help but notice a few disappointed fans standing off to the side. We overheard one person in the crowd ask if "he was even performing" or just spilling booze everywhere. Throughout the set, Lil B kept emphasizing the special and exclusive nature of the event, possibly as a way to balance out the possibility that the evening as a bit of an emperor-has-no-clothes non-event. Regardless, it seems as though most in attendance got what they came for and were happy to get a glimpse of their Based God.
The Crowd: Hipster-hoppers with printed tees, printed backpacks, printed flat-billed caps, and printed, non-hat headwear; norm bros; and assorted other young adults of varying demographics, including reps from Lil B's Pitchfork-reading audience and DWNTWN 305 folk.
Random Detail: Nastie's weiners are delicious.
Overheard in the Crowd: "Pass the blunt!" "That was it?! That's BULLSHIT!" "SWAG!," over and over and over.
-"Kush Smoke Pussy"
-"Taco Bell Swag"
-"Hard In Da Paint"
Lil B's Setlist:
-"Violate That Bitch"
-"Suck My Dick Hoe"
-"Finna Hit A Lick"