Art Basel Miami Beach

A$AP Rocky Closes Out III Points Art Basel Concert Series With Force


“If you a trill nigga, get your motherfuckin’ hands up,” chanted A$AP Rocky right before diving into his crowd’s mosh pit on Saturday. As he emerged, his Bob Marley T-shirt was ripped to shreds and Nirvana’s "Smells like Teen Spirit" raged throughout Mana’s 36,000 square feet. The night was lit thanks to Rocky, Kaytranada and surprise guest, Denzel Curry at the last installment of the III Points Art Basel concert series.

French DJ Stwo got the night off to a good start with fresh hiphop remixes but by 12:30 a.m. the crowd was ready for Rocky. At 1:20 a.m. (about 35 minutes late) the lights dimmed, blunts were passed, and Lord Flacko’s silhouette arose. “JD”s haunting beat creeped on and the backdrop shot down.

In an instant, the stage exploded with Harlem goon squad, A$AP Mob. What followed can only be described as pure, unrelenting fuego. If there were any doubts of Rocky’s ability as a live performer, they were gone right here.
When “JD” wrapped, Mana’s technical difficulties came to light. Rocky rapped his verse on ‘Wavybone’ acapella–style: no music, no flashy visuals. The rest of A$AP Mob went back and forth on the stage, presumably trying to fix whatever went wrong in the first place. Rocky apologized for the speed bump and explained that’s why he was late.

Once that cleared up, Rocky took a moment to send out love to his mentor, A$AP Mob founder, A$AP Yams, who died of a drug overdose earlier this year. It’s been a tumultuous yet rewarding year for Rocky: the loss of a partner, a feature film debut (Dope), and a third album, At Long Last A$AP. Its no wonder Lord Flacko is vibing on top.

The rest of his set fluctuated between varying levels of intimate (like the trippy, sweet "L$D") and turnt ("Hella Hoes"), but really took off when he dropped covers of “Jump Around” and “Smells like Teen Spirit." Just like any great rock star would, he launched himself into the crowd and surfed on the hands of his followers. I guess that explains his low-key look — fashion killer was strictly there to party. 
Around 2 a.m., Rocky turned to a stagehand, covered his mic and shook his head. Despite the 35 min delay, he was ending his intended hour-long set as planned. Perhaps he had his rumored fling Kylie waiting for him backstage, but the Kardashian would have to be patient. He encored with "Peso," the track that launched his career a mere 4 years ago, and closed the show.

Kaytranada kept the vibes going. The Canadian-Haitian DJ brought out Pusha T for a surprise performance of ‘Numbers on the Board’. And that wasn’t even the surprise III Points had announced earlier. Carol City's own, Denzel Curry, the rapper who’s been on the way up for about half a decade now, closed out the night with his frenzied “Ultimate.”

It was an epic night and yet another great showing from the III Point’s crew. Here’s hoping, considering the impending doom of Mana, that there’s more to go around next year.

Set list:
  • "JD"
  • "Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye 2"
  • "Multiply"
  • "L$D"
  • "Hella Hoes"
  • "Electric Body"
  • "Shabba"
  • "Wild for the Night"
  • "M’S"
  • "Peso"

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Alexandra Martinez is an arts and culture writer based in Miami. She graduated from Columbia University in 2014 with a bachelor's in film studies. Find her at alexandra-martinez.net.