G-Eazy and hip-hop bring new flavor to Fox Theatre


Walking into The Fabuous Fox Theatre on the night of Friday, Jan. 15, I couldn’t help but wonder why a rap concert was being held on a stage usually reserved for touring musicals and dance productions. G-Eazy and A$AP Ferg were the main event of a sold out show, which proved to exceed all of the expectations that I had going into the evening.

Before the two main rappers, the crowd was treated to two opening acts, Nef the Pharaoh and Marc E Bassy. Nef, a 20-year-old from the San Francisco area, had an undeniable charm and charisma about him. He had some technical difficulties during his set, but bounced back and did not let that derail his performance. If I were to put money on it, Nef the Pharaoh might be blowing up pretty soon.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the night’s next act, Marc E Bassy. Walking on stage wearing a duster jacket and looking like a G-Eazy imitator, he attempted to mix R&B with rap, but was ultimately unsuccessful. His songs were fun to dance to in the moment, but as I write this article, I can’t recall one distinct moment from his set. Though his live band added an extra flair to the set, they couldn’t save it from being very unmemorable.

My hopes were high for the nights’ next act, A$AP Ferg, the self proclaimed Trap Lord. Part of the Harlem collective of artists and rappers known as the A$AP Mob, including the hugely successful A$AP Rocky, Ferg has a unique style of rapping, mixing his influences from the ‘90s with a sound that is ahead of the curve of most other rappers today.

He walked out on the stage and, after the first song, instructed everyone to fill the aisles of the theatre and to get ready to turn up. The crowd happily obliged, and from there on, it was a relentless 45-minute set of high intensity songs, one after another. Ferg had no need for a hype man or backtracks, something far too many rappers rely on in their live shows nowadays.

His flow does not lose anything in the transition to the stage, and he is able to create a crazy environment all by himself. He brought out a special guest, Wale, who was performing at the White House at the State of the Union just two days prior.

Sadly, the crowd, who did not seem well versed in hip-hop, did not get as hyped for this guest appearance as they should have been. Nonetheless, A$AP Ferg cemented himself as a heavy hitter in hip-hop of today and worthy of his title of Trap Lord.

Though the crowd’s response to the first three acts of the night was positive, it paled in comparison to the obvious star of the night. When G-Eazy, came on stage, the sound of screams was so deafening that I questioned if my ear drums had been blown out.

I was astonished at how rabid his fans were. I knew they were diehards, but not this diehard. G-Eazy’s set was the one that surprised me  the most in terms of how great it was.

He has a swaggering stage presence that makes the crowd swoon, while also having a flow that is insanely good in comparison to most other rappers’ live shows.

Though he did not have a full backing band, the DJ and drummer added a ton in rounding out G-Eazy’s sound. At one point early on in the show, I caught G-Eazy staring up at the top of the balcony, and he had a twinkle in his eye and a massive grin. Seeing that in an artist is a magical thing, because you know he is enjoying every single moment of the show.

He played both new and old songs during his 90-minute set. Just a few highlights of the show were his slow anthem “Lets Get Lost,” which took the mood from the brink of insanity to a surprising calm.

Another high moment was his remix of the banger “I Like Tuh,” with its magically ridiculous chorus of “I like tuh, make money, get turnt.”

Though his lyrics might not be anything groundbreaking, G-Eazy puts his all into every one of his songs. Whether it’s a warning about how he can steal your girlfriend, or an anthem about his humble beginnings, he leaves it on the stage.

My question as to why the show was in The Fox was answered by G-Eazy near the end of the set. He explained that six years ago, he opened for Drake in the exact same theatre with around 200 people there to see him. Now he had every single seat filled.

After telling his story, I caught G-Eazy looking up at the top of the balcony again. He’s got his eyes set on the top, and after that Friday night, I am convinced that nothing can stop him.

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