The most popular request across the board for day two (Nov. 2) of Las Vegas’ Day N Vegas festival: open up.
No matter which stage was getting action, multiple artists made frequent requests to the crowd to form mosh pits at the Las Vegas Grounds. While they didn’t reach Woodstock-levels, it became the default prompt for most of the festival performers who simply wanted to see their fans rage.
Despite initial day two headliner Travis Scott’s last-minute cancellation (“IM SORRY THAT I CANT PULL UP BUT I PROMISE TO BE BACK SO SOON ON GANG,” he tweeted), Astroworld gear was a popular outfit choice among attendees. Two Atlanta reps known to elicit a turn-up or three then stepped in — Future and Metro Boomin.
Lastly, consider this part of the recap a PSA for artists on the come-up: please stop rapping on top of your vocals and invest in instrumentals with ad-libs. Now, let’s roll through the day two highlights.
Sheck Wes Sends a Message
Sheck Wes wanted no disrespect on his name. Holding court at the Jackpot stage, the breakout act signed to Travis Scott’s Cactus Jack Records label wanted to address the “false bullshit” he felt was attached to his name. “I’m not gonna sit on no interview and talk about no lies, no gimmicks, apologize to nobody I make music. I talk through my music and the only people who resonate with a n—a like me, an immigrant child from the projects, they f–k with my music,” Wes said. (While he didn’t address the controversy by name, a quick Google search will show that he was accused of abusing singer Justine Skye in February.)
The self-proclaimed Mud Boy — responsible for the infectious smash “Mo Bamba” — then debuted an aggressive song that featured a quote from Bill Clinton during the time of the scandal with Monica Lewinsky (“I want to say one thing to the American people…”) along with the lyric: “Never catch me slippin’, I ain’t Bill Clinton.” Wes even interjected: “I don’t touch females, n—–a.”
DaBaby, The People’s Champ
Less than 24 hours after his appearance during J. Cole’s set, DaBaby returned to the Jackpot stage and was an immediate fan favorite. After hitting the stage to “Suge” and firing up “Goin’ Baby,” he conducted a “hot girl check” by spitting his verse off collaborator Megan Thee Stallion’s “Cash Shit.” With two dancers dressed up as massive babies, DaBaby clocked in with standouts like “Intro,” “Babysitter” and “Prolly Heard.”
He then stripped off his white shirt and chunky, icy “KIRK” chains (Kirk is his last name and the title of his recently released sophomore studio effort) to not just touch the crowd but walk among them, making his way throughout the VIP section and towards the back of the general audience area and somehow still managing to perform “TOES.” “I know I got the events staff in a frenzy,” DaBaby said. At one point, he looked ready to climb a white pole before being beckoned by his DJ to perform “a classic” before his time was up. He took his final bow with a repeat performance of “Suge.”
21 Savage Bounces Back
Over the past year, life for 21 Savage has felt like a movie. After being arrested in Atlanta by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in February for being a U.K. citizen who overstayed his visa, the chart-topping rapper faced deportation and was detained for 10 days. He has since plunged himself back into the rap game, seemingly more appreciative of his circumstances.
With a cinematic introduction that recapped his come-up, success and recent turbulent circumstances, his set felt dark and stormy as ominous imagery including fire, lightning, and skulls accented the drama in his lyrical tales, 21’s set felt dark and stormy on the Las Vegas strip. He weaved through his most popular verses through a medley comprised of Cardi B’s “Bartier Cardi,” DJ Khaled’s “Wish Wish,” and Post Malone’s “rockstar.”
His solo offerings also hyped up his Savage fanbase, including “A&T,” “Red Opps,” “Ball w/o You,” “Break Da Law,” “Out For The Night” and “A Lot.” He then wrapped his performance with the stunt-worthy anthem “X” and the money-counting number “Bank Account.” His explicit lyrics about being broke, foregoing romance for physical relationships and taking advantage of his wealth all amount to a star in his prime. At Day N Vegas, 21 Savage turned the stage into a platform for the message that odds can be beat.
It’s hard to witness a Migos performance and stay perfectly still. During their roughly 40-minute set, the flossy trio ran through their deep catalog of smashes with the ease of industry veterans, flipping their cadences on top of their vocal tracks and spurring an immediate desire to break it down.
Backed by DJ Durell, the trio of Quavo, Offset and Takeoff glided across the stage, churning out hit after hit in a dizzying but delightful manner. A snapshot of their set list: “Deadz,” a Gucci Mane-less “I Get the Bag,” “Slippery,” “Hannah Montana,” “Fight Night” and the Offset solo number “Ric Flair Drip.” Quavo held down call-and-response duty, asking the crowd to call out every one of the group’s well-known ad-lib, like “Mi-Go!,” “skrrt skrrt” and “Ma-ma!” Migos then delivered their knockout combo of “Bad and Bougie,” “Narco” and “Pure Water” before exiting the stage to probably secure another bag.
Future x Metro Boomin’s West Coast Party
A little less than an hour before daylight saving time hit, Metro Boomin’ orchestrated a 20-minute turn-up to keep the Las Vegas crowd hype. Headliner Future then emerged with an arsenal of his biggest numbers spanning his years in the rap game, from his contribution to YC’s 2011 hit “Racks” up until his most recent offerings like “WIFI LIT” and the Jay Rock and Kendrick Lamar collaboration “King’s Dead.”
Still, his setlist was the appropriate soundtrack for an after-hours celebration in Sin City. Riding through live renditions of “Same Damn Time,” “Thought It Was a Drought,” A$AP Ferg’s “New Level,” “Stick Talk,” “F–k Up Some Commas” and “Jumpman” could prompt even the shyest of introverts to contemplate a night of regrettable debauchery in Vegas. Metro Boomin and Future then slowed down the tempo for the spacey mixtape cut “March Madness” to the moody Weeknd duet “Low Life.” While Future has been a prolific hitmaker, the Wizard of trap music and money-making melodies proved he still hasn’t missed a beat.
When Memphis newcomer NLE Choppa stormed the stage, the energy was electric. In front of a young crowd, who moshed and rapped along, Choppa barely spit over his own vocals and opted to flaunt his impressive dance moves. But his standout track “Shotta Flow” was a party-starter for the afternoon attendees. And as an artist who just turned 17 years old a day prior, there’s plenty of room for potential.
On the fiery track “Trust Issues,” DMV rapper Rico Nasty raps: “Bitch, I'm a dog, but I just broke up out the kennel.” Consider her an MC whose bark got bite. Hip-hop’s proudest nasty gal almost had a wardrobe malfunction with her teeny silver bra but continued to swag it out for the rest of her set, which felt like a roll call for bad bitches only with performances of “Bitch I’m Nasty” and “Sandy.” Right before launching into “Poppin’,” she prompted the audience, “If you standin’ next to a bad bitch, put her on your shoulders. This song’s for you.” To close, she performed the crowdpleaser “Smack a Bitch.” Cue the “Nasty” chants.
Donning a shirt that read “I love f—ing being rich,” a moon chain and black studded pants he had to readjust twice, the melodic MC was hopping around the stage as the festival’s master of trippy ceremonies. He paints a pretty vast spectrum of hood-to-riches emotions. In between pulls from a blunt, he could lament into the mic, “Please don’t throw your love away” (from the late XXXTENTACION collaboration “F–k Love”) moments after calling out a woman on “Negative Energy”: “She pro’lly got crabs, she so crusty I bet that lil' p—y is p—y, just the thought of that shit is disgusting.” Minutes later, he could jump into “Bust Down” and celebrate getting a new Porsche with new money. Prone to rap-yell, he also has no reservations in asking fans to scream at each other and then swerve into a monologue.
“All this shit, I don’t give a f–k. I’m me. I’m Michael Lamar White. I’m Trippie Redd,” he said. “And that’s who I’ma continue to be, regardless of who like me.” The only F-bomb he does give: staying true to himself. And with that, he performed his verse off Tory Lanez’ “Ferris Wheel” and proceeded to stay lit.