On Thursday night (Dec. 6), rap followers made their method into Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater for the sold-out BAPE Heads present. Lil Yachty, Pusha T, Big Sean, Wiz Khalifa and Kid Cudi had been all slated to carry out on the present celebrating Japanese streetwear line Bathing Ape’s 25th birthday. Up to an hour earlier than the present, excited center schoolers ambled across the will-call home windows, rocking too-big Yeezys and BAPE sweatshirts in anticipation of the all-star occasion.
Incidentally, it appeared that half of the concertgoers had recovered their BAPE signature camos for the particular occasion. The model created a form of interactive expertise all through the venue. As ticketholders made their method into the theater, there have been numerous selfie-worthy photograph opps -- from the camo-covered partitions to the similar mannequins in hoodies and a child Milo (the model mascot) toddling round on the entry stage.
At 7:04 p.m., the world was solely about half-full, nonetheless, Lil Yachty was up first, opening his set with “Who Want the Smoke?” then shifting into “Wanna Be Us” from his debut studio LP Lil Boat. By the time he arrived at “Ice Tray,” the gang's enthusiasm amped up and the rapper really discovered his groove with “NBAYoungBoat,” his featured verses on “iSpy” and “Broccoli” and the compulsory “Minnesota” with an animated Yachty driving a polar bear on a large display screen overhead.
It wasn’t lengthy earlier than the lights went out and Pusha appeared in a superb orange jacket and blue cap. There was silence, then the opening line of “If You Know, You Know” boomed by way of the theater with no backing monitor: “Pulling up in that new toy/ The wrist on that boy/ Rock star like Pink Floyd...," he rapped as followers continued to reach whereas these already of their seats stood up throughout each part and row, virtually out of reverence. “Welcome to the DAYTONA expertise...,” Pusha bellowed earlier than operating by way of the complete tracklist of the challenge launched earlier this yr from “Hard Piano” to “Infrared” and “What Would Meek Do.” The crowd remained on their ft, bobbing to the hard-nosed lyrics, reciting those that they had memorized. “DAYTONA! Rap album of the yr,” he snarled.
Pusha seamlessly started “Mercy” as Big Sean sauntered out in a cream coloured BAPE hoodie and overalls. The two dove into the monitor, profiting from the gang’s rising power. From there, Pusha stayed to get into his verse on Chief Keef’s “I Don’t Like (Remix),” then left the stage to Sean who wasted no time earlier than diving with the ominous rumble of “Paradise.” “I at all times wished to stunt so arduous/ I at all times wished to trip that whip/ I at all times wished to fuck that bitch," he rapped.
All of the artists on the invoice appeared to have some particular connection to the Bathing Ape model. Kid Cudi handed Kanye West his demo years in the past when he was an worker on the model’s NYC boutique. Later in his set, Sean reminded concertgoers that his first video, 2009’s “Getcha Some,” was filmed on the Bathing Ape retailer in Japan at Yeezy’s course. “Kanye took me to Tokyo and I had not more than a pair hundred in my account. I’m so completely satisfied to be right here man,” he shared. “I’m an unique BAPE Head.”
The Detroit MC moved swiftly by way of “Clique,” “Blessed,” “All Me” and his verses on MADEINTYO’s “Skateboard P” and YG’s “Big Bank,” bouncing across the total time. The vibe of the venue had modified utterly at this level -- simply an hour into the present -- but it surely nonetheless felt as if nearly all of concertgoers had been ready for one thing.
Wiz Khalifa was up subsequent, taking the stage in a blue and white flannel, spliff in hand. He kicked off his set-list with just a few cuts from 2010’s Kush & Orange Juice, referring to “The Kid Frankie” and “The Statement” earlier than two-stepping and lip syncing alongside to the opening Smokey Robinson pattern on “Car Service.” He hopped throughout the stage as soon as each few bars, solely stopping to take a drag of his blunt and blow the smoke out over the primary couple rows of the pit. Khalifa is cool onstage, practically indifferent, however by some means jol.
Clearly completely satisfied to be operating by way of his many hits, Wiz was by no means too pressed to coerce the gang into leaping, which they did on their very own anyway For instance, “We Dem Boys” had the gang trying upward and smiling politely -- Khalifa did the hook and moved on to a few his different bangers, “Black and Yellow” and the frenzied “Taylor Gang” and the followers opened up once more, going ballistic to the latter.
Finally, the home was full and the world buzzed with pure elation, awaiting headliner Kid Cudi. The identical center schoolers noticed earlier than the present danced to Kanye’s “Yikes” within the interim and when the lights went out and the chords for “Father Stretch My Hands, Pt. 1” rumbled by way of the theater, the thrill reached a peak. “I simply wanna be liberated / I, I, I...” echoed by way of the rows of individuals, the complete crowd screaming the traces. Once he wrapped up that first monitor, Cudi simply stood there on stage with an enormous grin plastered throughout his face as the gang chanted his title.
The followers would maintain their chants up between each monitor. From “Pursuit of Happiness (Nightmare)” to “Mr. Rager,” concertgoers grew increasingly more enchanted because the evening went on. Cudi devoted one monitor “to all of the fucked up children like me.” He teased the followers within the pit: “Imma come down there and fuck wit’ y’all. May certain you make some room for me...” Cudi was charismatic, gleeful even. He reminded us that this all began together with his stint on the BAPE in SoHo -- this whole chapter of his journey. By the time he wrapped up his set with “Surfin’,” the power was infectious. “Yup! Yup!,” he shouted, high-stepping to the beat, from one finish of the stage to the other, “It’s a revolution...” Definitely.