Words by Lily Mercer
Photo By Jessica Lehrman

Last night, history happened. Not in an “Oh shit, you were there when Tupac got shot?!” kinda way, but in a “We just witnessed something that will most likely be really important one day” way.

With a lineup consisting of a team of New Yorkers on a crusade to make good music felt by all, things were going to be epic. But what quickly became clear was that all of these artists are about to do big things in hip-hop, and by next year, you probably won’t be able to catch them all on the same bill. Considering these rappers are friends as well only adds to the rarity.

In life, nothing good comes easily, so a great deal of time was spent waiting to get into the venue. The bouncers seized many drugs, but hey, that shit happens I guess. Once the pain of losing drugs wore off, the night started with Haleek Maul, the Bajan MC, causing a stir. Joined on stage by Supreme Cuts, the trio’s high-energy show set a high standard.

Recently, the Underachievers demonstrated the irony in their name by signing a deal with Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label. Their intelligent lyrics maintained their power in the live performance, as the duo spat their rhymes in a fury. The group is one of a handful of artists contributing to the current renaissance in the New York rap scene.

“You see everyone on this stage tonight? That’s the new New York,” Bodega Bamz announced at the end of his set. On a stage decorated by a Puerto Rican and a Dominican Republic flag, he ran through his stable of tracks, from “P.A.P.I.” to “My Name Is.” Surrounded by his Tan Boys, Bamz stripped off his jacket to reveal a bulletproof vest. He returned to the stage twice following his set to perform tracks with both Children of the Night and Flatbush Zombies.

Several acts took the opportunity to debut songs for the audience, with both Flatbush Zombies and Children of the Night, who were joined by their larger collective, World’s Fair. Performing several tracks from Queens…Revisited, the group made sure to interact with the audience as much as possible, even reciting their verses from within the crowd. Taking the show’s Acid Alumni credentials seriously, COTN kept things trippy, with group member Nasty Nigel’s ode to LSD, “Ellis.” They later ended their set with the bass-heavy, Skywlkr-produced track, “Ilyas,” and a new World’s Fair track, “Get Out.”

But it wasn’t all fun and games. One poor girl got beer in her eye when Flatbush Zombies’ Meech shook up an entire 40 ounce and sprayed the crowd. Luckily, she survived their set, which featured rowdy renditions of “Face Off,” S.C.O.S.A.” and the recently released, “The Hangover.” Needless to say, “Bath Salts” worked the crowd into a frenzy, despite the lack of A$AP Mob.

Before the excitement of “Thug Waffle,” Kilo Kish emerged to play “JupiterSound,” continuing the night’s trend for rare performances. Earlier in the night, Bamz kicked it off when he brought out A$ton Matthews for their track, “Latino Heat,” then later during COTN’s set with the live premiere of his collaboration with Remy Banks, “GLDCHN.”

Superfans, industry people, and Asher Roth were all in attendance. It’s safe to say no one left disappointed.

Published by Noisey.

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