Alright, look… I can admit it. I couldn’t name three Lil’ Uzi Vert songs a couple days ago if you paid me too…. Which I guess technically as a writer they do pay me for that? I’ve traditionally been labeled as “pretentious” and an “old head” by friends and colleagues due to my love for meaningful 16’s. Yes, bars and entendres make my world go round. Still, I’m a fan of MUSIC and a huge fan of a wavy aesthetic and lately, I’ve been feeling intrigued to see what makes my generation so infatuated with these artists. And after seeing WILD videos on Twitter of Uzi performing at various venues, as well as this Hot 97 interview — more on that later — I decided it was time to check out one of his shows for myself. Plus, it didn’t hurt that my new favorite collective, 1207, was opening up the night for him. Before you read any further, I’ll tell you one thing… I was not disappointed. Check out the recap below of one of the most lit — that’s what the kids are saying nowadays right? — shows of I’ve ever attended.
As soon as I arrived to the venue, this show seemed a bit different. Now, I’ve been to many many shows — ranging from Joey Bada$$ & Mick Jenkins, to A$AP Ferg and Flatbush Zombies — at the North Park Observatory in San Diego, but NOTHING made it ever look quite like this. There were lines and lines of people at the box office just hoping to score tickets, and that’s not even mentioning the line to get past security for people who already had tickets. I stopped to myself and thought, “Wow Uzi out did everybody this is nuts.” before I was quickly brought back to reality when I seen a group of people in dad hats with Lemon emblems…
The city was there to see Rob $tone and 1207.
Sure, many of the 18-22 year olds who attended were even more enticed by the placement of Uzi to close the show, but 1207 owned all of the buzz.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, 1207 is a rap collective that’s hails from Lemon Grove, California. A small industrial town just outside of San Diego. The group’s popularity has been spearheaded by the signing of front man Rob $tone to RCA records and the subsequent blow up of his debut single, “Chill Bill“, which features bandmates, J. Spooks and J. Davi$ — free J. Davi$.
Oh yeah, and this viral fight video didn’t hurt their rep either.
Since I reside in San Diego, I’ve had the pleasure of covering $tone and co for the last three months during their rise to prominence. Throughout that time, I attended a show that was thrown in celebration of $tone’s signing to RCA Records in late June. The show — which was at a small venue in SD named Soma — was a typical independent Hip-Hop show that saw day one fans turn up with the hometown kids right before the bandwagons came running.
I’m not sure anybody could have predicted just how fast that bandwagon would come.
The show at Soma showcased a group of kids who had acres of star potential and distinct personalities. The subsequent show at The Observatory showcased artists who had realized their potential and were currently grasping it. The contrast of confidence and emotion shown on stage between the two shows were day and night.
First letting the crowd get hyped with Malik Burgers & Keely performing their RIDICULOUSLY turnt track, “Goddamn“, 1207 then sent out fan favorite J. Spooks to perform some of his hits. Though the unit was strong in it’s opening, the whole crew — and building in general — received a surge of energy when the hometown kid rocking the Lance Alworth Charger jersey came out for the first time.
Walking casually to the front of the stage with a mic in hand, $tone then put his hands up and greeted the crowd. “San Diego, what the f*ck is up? This my hometown right?” said $tone in the most confidence I’ve seen in a new artist.
A star was born, right in front of everybody’s eyes.
Unleashing banger after banger in tracks like “Ice Cream Man“, “If You Down” & “Suspects“; $tone then got the crowd going with three unreleased tracks that are going to shake up the scene when they drop, one of which features a crazy Rolling Stones sample. 1207 owned the stage, and they owned the crowd.
They own San Diego.
And this was all apparent even before the moment of the night happened. “Everybody get your phones out, get them lights up” said Spooks to the crowd as the anticipation grew with everybody assuming what was about to happen.
It was “Chill Bill” time.
Now, I can sit here and write about how “Chill Bill” was the most lit performance of a single track that I’ve ever seen — which it was — but I’d waaaaaaaay rather show you. So check these clips out and let the fans do my work for me.
.@youngrobstone – “Chill Bill”
This was the second time around…. pic.twitter.com/SPunTU5IFw
— RESPECT. MAGAZINE (@RESPECTMAG) August 12, 2016
— karrrrr (@SimplyKarrr) August 12, 2016
— AJ2 (@A20H) August 12, 2016
You just saw that sh*t right? Yeah, that’s why I just spent 900 words on an opening act. I think it’s safe to say that 1207 is here to stay, so kill all that “one hit wonder” noise.
After the sonic explosion that was 1207, the crowd was as hyped as ever in anticipation for Uzi to come out. Normally, the closer makes fans wait an extended amount of time as their DJ attempts to get the place jumping.
None of that was needed.
Due to the crazy hype of the crowd, Vert came out no less than 15 mins after $tone to a sea of applause and adoration. Rocking a fresh Vlone shit and some Yeezy Boost 750’s, the Philly native was ooozing with swank — no pun intended.
Starting the set off with the banger, “Do What I Want” from his newest project, The Perfect Luv Tape, the man instantly made me a believer. Though I’m still not sure I’m quite ready to jump on the bandwagon, Vert’s stage presence was undeniable. He truly isn’t a rapper.
That man is a rock star.
Which is exactly what he had said on Hot 97 but nobody cared to take it seriously. His crisp dance moves and precise cuts to the beat are more reminiscent of Janis Joplin than Tupac, and his melodic vocals are more in the realm of a rock band than any rapper currently out.
Unchaining hit after hit which included the two songs that even got me pumped up; “Money Longer” and “P’s & Q’s“, Uzi had the crowd eating out the palm of his hand. During the middle of “P’s & Q’s” Uzi simply put the microphone down and let the crowd sing for him.
They knew EVERY word and finished the track with crazy precision, keys and and all.
With fans like that, and a stage presence that’s from another planet, I guess Uzi really doesn’t need to rap. It’s time for “old heads” like me to get off our high horses and enjoy the ride.
As Kanye would say, “Listen to the kids bro!”
Well, you guys have my attention.
Check out more pictures/video from the insane night and be sure to follow RESPECT. Mag on snapchat — respectmag — so you don’t miss out anymore crazy nights like this one.