In a weekend that saw 18,000 ecstatic concert-goers swamped in hives to enjoy Pitchfork’s annual music festival, the sweltering avenue of W. Chicago found another reason to be excited about an live event. Yelawolf, the Alabama smooth talker who commanded the rookie spotlight with his immaculate mixtape Trunk Muzik earlier this year, had finally made his way to the Windy City. Albeit not a lot of cool air was blowing in the middle of the July, it was still apparent that something special was going on through the sky.
Making a similar Chi-Town debut, Purple Ribbon employees Vonnegutt spearheaded the night’s festivities with a rap ‘n’ roll bang. If label head Big Boi experienced years of trying to get his solo album off the ground, it would come as no surprise that the employees would have it twice as hard. But they sure didn’t play like it. Ripping through a set that included morsels from their Appetizer EP and recent venture with Big Boi, the crowd warmed up to the band the minute lead vocalist Kyle Lucas introduced everyone. It was Pop with a cutting edge; Hip-Hop with a slice of rock melon. It was Vonnegutt.
For those who complain about the lack of authenticity in their rappers, look no further than Sean Falyon. The bearded Atlanta Brave wasn’t even on the bill but like his recent project insists: Sean Falyon Be Everywhere. After a brief intro and energetic performance of “Underdog,” the crowd seemed more than pleased of their bonus guest. Taking the adrenaline to dangerous proportions, Rockwell Knuckles was his usual cordial self, politely telling “motherfuckers to come closer” before unleashing his throaty growls of lyrical pestilence to plague the fevered masses. The people ate up every word of his smashes “Shooting Star” and “Government Name” as a certain someone from your favorite website passed out copies of Choose Your Own Adventure to every empty hand in the house.
After being serviced by the out-of-towners, the local favorites in BBU and Hollywood Holt turned the pandemonium levels in the sweltering club to newer heights. For those unfamiliar with BBU, think Fishbone with flow. Bin Laden Blowing Up sent a few scud missiles through the huddle, straight from their Fear Of A Clear Channel Planet tape. The arrival of Hollywood Holt officially made the Darkroom an elbow-to-elbow affair, as he brought out the frat crowds who can’t resist a hipster movement with limitless energy. Testing out material for his ridiculously long-titled upcoming mixtape, the Chicago native left the crowd in a tizzy—the perfect setup for the headlining act.
With DJ RTC spinning the latest in leaked Internet classics, the people had no choice but to keep their blood pumping. Esteemed colleagues such as Freddie Gibbs, MZ & Beware, Andrew from FakeShoreDrive, Vandalyzm and the LEP Bogus Boys all rounded out the party as the sponsor of the night, Colt 45 was lifted from the bar in droves. The stage lights were doing their best traffic light renditions and the time had finally come maître d’ to claim the venue as his. Draped in a black-on-black The Hundreds jacket with the shirt to match, it didn’t take long for Yelawolf to go topless as he whispered through the title track from his marquee street LP. Ever the crowd interactor, Yela noticed a gluteus-endowed young lady was clutching to an empty bottle, so he invited her on the stage to be the eye candy for “My Box Chevy Pt. 3.” The obvious stimulant, “Speak Her Sex” featured a different female participant as she straddled the sound system to the infectious rhythm. Sounding just like studio quality, Yela breezed through gems such as “F.U.” and “In This Club” before shutting it down with “Pop The Trunk” as the enthusiastic crowd finished the third verse verse for him as he conducted his orchestra with merely the stroke of his tatted hand. Not bad for your first time into town, eh?