It feels like every time I’ve gone to First Avenue in the past month there’s been awful weather and it’s down poured right before I walk in the doors. The great thing is, regardless of how poor the forecast is, each time I’m walked through the doors of First Ave I get a certain energy and excitement about the night that’s to come.
I should also mention that this was no ordinary night for me at First Ave, it was my first time attending a hip-hop concert at the venue, not to mention it was sold out! I’ve heard great things about the hip-hop/rap shows that take place at First Ave, but I was never able to make it to one for some of my favorite artist. I knew that this night was going to have some interesting things in store for me.
The first artist I saw was Mereba, a female rapper, born in Atlanta, but now resides in L.A., who has a unique blend of r&b, folk, and hip hop as she lucratively tells stories on top of laid back beats. I really enjoyed what she brought to the stage, not only does she have a voice that makes you feel all warm inside, she can also spit some incredible lines. This girl has it all when it comes to rapping, the speed, the deep rooted meaning behind her lyrics, all while being accompanied by beats that don’t overwhelm her message. I could she her and Dessa collaborating on something truly amazing, as I feel like they both have very similar style and feel to their music.
Just like Saba, J.I.D knows how to work an audience. He’s constantly moving around as he works each side of the venue getting his fans to mimic each movement he makes on stage. If he threw his hands up in the air, so did the crowd, it was like clockwork. Whatever he did, the crowd loved it and wanted more and more with each passing moment. At one point after one of his songs, an audience member threw something on stage. I was half expecting it to be a bra or weed, but it turned out to be someone’s demo that they had put on a flash drive. That got J.I.D laughing saying, “Y’all could’ve just handed it to me, you didn’t have to just throw it up here. Y’all need to learn to chill out for a bit.” It’s understandable why someone would try and get him to listen to their demo though, his music is top notch! Now he may not be a Kendrick Lamar or J. Cloe, but you can clearly see the influence those artist have on his music. He has the lyrical creativeness and speed that Kendrick has, but the beats to his songs remind me a lot like what J. Cole raps on top of.