By David McGlothlin
[Our 401 Review hip-hop critic traveled from Tucson to Dallas for A$AP Rocky and Tyler, the Creator]
East meets West Coast as Harlem’s finest, A$AP Rocky and Cali native Tyler, the Creator — currently two of the biggest names in rap and hip-hop — take the stage on their joint tour, which began Sept. 19.
A sold-out show at the South Side Ballroom in Dallas admitted 3,988-people to the standing room only venue on Friday, Oct. 9 — which is 12 fewer than the maximum occupancy.
Safe to say 12 people missed out.
ASAP Rocky, also known as Lord Flacko, kept fans of all ages from teenagers to middle-aged bouncing, waving their hands, singing along, passing the weed and sending smoke signals into the stage lights, long past midnight.
The stage towering three stories high was entirely illuminated by LED lights that continuously change revealing the size and energy of the crowd while silhouetting ASAP Rocky on stage.
During “Goldie,” the lights glistened with a flow of gold and black streams. ASAP performed “LSD” on the second story while the stage illuminated the crowd with a barrage of trippy colors morphing into each other.
Until ASAP took the stage, most people enjoyed drinks at the bars surrounding the venue or stood outside smoking what smelt like a mix of tobacco and weed. The anxious crowd quickly squeezed into any open gap closest to the stage once he appeared.
The stage was psychedelic. The crowd was peaking. The lyrics were loud and crisp. And the beats mixed with roars of the fans resonating into the Dallas streets.
Rocky was joined on stage by his most trusted companions and fellow member of the ASAP mob, a New York collective of childhood friends.
Lord Flacko would be on the second story as ASAP Twelvy, ASAP Lou Banga and others hyped up the crowd on the bottom level with the DJ.
Late in the performance, ASAP Rocky also called opening act Tyler, the Creator and on stage shouting, “Come out Tyler! We need to turn up right now!”
The ASAP mob movement turned up in 2011 after ASAP Rocky took the hip-hop scene by surprise with his self-released debut album, “Live. Love. ASAP,” with hits like “Purple Swag” and “Pesos.” Next step was starting his own label with friend, and co-founder ASAP Yams called ASAP Worldwide.
Rocky released his second consecutive album to debut number one on the charts called “At. Long. Last. ASAP,” in 2015 with ASAP Worldwide.
He began performing on rooftops and street venues in New York for crowds only in the hundreds. Today his resume includes sold-out shows of tens of thousands with headlining acts like Drake and Rihanna.
Despite fame, fortune, millions and the attention of the entire hip-hop community, ASAP Rocky stays true to his roots. Noisey tells ASAP Rocky’s story from his first rap as a kid to his recent fame in a five-part documentary called SVDDXNLY, which made me want to see him perform in the first place.
My $45 ticket, and flight from Tucson to Dallas to catch the ASAP Rocky concert was well worth it.
What were those 12-people thinking? 3,988 of us left the concert more than pleased, raving about our favorite parts.