Pull Up: Joey Bada$$ and friends shake the TLA to its foundation

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Joey Bada$$ | photo by Lissa Alicia for WXPN

Just one day after 4/20, plumes of weed smoke blanketed the Theater of Living Arts on South Street, as fans anticipated the performance of Brooklyn native Joey Bada$$. The Amerikkkan Tour, which kicked off on April 17th in Boston Massachusetts, featured Boogie, Buddy, and Bada$$’ fellow Pro Era labelmate, Dessy Hinds.

For Bada$$ to be notorious for his spitfire rhymes and “real hip-hop” backpacker aesthetics, it is no surprise that the openers were also highly talent and highly lyrical rappers.

The sold out show kicked off with a high energy performance from Dessy Hinds who sported a bright yellow track jacket while spitting popular tracks such as “Savior”.

Dessy Hinds | photo by Lissa Alicia for WXPN

After a brief intermission, Compton rapper, Boogie, took to the stage. He sported a Red members only style jacket with his hometown stitched on the left breast. His signature lisp went nearly unnoticed while he spit a whirlwind of rappid lyrics to his songs “Niggas Need” and “Sunroof.” In some songs, Boogie showcased his singing capabilities: “I love you like the Westside, Fingers out the sunroof / won’t you let your wings loose, Look at all your stress fly,” sang the scratchy-voiced MC on “Sunroof.”

The next person to take the stage was Buddy, another Compton rapper with a penchant for singing. Although Boogie and Buddy are both from one of the hardest areas in Los Angeles, and possess similar names and skill sets, Buddy stands out with his West Coast twinge that can cause new listeners to liken him to a modern, and more wholesome member of NWA. The highlight of his performance may have come right at the very end when he performed “Black,” is a high energy ode to blackness in every form.

Boogie | photo by Lissa Alicia for WXPN

After a pretty significant wait (which included out-of-place EDM club music and some unhappy hip-hop fans), Bada$$ finally graced the TLA with his presence. The stage, which had much less personality for the openers, was outfitted to look like something that resembled a World War II battlefield bunker. The background was an image of the American flag with an overlay of classic bandana details. Bada$$ himself was outfitted with an olive green bulletproof army vest.

Joey Bada$$ | photo by Lissa Alicia for WXPN

Bada$$’ performance was high energy the entire night. He appeared to have a lot of “day zero” fans, as he called it, as opposed to day one fans who were able to rap along to every song including track of of his 1999 album as well as Amerikkkana. Between songs, Bada$$ made sure to thank his fans and pay remembrance to loved ones who have passed on, including former labelmate Capital Steez.

The most exciting moment of the night came when Bada$$ performed “Pull Up.” The crowd was so turnt, that the floor was undulating beneath their feet when the entire venue jumped to the beat. The night was capped off with an encore performance of “Amerikkkan Idol.”

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