Photo courtesy of SCKnows

Houston doesn’t have those big music experiment styled concerts you see proliferate New York & Los Angeles. Not because the city doesn’t have a rich tradition in music (it does) and neither because its fans are passionate (they are). Houston doesn’t get that type of treatment because the artists that play its venues from out of town don’t have a scarlet letter attached to them.

Last night, that all changed. Scoremore had found the exact moment where the stars aligned perfectly for A$AP Rocky, Harlem’s ambassador of trillwave and adopter of everything in Houston’s rap aesthetic to show up. During an off day between the Club Paradise tour he’s opening on for Drake, the promoters squeezed him, the A$AP Mob and about near close to 2,000 people inside of Warehouse Live’s ballroom venue to conduct a social experiment.

By the time he was finished around 12:20 Monday morning, all of the preconceived notions Houstonians had about Rocky and his acceptance here were thrown out the window. Maybe it was because of the crowd’s youth (mostly teenagers & Anglo) or general disposition to love everything on the scene & new. Whatever the case maybe, A$AP Rocky stood on the stage flanked by at least 150 people who wanted to party with him.

A$AP loves Houston. Apparently, they love him too.

Bun B Performs “Get Throwed” [via BlowHipHopTV]

After we shuffled in to catch the tail end of UZOY’s set, the rumbling began. DJ Mr. Rogers while interchanging with Rapid Ric & Candlestick asked the crowd “Y’all ready to see A$AP Rocky?” Thunderous cheers. The question was repeated nearly an hour later after Doughbeezy gave fans a precursor to his  Blue Magic mixtape with a keen sense of stage presence (one acapella freestyle to win everybody over plus mixtape favorites). Same response.

When Rocky entered, he and the rest of the A$AP Mob stood in an almost military style pose, soaking in adulation and approval. He lead with “Pretty Flacko” the first track of the year from him and kept reverting back to standouts from LIVE.LOVE.A$AP. The mob behind us pushed forward, sardine packing everyone in with a strong combination of weed & brews filling the air. It led to a moment where we kept peeking over our shoulder waiting for another girl to pass out and be taken outside to get some air.

Fittingly, A$AP made mention of the word “trill” two minutes into his set. Then as he began peeling off the four layers of clothes he had on throughout the night, a guest arrived. Bun B sauntered out with full intent to destroy something for “Get Throwed”, enunciating Pimp C’s verse with fire in his Trill Gladiator letterman. Fellow Club Paradise tour mate Kendrick Lamar came from absolutely nowhere and “A.D.H.D” to a crowd who ate it up like free money.

He closed with “Peso”, his breakthrough single filtering its way onto local radio. The kid named after Rakim Allah smiled, thanking the crowd for letting him feel like he was home. Yet, he wasn’t done. The DJ played “Still Tippin’”, Slim Thug stepped on stage and peered into the crowd like a giant overseeing a village. Then a shirtless Rocky asked for the crowd to join him on stage. They obliged and then played Three Six Mafia & Crime Mob. It looked like an old Memphis club at that point, rowdy and fearless. In all of my appearances at Warehouse Live, this had never happened. Not this energetic, not this crazed and joyous. This was his moment, the one we all thought he may have not gotten in the first place.

All the fervor people made about Rocky simmered once he took the stage. No erratic behavior, no boos, nothing. It was as if the crowd had welcomed him with open arms like he was a refugee needing a home. And on this night, he had one.

The Crowd: Young and inebriated.
Crowd Quotable: “He looks like MC Gusto!” (one fan in reference to A$AP Rocky)
SET LIST:

“Pretty Flacko”
“Say Wassup”
“Purple Swag”
“Brand New Guy”
“Get Lit”
“Trilla”
“Bass”
“Peso”