As far as the new crop of young, mush-mouthed hip hop hit makers go, there are no two bigger names than Rae Sremmurd and Lil Yachty. With Lil Yachty being 19 and the members of Rae Sremmurd being 21 and 22 respectively, they may be a fly-by-night fad as much as future mainstays of hip hop. For now, both are on top of their games and at nearly maximum exposure.
Because of their ages, I perhaps should not have been surprised that the show was all ages but I was. Merely a song or two into opening act, Eearz‘ set did I see my first passed out under aged rager being carried out by paramedics. It was a sure sign of things to come. As Eearz politely asked the crowd to get lit, the largely underage crowd were more concerned with capturing themselves on Snapchat. It wasn’t until Lil Yachty that those cameras turned around to capture what was going on on the stage.
Yachty was as committed to his image as ever. Wearing a Nautica hoodie and pants and his DJ constantly pressing a sampler saying “Lil Boat,” Yachty remained on brand. Promoting his Lil Boat and Summer Songs 2, Yachty ran through crowd favorites like “Wanna Be Us,” “Up Next 2,” and his verse on D.R.A.M.’s #5 Billboard Hot 100 hit, “Broccoli.” Although there was no waning in the crowd’s enthusiasm, the 19-year-old rapper told the crowd “I don’t care who you are or what you do, I want you to lose your mind right now” before playing “Minnesota.” He closed his set with “1Night.”
Considering the crowd’s reaction to Yachty, it was hard to believe that Rae Sremmurd could top the performance but the Mississippi duo tried. Kicking it off with “Start a Party” from SremmLife 2, it was as though a call for all blunts to be lit was called from stage; the aroma wafted in the air and smoke filled College Street. Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi ran through their hits like “Black Beatles,” “Come Get Her,” and “This Could Be Us.” A highlight was playing “Up Like Trump” where they made the crowd say “fuck Donald Trump” before they would begin. Throughout the song, images of Donald Trump as the devil appeared on the video board behind them.
While Rae Sremmurd continued through their litany of hits, things were increasingly bizarre. There were pineapples. Swae Lee threw a pineapple straight up in the air so it came crashing on stage and smashed like this was a Gallagher show. He carried the stem of the smashed pineapple around the stage with him for an entire song before very carefully tossing it to an audience members. That was not the end of the pineapples. It turned out they had many on stage to play with throughout the set.
While the pineapples and video board were all part of the show’s spectacle, Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi really did know how to play to the crowd. They took snaps and selfies with audience member’s phones throughout the set, making sure the phones were returned to the correct owners. They popped gold bottles, spraying the audience but also made sure to throw out water bottles to keep the crowd hydrated. In the end, unlike the other acts of the night, Rae Sremmurd never told the crowd to get lit because the audience was already there, 100% and they never left.