(AllHipHop News) On Tuesday night, 8 of the 10 (11 if you count honorary member Chief Keef) of the 2013 members of the XXL Freshmen Class performed at the New York stop of Monster Energy’s Outbreak Tour Presents XXL 2013 Freshmen Live Tour. Dizzy Wright, Kirko Bangz, Logic, Travi$ Scott, Action Bronson, Trinidad Jame$, Joey Bada$$, and Schoolboy Q all hit the stage at the Best Buy Theater in Times Square.
Before the show began, a line of diverse Hip Hop fans stretched around 7th Avenue and West 45th Street waiting for the doors to open. Once inside the show started on time at 8:10 PM as the hosts for the evening, Hot 97's Peter Rosenberg and Cipha Sounds, arrived on stage to introduce the night’s performers.
AllHipHop.com was in the house to take in the rising emcees’ performances. Check out the recap for each Freshman’s performance below.
Dizzy made this year’s list as the “People’s Champion Winner,” and the Las Vegas native definitely put in work that night to live up to that title. Dizzy opened his set with “Solo Dolo” off his 2012 album SmokeOut Conversations. When Dizzy D Flashy jumped into the DJ Hoppa-produced “Local Weed Man” the cannabis friendly crowd was actively singing along by the time the hook came around the second time. It was clear Dizzy had the smallest following in the NYC audience at the start of the night, but it’s no doubt he left with a lot more fans by the time he left.
Houston’s Kirko Bangz used the night to not only celebrate his selection on the Freshmen List, but he was also toasting another significant accomplishment. It was announced that earlier in the day his single “Drank In My Club” went platinum. Of course Bangz performed his million selling smash to the delight of the ladies in the crowd, and it was his featured hook on Meek Mill’s “Young & I’m Gettin’ It” that had the guys hype. Unfortunately, the auto-tuned backing track was louder than actual vocals throughout the whole performance, so most of the set was basically listening to the radio through really loud speakers.
Logic’s placement on the 2013 Freshmen List was arguably one of the most polarizing selections, mostly because a lot of Hip Hop fans had absolutely no prior knowledge of the Maryland rapper. But it seems that since appearing on the XXL cover his stock has risen, because the crowd was visibly excited when the 23-year-old made his appearance. His a cappella freestyles had mouths "oohing", and his song “All Sinatra Everything” (which samples Nas and Jay-Z) had heads nodding. Logic performed his entire set without a hype man, and his energy started to trail off near the end, but he left the crowd with his personal mantra “peace, love, and positivity.”
Grand Hustle and Very GOOD Beats’ Travi$ Scott was the only Freshman that had live instrumentation during his show. Veteran producer and frequent Kanye West collaborator Mike Dean performed on both keyboards and electric guitar. Scott ran through his set of songs which included “Upper Echelon” from his brand new EP Owl Pharoah and “Sin City” from the Cruel Summer compilation album. Scott’s brand of alternative Hip Hop was an interesting addition to the line-up; once he actually appeared on stage. Most of the beginning of Scott’s set was performed on the floor in front of the stage leaving the a majority of the audience staring at a mic stand for about five minutes.
“I’m a hero in my hometown, baby,” raps Action Bronson on “Strictly 4 My Jeeps.” Going by the reaction of the crowd on Tuesday, that’s obviously a true statement. Every time the music playing between performances went down in the theater, chants of “Bronson, Bronson” reigned out. Once the Queens native hit the stage the energy in the place instantly shot up. AB opened with “November Rain,” his contribution to the DJ Drama hosted Gangsta Grillz XXL Freshman Edition. He went on to perform his verse from A$AP Rocky’s posse cut “1 Train,” and surprised the crowd by bringing out Riff Raff and Troy Ave. Once Bronson left the stage a noticeable number of the crowd left as well.
As Atlanta’s Trinidad Jame$ addressed the crowd, he made it clear he represents his native city, but he also let the New York City audience know he has a lot of love for the birthplace of Hip Hop. Moments into his set he shouted out The Notorious B.I.G. before breaking into his ratchet rap anthems. “Female$ Welcome” had concert goers, no matter their current relationship status, showing appreciation to side chicks everywhere. Without a doubt the most turnt up moment of the night came when Trinidad performed his YouTube smash “All Gold Everything.” The only way to top the excitement generated from “Gold” was for the Def Jam signee to bring out DJ Drama, B.O.B, and Travi$ Scott to close out his performance.
It would seem like it would be an awkward transition to go from the slow southern delivery of Trinidad Jame$ to the East Coast lyrical style of Joey Bada$$, but emblematic of the musical preferences of this generation of rap fans, the crowd had no trouble following along. Joey kept the audience’s enthused as he went through “Waves,” “1 Train,” and “Unorthodox.” The Pro Era frontman also performed his new track off his upcoming debut album B4.DA.$$. Joey later had Fat Trel and Fredo Santana join him on stage, but the highlight of the set was the crowd rapping every word to the late Capital STEEZ’s verse from “Survival Tactics.”
All it took was for the TDE banner to hit the stage for the crowd to break into applause. Moments later the West Coast label’s representative for the evening appeared before the crowd with plumes of smoke rising from his lips. Schoolboy Q had the pleasure of closing out the show, and the Black Hippy member didn’t waste time raising the spirits of the audience with his Setbacks track “#BETiGOTSUMWEED” and the Habits & Contradictions track “My Hatin’ Joint.” After teasing fans that A$AP Rocky and Kendrick Lamar were backstage ready to join him, he took on his respective collaborative songs with the two rap stars solo. Schoolboy hit Rocky’s “Brand New Guy” and the K-Dot assisted “Blessed” before performing his single, “Yay, Yay” off his next LP Oxymoron.
All-in-all, the New York edition of Monster Energy’s Outbreak Tour Presents XXL 2013 Freshman Live Tour was a great representation of the next wave of rappers who are possibly on the cusp of serious stardom.
[ALSO CHECK OUT: Behind the Scenes of XXL’s Freshman Class 2013]