On November 21st, 2014, I went to the 1st Bank Center and checked out trap lords Flosstradamus with up-and-coming rapper G-Eazy. Both of these artists come from a field that is met with mixed reactions from wannabe music critics, but are adored by people who couldn't care less about what Ian Cohen has to say. I was not familiar with either of their work, but I knew the names and was familiar with their scene. Going against my typical taste, I decided to see what I had been missing.
I had first heard of G-Eazy when he was the only rapper playing at Warped Tour several years ago. In the years between then and 2014, many of my rap-avid friends had started to really get into him, and his opening set proved that he might as well have been the main act. G-Eazy was clearly stoked to be playing an arena show, even if it was half full, and wasted no time in his set that covered about every inch of hip-hop ground you could imagine. His instrumentation was interesting, as it was him, a DJ, and a fantastic drummer. He had his earnest “real rap songs”, typical radio rap songs, the bangerzzz, and everything in between. I could see him becoming the next Macklemore (I don’t mean that as an insult), as he had a genuine star presence. Whereas A$AP Mob begs ladies to get freaky to no avail, within about 10 minutes G-Eazy had a plethora of bras hanging from his microphone stand. He played for a good hour or so, and what was honestly the best part of his performance was his humility. He’s clearly worked hard to get to where he was, and whether you like him or not anyone could appreciate how thankful G-Eazy is for his career. G-Eazy comes back to Denver on January 5th, 2015 at the Ogden Theatre.
Flosstradamus are a trap duo that are becoming a hot commodity in the genre. I don’t mind trap, TNGHT made one of my favorite electronic releases in any of the millions of electronic sub-genres. But let’s be completely honest, trap music— the EDC spectrum of electronic artists in general, is about style over substance. Kids go to these concerts to turn up and to dress skimpy without their dads finding out, and leave without remembering a note of music. That being said, I still had a blast. Once you accept the fact that this isn’t supposed to have substance, you can start to enjoy yourself and have fun. I danced with all sorts of random people and had a great time. Their show was very minimal, featuring a post-apocalyptic feel on stage with ruined cars and barbed wire that evoked scenes from The Terminator. The only song I clearly remember Flosstradamus playing is the song “Moshpit”, which is becoming the anthem for frat boys who want an excuse to fight kids but are too scared to listen to Morbid Angel or even Death Grips. If anything, this proved that the emerging EDM/Trap Rap mosh scene that is emerging is absolutely pathetic. The metal and punk scenes have over 30 years of handed down pit-etiquette that is being bastardized by this. I know I must sound mad, but I’m really not. I understand the fact that the ways people approach music change over time, and moshing is a way out for dudes who are too insecure to dance. However, seeing guys whom I know could destroy me in a fight aimlessly bump into each other with no regard to the rhythm of the music is just pathetic. Regardless of my metal upbringing bias, the show was great fun, although I don’t agree with my friends missing Neutral Milk Hotel for Flosstradamus at Coachella this year.
At KRCX, we’re about what’s current in music. This style of music isn’t my preferred listening, but I felt it was important to check out a scene that many don’t understand and is undeniably a big deal in popular music right now. G-Eazy will most likely be very big within 5 years, and while I don’t know how long the trap phase is going to last, you can rest assured that the maximalist EDM will stay for a while. Even if you don’t care for the music on a listening level, the live experience is definitely enjoyable, and what’s most important is that the crowd is there to have fun; with or without you.
by Sye Sharp