Young Rap Gods: Rae Sremmurd & Lil Yachty Live Review & Photos | Hard Rock Live, Orlando, FL | October 5, 2016

by • October 24, 2016

The air of change has been blowing through hip hop as of late. It comes in the form of twenty-somethings — sometimes younger, mostly from Atlanta — disregarding the established “rules” of hip hop in favor of their own self-expression. For them, lyrics get in the way of their varied emotions — it matters little what you’re saying, but how you say it. And as a huge fan of this new wave, I’ve had to defend it time after time as both authentic hip hop and authentic art. In these debates, I often compare what haters are calling “mumble rap” to the rise of Impressionism in France during the late-1800s. Forms, in today’s case lyrics, were disregarded, blurred to draw attention to the bright color pallets they were painting in — comparable to how artists like Young Thug bark, yip, and “scrrrr”their way through their art in a similar, colorful way.

Rae Sremmurd Lil Yachty Live Review & Photos

Two of the biggest buzz artists to come out of this lane are Rae Sremmurd and Lil Yachty. Together, they drew a mass of millennials into Hard Rock Live to hear their happy, poppy trap-infused party music. The self-proclaimed “King of Teens” Lil Yachty was on first. I’ve spent a ton of time this year studying the 19-year-old phenom. The multiple personas trading time throughout his debut mixtape Lil Boat fascinated the music world, and he’s had a string of hits and memorable music videos to further elevate his status. I’m probably one of a handful of people to see him perform live three times in the last 12 months. And I can say that I keep coming back because from the moment he gets on stage, Yachty is constantly in entertainment mode, jumping around stage with his friends and drenching the crowd with water. “Minnesota,” “Broccoli,” and “One Night” are always the crowd favorites, but as a someone who’s constantly keeping up with his output, I love seeing the lesser-known, but still bombastic, tracks like “Mase in ’97.” 2016 has been the breakout year for The Boat Boy, but I can only see his stock rising as he continues to spread the positive word of bubblegum trap around the country.

Rae Sremmurd Lil Yachty Live Review & Photos

Rae Sremmurd Lil Yachty Live Review & Photos

The brothers, Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi, known as Rae Sremmurd are hot off the release of SremmLife2, their second album of non-stop sugary club bangers. Just reading that description, it’s easy to think that listening to an album centered around braggadocious parties could get repetitive. But Rae Sremmurd, along with their longtime mentor and producer Mike Will Made It, are creative forces strong enough to keep fans interested through clever hooks, refreshing beats, and eccentric verses. Live, they stuck to what they do best. The crowd bounced through 50ish minutes of hit after hit. Sremm looked like young gods standing above the mesmerized crowd. Girls fought over Swae Lee’s shirt — the title of “Black Beatles” never seemed more fitting. At one point, Jxmmi pulled a table into the middle of the stage and rapped atop it, further elevating the room’s huge vibe. Then, in one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen, he body slammed down on the table WWE-style, causing it to cave under his swag. Rock n roll is dead people. Rockstars don’t exist anymore. Rap superstars like Rae Sremmurd have taken their place. And after this bombastic night of expression, I say good riddance.

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Rae Sremmurd & Lil Yachty Live Review & Photos by Matthew Weller.


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