WAKA FLOCKA @ OGDEN THEATRE | 10/25/12
In order for Waka Flocka and his crew to keep pace with his past appearance in the Mile High City, all they would have had to do at this is walk out on stage and perform a few hit singles. Instead, the Brick Squad Monopoly (SQUAD!) spit a rowdy, if somewhat underwhelming, set that wasn't quite as ecstatic as expected based on his previous show at Club Arriba last year. Right before Flocka took the stage, the hype man who had been entertaining the crowd for a majority of the evening warned of throwing shit on the stage because, he explained, "We gotta keep Waka Flocka out of prison." A few minutes later, the rapper appeared from the side stage and received an overwhelming response from fans.
With "Death of Me," one of many of tracks the rapper dropped over the course of the night that have appeared on one of four Salute Me or Shoot Me mixtapes, the crowd lost a little energy, and Flocka himself seemed to need to catch a breath. And this was just two songs in. He sat down in front of the stage for a couple songs, carelessly joining in harmony with his vocal tracks that were playing, all the while stroking hands of the fans pawing at him.
Following "Clap," Waka Flocka teased the idea of playing something a little more mainstream. "Yo," he announced, "these people deserve a hit." Just as he said this, Alien Warr, the drummer whose antics behind the Atlanta rapper were notably entertaining in their own right, busted into the opening drum lines of Wale/Roscoe Dash collaboration "No Hands," which pretty much had every person in the place grinding sexy as hell. It's impossible to not get down to the beat, and with Warr on drums taking the song to the next level, the song only gained appeal and energy. Sadly, much of this energy was lost on the MC, but still, Warr played his heart out back there.
Granted there are a lot of songs that pushed Waka Flocka to the top of people's playlists, but none like "Hard in da Paint," which has transcended rap altogether and become prominent in sets by some of the biggest names in the EDM scene. Needless to say, that track's an anthem and thank god it didn't get abused in the beginning of the set. Instead, we got doused with tracks like "O Let's Do It" and "Bringing Gangster Back," each delivered with low enthusiasm.
Personal Bias: I saw Waka Flocka Flame when he played Club Arriba. I love rap.
Random Detail: They were playing that Chief Keef song during the set breaks. People like singing along with that song.
By the Way: Whoo Da Kid and Denver's own SP Double warmed up the crowd with some impressive lyricism, along with a DJ who played some bomb rap in between sets keeping the momentum going until the headliner, whom the crowd was clearly hyped to see, took the stage.
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