There’s nothing quite like the underground hip-hop community. Humility. Friendship. Acceptance. The ability to gather around a common interest and celebrate similarities and differences emerges atmospheres much like this. Often negligent of what’s trending or who’s up next, one can always expect exceptional, quality music.
Awkwafina stopped, looked at me and shouted me out, “look at this guy, he’s having a life changing moment listening to ‘Queefs’.”
“That’s a Wave!” took place at Los Globos on Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles on Thursday April 14th, 2016. Sponsored by Christy Cash, BadYellowBitches, Kloud 10 and White Mountain Agency, the low-key rhyme fest featured performances from DJ Zo, DJ Milkis, DUCKWRTH, Nocando, Ill Camille and, of course, Awkwafina.
Los Globos exists on the outskirts of the Silver Lake neighborhood in LA, boasting a smaller, more hipster group than its adjacent Hollywood. Much to my satisfaction, the crowd averted the stereotype of flaunting any condescending music knowledge, as I possessed limited knowledge of the openers besides Nocando. The environment emerged as less socially-charged in favor of harmony surrounding dope hip hop music.
The chandelier-decorated venue featured an art gallery, a custom grillz station, and a pop-up shop with gogo dancers promoting a noteworthy collection of thongs and baseball-styled strap hats. The hustle was too real.
After opening sets from the DJs, rapper DUCKWRTH showcased his electrifying stage presence for four songs. The half-hardcore dancer half-capoeira-influenced MC ignited the shitshow we were all waiting for by throwing his body every which way. Following his act came Ill Camille, a LA-based female MC that began her short set with a Capella bars that, undoubtedly, displayed the best rhyme-flow from the night.
Finally leaving the bar to jump on stage next was Nocando, the distinguished battle rapper and owner of the Hellfyre Club record label. Six months removed from my last encounter with the MC, his hairstyle, pictured below, was quite interesting, to say the least. From live producing to being his own hype man, Nocando rocked the place with a balanced set of older tracks and fresh auto-tuned-infused cuts. His finale included fellow rapper Los Moonwalker to perform their banger “Westcoast Shit.”
Lastly, the Queens-based woman of the hour popped up with a giant ass teddy bear, excessive sarcasm, and a crude, but hilarious sense of humor. I failed to expect that Awkwafina’s set would essentially be half stand-up half rapping. She performed her best hits, including “NYC Bitche$,” “Come Stop Me,” “My Vag,” and “Queef.”
An unforgettable moment occurred during the latter end of the song. Due to a long day with excessive work, I was exhausted by the time her set came on. Thus, I was spacey. At an ideal moment of spaciness during “Queef,” Awkwafina stopped, looked at me and shouted me out, “look at this guy, he’s having a life changing moment listening to ‘Queefs’.” Per Awkwafina, the immense profundity of the song about “female farts from the front butthole” elicited a moment a philosophical reflection for me. As I couldn’t do anything but laugh, I nodded my head and replied, “Well yes. I never thought of queefs as such a mind-blowing concept.”
At any rate, her set evolved into exactly what one should imagine for an internet star turned rapper turned comedic actor. Fulfilling everything but the expected Dumbfoundead surprise appearance, That’s a Wave! brought together a close-knit group of artists, aficionados, and entrepreneurs. It was refreshing to find myself among a group of musically zealous proponents and experience the underlying network that is (mostly) LA underground hip hop.