The XXL Showcase was definitely one of the most anticipated showcases for hip-hop fans, and it did not disappoint…well, once it actually got started, it did not disappoint. Fans started lining up for the show at 10 p.m., and by the time the doors opened at 11 p.m., the line was down the block and guests still had to make it past the door man and up the steps to another guy who was checking the list. The wait was disappointing, but once you made it into the venue it was easy to jump into the party spirit. The DJ played a good mix of songs to get the crowd hyped, and before long the lights were dimmed and the Queens-born Action Bronson hit the stage.
Action was the perfect opener for a showcase that would last well until 3 a.m. Each artist performed for roughly 30 minutes and what felt like damn near 100 songs each. Bronson kicked off and had the whole crowd rocking with him from start to finish. But you knew it was getting real when “Muslim Wedding” played over the speakers and the audience helped him rap the lyrics “Tossing money like a Muslim wedding/Sleep on satin bed sheets with the Muslim threading.” Always one for witty lines and playful banter, before Bronson left the stage, he made sure to take his hoodie off, flex his muscles and show love to all the chubby chasers.
The music shifted from Queens to Los Angeles as Kid Ink performed for the first time in New York City. He impressed the crowd by being able to keep the momentum going and showing New York why he deserved to be on the stage. Kid Ink even brought out surprise guest Cory Gunz for track “Sick Em.”
After Kid Ink the crowd began to get a little restless with a lot of people (women especially) shouting for Machine Gun Kelly. Before he could hit the stage, the self-proclaimed “best in the ’burbs'” Chris Webby did a 30-minute set where he set out to prove that he was a true MC who could actually spit. He even received a random birthday present from a girl in the audience—how thoughtful.
Only moments after Webby performed, the DJ dropped the beat for Jay-Z’s “You Don’t Know” and Machine Gun Kelly was announced. The concert instantly straddled the line between hip-hop concert and a metal show. With a red hoodie, red pants and mohawk, MGK performed over an electric guitar and hopped around the stage with insane levels of energy. If nothing else he was engaging. After his second song he took a break to pay homage to one of his idols, Eminem and performed the first verse to “Lose Yourself” while down on bended knee. However, nothing topped the moment when a young lady (who eventually had to be escorted off the stage) ran up and full-body tackled MGK, almost knocking him to the ground. A true fan she even wore a pair of booty-revealing shorts with the words Lace Up on the back, Kelly’s mantra. Not even that could compare to Kelly crowd surfing on top (pause) of his hype man who was crowd surfing on top of several screaming white kids. Hip-hop was in rare form last night. It’s moments like these that make waiting in line forever seem not that bad after all.