Dear Noisey Reader,
I saw Waka Flocka Flame play at Irving Plaza last week and it might have been the best rap show I ever saw. I hadn't been inside Irving Plaza in years, and being there felt a little like visiting an old school. I noticed that metal letters that spelled out IRVING PLAZA in the sidewalk outside the front door had all been pulled out except for the second "I." Dee Dee Ramone described Irving Plaza as being "funky without being a dump." Pope John Paul II spoke on this stage in the seventies, and more recently, so did Waka Flocka.
I drank one of Irving Plaza's signature $12 Budweisers while watching some nondescript opening acts do their thing on stage. The stage had a DJ and a live drummer on risers behind some barrels that bore Waka's name. Green smoke would fill up the stage intermittently. There was a long wait between the last of the openers and Waka's emergence, during which the DJ played the rap hits and everyone bent their necks around and gawked at one another. But oh man, once Waka finally got on stage it was a for real hum-dinger of a rap time.
First, Waka was on the front of the stage rapping and shaking his dreads. Then, he was over on stage left hanging out and rapping right in people's faces. Then, he did some more of that on stage left. Then, he got up on this large platform near the stage and rapped a bunch while the people on the nearby balcony took his photo and smiled at him. Around this time, he declared himself to be "punk rap." I think it's a goofy sounding word, but it accurately described what Waka's doing. Later, A$AP Mob came out and did a song. Gucci Mane showed up too and did a few. Surprisingly, he didn't do any of the songs that I thought he would do, but he's still great. Waka took a break while Gucci performed a couple songs, and from that moment, the show become a whole other thing.
Waka was in the crowd rapping and telling security not to freak out while all these fanatics threw their hands up in sheer joy. Waka spent maybe the final half hour of the show in the middle of Irving Plaza's floor and occasionally walking around wreathed by very psyched kids. Waka had started the show by telling the crowd to turn on their Instagrams and they obeyed. What the fuck is wrong with kids today? I think a good portion of the kids were watching most of the show with their iPhones in their hands, held out in front of them. What the fuck is that? I took photos too but it's a job for me. I went and saw Action Bronson the next night and it was the same thing. Fancy phones are crazy fun and all, but the tickets for the Waka show were 40 bucks—don't you want to experience it first-hand instead of looking through a screen the whole time? Sorry for ranting.
So Waka Flocka walked amongst his flock and performed awesome songs. Two shirtless dudes I don't know were up on the balcony rapping. There were like five guys on stage rapping, and then there's Waka in the crowd. I didn't know where to look. The lights and the smoke and the noise became too much for me and I began twirling around trying to take it all in. Then the show ended without any big bow—Waka just walked backstage while the DJ played "No Hands" without him rapping it or anything.
Afterwards the girl I'd shown up with seemed confused and dissatisfied by the way the show had ended and wanted Waka to come back out. I couldn't believe that he didn't actually perform "No Hands" or "O Let's Do It." The show seemed to have reduced my friend to a child-like mental state. Waka came out and I shoved her into a photo with Waka, which I think overwhelmed her, since she's such a huge fan. Waka is this humongous beautiful man who looks like a walking, talking Sphinx. If you told me that Waka was the next stage of mankind's evolution, my response would be "Well, obviously."
Anyway, enjoy these photos I took. Or don't. Up to you.
Ace of Base's Secret Nazi Past
Before he founded Ace of Base, Ulf Ekberg was a member of Commit Suiside, a Nazi punk band.
Parquet Courts - "Light Up Gold Road Trip" (Full Documentary)
In this new documentary, Noisey follows rising indie rockers Parquet Courts from Mexico to Texas and London as they tour to support their debut LP, 'Light Up Gold.'
Yung Lean Doer Is the Weirdest 16-Year-Old White Swedish Rapper You'll Hear This Week
Yung Lean raps over pillow-fluffy beats and raps about glory holes and Arizona Iced Tea. Who the fuck is this kid? And why is he like this?
Adam Ant - The British Masters, Chapter 6
Noisey's John Doran talks with the great post-punk pop star Adam Ant about tribal body mods and layering tape.
Photos: Taking Acid at Coachella
When Paley sent these photos in, she included a nice little caveat over email that we've decided to reprint here in full, not only because it's too good to edit, but because her photographs of her and her weird buddies riding the snake are some of the best
R.I.P. Storm Thorgerson (1944-2013)
On Thursday, the hyper-talented graphic designer, artist, and famed album cover creator Storm Thorgerson passed away after a battle with cancer. He was 69 years old.
The Internet Is Scary
As of six months ago, my Facebook fanpage is like a dojo where hormonal teenagers hone their technique. Here is a heartfelt poem from some kid who wants to rape, kill, and marry me.
I Accidentally Touched Little Richard's Butt One Time
It was in the Detroit airport. After it happened Little Richard said, "He graze my derriere."
Listen to St. Lucia's Remix of The Colourist's "Little Games"
Last month, Cali quartet the Colourist released "Little Games," and St. Lucia just pulled a warm Balearic blanket over the whole thing, sanding away its rough edges with bright synths and lightly gated percussion.
Aaron Montaigne, Godfather of Screamo, is More Interesting Than You Can Ever Hope to Be - Part Two
On surviving combat in Iraq and Afghanistan with the help of magic, 'Bladerunner,' and everything in between.