That One Time… I Went To A YG Concert
This kids (*Ted Mosby voice*) is the story of that one time that I saw YG, live in concert.
It’s 10:00pm, and I am pulling into a parking stall at West Edmonton Mall. I have already had three sketchy characters walk up to my car and either ask me if I want to smoke some dope with them, and/or other things I would rather not say online. I have no friends with me at the moment, and I am trying to scope out the most direct line of safety from my car to the front doors of the building. Why would I put myself in this situation, you might ask? Because I love YG.
Standing outside the venue, Encore, I meet up with my pals and we wait in line to have our ID’s checked. One friend is rocking a sweet cardigan, which would be more fitting for a mathletes competition, not an infamous blood’s concert. As we get inside, we quickly move to grab a spot on the railing facing the stage. If you have never been to Encore before, it’s set up in such a way that the stage and the main viewing area, where we are standing, are level with each other, and there is a lowered dance floor in between the two.
As the venue begins to fill up, people start swarming the dance floor. They have table bars set up on either side, handing out bottles of booze like orange-wedges at a soccer game. People are ready to get lit tonight.
11:00pm rolls around, and the first opener finally gets on stage. Now, we didn’t have any idea how many openers there would be, or what kind of talent to expect, but I can tell you that after about performer number 17 we were pretty close to getting the hell out of there. It was almost like YG’s manager grabbed any person he saw on the street and asked him to get onstage. A$AP Rocky is the only artist that I can think of that had success with that, after grabbing homeless man Joe Fox and bringing him into the studio for a few songs on A.L.L.A. But I guess not everyone has the same ear for talent.
Leaning against the balcony, hand on head, I watched as the last opener spit out some pathetic rhymes about naked girls and dope. As he was half way through a song, he actually stopped, pointed at me through the crowd, and yelled “Hey! You look bored as fuck!” All I could do was shrug at him and point at my watch. 1:00am and still no YG? Of course I was bored as fuck. Watching him finally walk off stage was a relief, and 1:15 brought the entrance of the man we had been waiting all night for.
In all honesty, the main reason we went to YG was for the laughs. He is a ridiculous rapper from Compton, a notorious blood, evident in his song “Bompton” from My Krazy Life (but maybe not in his earlier work, like “Toot It and Boot It”). And that’s what I like about him. He doesn’t give a care what people think, and though I haven’t watched his “documentary”, which is basically a half hour of 2 drive by shootings and a house robbery, I can’t help but admire the guy. It’s hard to not give credit to any rapper who has a background like YG. Plus, his songs are just way too fun to listen to while driving 32km/hr in a 30km/hr school-zone (#SWERVE).
As soon as YG started rapping, everyone knew something was wrong. The raspiness of his voice was the first giveaway. The second was his increasing frustration. After his third or so song, he promptly stormed off stage without a word. A solid minute went by, and we were back to where we started; no YG. The dance floor dwellers were getting angry, and the beer bottles started looking more like weapons than drink receptacles. Finally, one of his homies came out on stage, “Ok y’all, listen up. YG lost his voice, so we need you guys to rap along to every word!” My group looked at each other, confused as to what just happened. Apparently playing 20 shows in a row is not good for the vocal chords. YG came back on stage, and proceeded to sway to his music while one of his groupies attempted to rap the lyrics to amped up background beats. And when I say attempts, I mean he knew about half the words.
After one song we beat it, and just at the right time. Things were getting hairy as we walked through the doors, and we could see police cars pulling up to the venue by the dozens. Apparently, right after we left someone threw a bottle at YG, who proceeded to jump off stage and beat the shit out of him (which, I might add, would make it the third time he has done that during a concert). Then a riot ensued, with bottles and beer coolers being thrown all over the place. Cops rushed in, and everyone in the building was maced on the spot.
So that’s what I have to report about the one time I saw YG. Unfortunately, the events did deter me from going back next weekend to see Danny Brown. But if YG is ever allowed back in Canada, well, I can’t say I wouldn’t consider grabbing a ticket again. Because, in the words of YG from the night… “that shit was fun”
Below: Check out this video to see YG in action. And no, I’m not sure where the guy in the wheelchair came from: