January 18th, 2015 the A$AP Mob collective lost their “Yoda” in A$AP Yams as put by YG Addie (formerly known as A$AP Ant) in a recent interview on the “Breakfast Club”.
A$AP Yams was responsible for bringing together the A$AP Mob collective. The Mob consists of a fair amount of members with A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg being the two biggest artists of the collective. As they began to blend New York “streetwear” into their mainstream image they began to shift the culture of New York’s sound and Fashion with A$AP Rocky and A$AP Bari leading the way.
Every year following the death of Yams the collective has put on shows commemorating their late leader. These concerts showcased the reach of their superstardom and influence as thousands of fans piled in every year for a great time. Over the past 5 years the Mob has been able to get some of the biggest names in Hip-Hop as headlines and every year even bigger surprise guests.
On January 17th, 2020 the Mob did not fail to bring out some big names in Hip-Hop to the Barclays Center. Headlining the show were A$AP Mob, Bun B, Pierre Bourne, Pop Smoke, 2Chainz, Joey Bada$$, Nav, Smooky Margiela, Kenny Beats, Metroboomin, YG, and Night Lovell.
When we walked into the already packed Barclays center we caught the tail end of Pierre Bourne’s set. After finding our seats we look down to see the general admission section filled with hundreds of people surrounding a W.W.E.-esque wrestling ring separating the general admission crowd from the main stage where the artists performed.
After Bourne finished his set the megatron got taken over by A$AP Rocky and Instagram Comedian Druski2funny to give us a teaser of what is to come for the concert.
Smooky Margiela came out to the main stage for his set and the wrestling ring started to fill with wrestlers. As the beat dropped on what sounded like an unreleased song the Wrestlers began their “royal-rumble.” The general admission crowd followed suit with mosh pits forming almost everywhere in the crowd.
After Smooky’s short set A$AP Mob showed love to a few rappers who’re on the come up next, with crowd hyping performances that erupted the barclays in even more moshpits and crowd surfing.
As the Rocky-led crowd surfing and moshing continued, Metroboomin joined the fun for his set, setting the Barclays aflame (once again) when he played “Father Stretch My Hands, Pt. 1”. The entire A$AP Mob filled the wrestling ring and everyone surrounding joined in singing the melodic cut from Kanye West’s 2016 The Life of Pablo.
Following the crowd blazing set by Metroboomin, Jim Jones, one of Hip-hop’s greatest cultural leaders of the early 2000’s, came out to his 2011 deep-cut “Salute”. The surprises did not there, as Young M.A. came to the stage to perform her songs BIG and Ooouuu.
Once M.A. and her entourage headed off the stage, Brooklyn’s own Casanova 2x came to the stage. Unfortunately, the FDNY rushed the stage to inform everyone that there were too many people on the platform, cutting 2x’s set very short.
After the Fire department’s intermission, Lil Yachty gave us the shortest set of the whole night in regards to a performance, only performing his verse on “Get Dripped” off of his 2018 project Nuthin’ 2 Prove. Yachty didn’t leave us with just this, however, as he soon went behind the DJ booth to play unreleased music from a few of his fellow Quality Control labelmates.
Harlem Native Sheck Wes followed the tag-team from Yachty and Nav with his 2019 cut “YKTS”. As the crowd heard the instrumental for Wes’ hit “Mo Bamba”, Rocky and Ferg climb over barricades and rusthed the seats. The two were met with waves of fans screaming and grabbing onto the rappers.
As the show came to a rest, 2Chainz appeared for a 2 song performance including his verse on YG’s “Big Bank”.
The show began to wrap-up with a letter from Momma Yams expressing her thanks to everyone for coming out, and a thanks to the Mob for keeping the dream of her son alive half a decade after his death.
After concluding her letter, the DJ told Rocky it was time to wrap it up, to which Rocky replied with a (slightly more vulgar) “Nah” as Ferg grabbed the mic in the center of the wrestling ring to perform “Work”, followed by “Plain Jane”.
The DJ played the instrumental from posse cut “Yamborghini High” as the Mob rushed from the rapper filled cess-pool of the wrestling ring, back to the main stage. There, the crowd got a tremendous treat from Rocky as he performed “Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye 2” and played some of his unreleased music.
Finally, 10 minutes after the concert was supposed to end, Tyler the Creator emerged from backstage to give the crowd it’s final surprise of the night by performing his 2019 single “Earfquake” as the speakers slowly began to turn off section by section.
The 2020 Yams day festival was one of the best experiences that money can buy for a fan of all facets of Hip-Hop. As the venue changes for this special day every year, I feel that the Barclays center didn’t do the magnitude of this event justice. It’s a nice arena for sporting events, but concerts aren’t friendly for people with cheaper seats.
Review By: Amir Wright