George Watsky, known by his rap moniker Watsky, is anything but your typical rapper. Straying about as far away from the hip hop you hear on the radio, Watsky doesn’t rap about hitting the club, hooking up with women, and being rich. Rather, as a former slam poet, he tells stories of positivity, life’s trials, and love with his lyrics.
Watsky hit the scene back in 2011 when his YouTube video “Pale Kid Raps Fast” went viral and hit over 4 million views overnight. “Fast” proved to be an understatement, as a better title for the video would’ve been “Pale Kid Raps Insanely Fast” (no really, peaking at 12 syllables per second which is faster than Eminem’s “Rap God”). While it proved he has talent, this only scratched the surface of what Watsky has to offer to hip-hop.
Since 2011, Watsky has released 5 studio albums and 3 EPs, headlined six tours, and released a New York Times Best Selling book of essays titled How to Ruin Everything. His following is that of a cult-following, and his latest album titled COMPLAINT drives home that Watsky is, simply put, the best damn rapper you’ll never hear on the radio. The album, released in January of this year, features 9 songs organized in 3 parts: beginning, middle and end of a passionate but unravelling relationship.
feed the biirds, comprised of vocalist Camila Recchio and keyboardist/guitarist/producer Kush Mody, opened the show with charisma that made fans that arrived early happy that they did. They took the stage for 30 minutes, all the while having fans echo their songs back to them, cheer on Recchio as she belted out her vocals, and participating in their set. The crowd enjoyed them so much that the room was full of smiles, a large chunk eventually making their way to the merch table to talk to the duo after they left the stage.
Grieves was equally as well received. While I didn’t believe I was familiar with his music, as soon as the beat of “What It Dew” hit, I realized just how familiar with him I really was. His flow is different than Watsky’s, but he commands the same kind of cult following. Best known for his single “On The Rocks”, fans vibed and sang along with Grieves from the moment he hit the stage. Before exiting, he deemed that the crowd was the best of the tour thus far.
More and more fans filed in as the night went on, and just before Watsky took the stage, there were so many people in the room it was hardly navigable. From wall to wall, there was a diverse crowd of people including every variety and every age imaginable.
The crowd roared when Watsky hit the stage with the political, yet eloquent “Brave New World.” Through his 90 minute set, he and his band pounded through 17 songs, keeping the fans engaged throughout the entirety of his performance. His skill proved to not only translate well in a studio or behind a webcam, as he fired off verses quick enough to drop the jaws of the fans at the barricade. The mix of new and old music gave an eclectic feel to the setlist, including rumbly back beats on the older music and roaring guitars on the new. Through every song, Watsky truly gave it his all with the excitement and vigor that has always been a staple of his live performances, even walking the top of the barricade to engage with fans and even jumping into the crowd.@
The show ended with encores “Whitecaps” and “Woah Woah Woah”, proving to be an incredible end to an incredible show.