Updated: May 6, 2019
Written by Kemba Cooper
Read the original article at CU Hip-Hop Heads.
Barton Hall has always been the spot for the most momentous events on campus, from prelims, to fashion shows and concerts, and the night of March 18th was no different. Students trickled on to the track with anticipation for headliner Playboi Carti, and some impatience with opening performer Mike Floss.
Many of us had the same question in mind when the flyers were released -- who the hell is Mike Floss? Judging by his short speeches to the crowd in between numbers, he was a relatively new rapper from Nashville, Tennessee who was trying to gain some traction. He mentioned to the crowd that this event was the first time he had performed some of his songs. Floss exceeded my expectations, though I couldn't pinpoint my favorite song (partially because of the girls screaming near the microphone). Even so, I did my research, and I'd recommend his tracks 'Kerosene' and 'Dopeboy Dreaming'.
Finally, the long awaited breakout star Playboi Carti touched the Barton Hall stage. After the impatient screams of "Where's Playboi Carti?" and even some speculation of his absence—he had already missed a show at Syracuse University—Carti, of course, came fashionably late.
Naturally, the DJ spun hits like 'Break the Bank' and 'Magnolia', which I expected and looked forward to, but I noticed that Carti didn't interact with the crowd nearly as much as Mike Floss. Granted, Floss still needs to gain a following, so he worked to maintain his appeal. Even so, Carti didn't do so much as a call-and-response. His DJ did one prior to his entrance. In fact, his DJ did it all. His songs were fun, of course, but the hype behind the music seemed to be what carried the show alone. There was little demonstration of personality -- no greeting, no real crowd-performer relationship, outside of us putting our hands up. If I wanted his nonchalance while performing, I could have watched a music video. He got too comfortable, and that underwhelmed me. He did not match the energy of the crowd.
Though Playboi Carti was the headlining act, Mike Floss was the better performer overall. Even though Floss was new and virtually unheard of, he made an effort to connect with the audience that I didn't totally receive from Carti. In fact, Floss made me a fan. Although performing is no easy task, Floss stayed in high spirits, and even interacted with some students after. Humility seemed to be disproportionate with popularity.
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