The enigmatic rapper and ex-member of the “white girl mob” visited Portland this month on her Group Hug tour. Her opening acts included the likes of Honey Cocaine (a Canadian teen rapper of Cambodian heritage who got youtube famous for dropping her own version of Tyga’s “Rack City), Chippy Nonstop (An Oakland rapper with a budding career), and Rye Rye (An amazing Baltimore rapper who, if I had my way, would have been the headliner). Honey and Chippy put on interesting sets that reeked of underage recklessness. And that is not to say I didn’t have fun listening to them yell about how much swag they undoubtedly possess, but I have to admit that the whole “youthful recklessness” movement in the recent years of hip hop culture is becoming pretty played out in my opinion. Any kind of lyrical mastery was upstaged with flashy clothing, twerking competitions, and the aforementioned yelling about swag. Rye Rye (who I saw open for MIA in 2010) put on a set with a completely different energy. She won the crowd over in the blink of an eye with the upbeat nature of her songs and the amazing choreography that accompanied them. I loved that she was on stage solo with no hype man or entourage. She smiled, spit her rhymes, and danced her way into the good graces of the young crowd. Earlier I referred to Kreayshawn as enigmatic, and by that I mean that I wasn’t sure if I could take her seriously or not. So naturally I had to go check her show out and see for myself. She had a huge stage presence that highlighted the fun-time nature of each track off of Somethin’ ‘Bout Kreay. Her set was short, but it was fun and prompted me to dance like it was my job.
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