“Blue and Yellow, Blue and Yellow, Blue and Yellow…” As I walked into Hill Auditorium last night to see Pusha T and Chiddy Bang perform, I was bombarded with the Ann Arbor native rapper P.L.’s mix of Wiz Khalifa’s classic single. The chant ushered me into a unique atmosphere I had no anticipation of seeing. Having been in Hill Auditorium for the Lupe Fiasco concert last year, I expected a rambunctious and excited mob of students. Instead, I casually walked in between small groups of friends, mostly sitting patiently and waiting for the actual show to begin. Both the mezzanine and balcony sections were closed off, and still hordes of seats remained empty throughout the show. This reduced audience effected the show in both positive and negative ways: it created an intimate section that thrived during Chiddy’s performance, allowing the duo to interact easily with the crowd, but it significantly hurt Pusha T’s portion.
To my extreme chagrin the crowd did not appreciate Pusha T’s opening act. For those of you who aren’t familiar with him, Pusha T is a rapper who once belonged to the rap duo Clipse. Formed by Pusha T and his brother Malice, Clipse played an enormous role in the rap industry during the ‘90s and early 2000’s. Pusha T is by far a more accomplished and celebrated rapper than Chiddy bang, yet the crowd last night did little to recognize this. Unfortunately, it was clear after a few songs that Pusha T realized this, and it was downright painful to have to watch him attempt to feed off an energy that was completely absent. Truthfully, it was the wrong audience for a Pusha T show. Predominantly white and all young enough that they may have missed Clipse’s prime, the students in the audience were much more interested in Chiddy Bang. I was sad to see this, as Pusha killed the few songs he performed and deserves much more respect than he was given.
Chiddy Bang, conversely, began their show to an energetic audience. To my satisfaction, after two songs Xaphoon Jones (the brains behind Chiddy’s beats) paid tribute to Pusha T, referencing him as the first rap album he ever purchased and essentially condemning the audience for not supporting him more. Aside from this correction, Chiddy and Xaphoon put on a great show. As Chiddy’s intended audience is the high school through college age, this crowd was appropriate and contributed to the duo’s energy and performance. The highlight of the evening, by far, was Chiddy’s freestyle. Asking the audience for five completely random, non-related topics, Xaphoon presented Chiddy with a paper plate and a microphone, and asked for a rap. Indulging him, Chiddy proceeded to create a two and-a-half minute, spontaneous and brand new freestyle, mentioning each of the subjects. These included the words, “voltron, platypus, and Michigan,” no easy terms with which to rhyme. Yet he succeeded, and secured the audience’s outrageous praise. Overall, the concert was tremendously enjoyable, and even though Pusha T’s contribution went unappreciated, the combination of him and Chiddy Bang allowed for a great concert.
Disregard the quality, just to get a taste of the show: