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Travi$ Scott Hit the Fine Line Like a Tornado

Travi$ Scott
with Bobby Raps, BLVCK SPVCE, and DJ TIIIIIIIIIIP
Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis
Saturday, February 21, 2015

To put it simply, Houston's Travi$ Scott brought unfettered pandemonium to the Fine Line on Saturday. I hesitate to use terminology like "turnt," "buck," or "crunk" (in the words of Open Mike Eagle: "A journalist should never write a slang editorial") but it's hard to appropriately quantify the specific feel of the energy without words that cover both the slickness and the rage permeating in the room.

Offering up a pair of Yeezy Boosts to the most hyped audience member, Travi$ brought out reckless abandon by putting on a remarkably intense performance for a packed house of animated fans.

See also:
Travi$ Scott Wows the Fine Line

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DJ TIIIIIIIIIIP ushered in the night by spinning a variety of modern rap classics ("O Let's Do It," "3Hunna," "Same Damn Time") and random new cuts. He bridges that difficult divide between playing what the crowd wants to hear and what he wants to hear. His taste is impeccable to the point that they mostly meet in the middle, but he's not afraid to drop something left-field like Jay Electronica's "Exhibit C" in between suites of Chief Keef and Future.

Openers BLVCK SPVCE and Bobby Raps were a representation of the progressing Twin Cities rap scene, as two acts who are taking strides to distance themselves from the perceptions of what that means and the constraints that come with it. BLVCK SPVCE is very concerned with broadening production styles and crafting mood pieces, ample smoke material that fit into the overall feel of the night.

Their best moments as a group found them approaching songs from vastly different jumping points and fitting them into the foggy vibe of the beat. One song in particular combined 1990s meandering melodic whispers alongside RP Hooks' shouting at the top of his lungs while goodkarmaniles played the chilled center point between the two. As their voices develop in tandem with each other, BLVCK SPVCE stands to be a problem.

"I am the Twin Cities!" shouted Bobby Raps a few songs into his set, an especially strong statement considering how much of his inspiration stems from elsewhere. He is indeed changing the face of local rap, pushing envelopes sonically and topically and capturing the rapt attention of the younger crowd.

Maintaining the Minnesota ethic of actually rapping all his bars while venturing into otherwise new territory, he proved adept at handling falsetto hooks and profane verses while engaging in stage antics like crowd-surfing, beefing with attempted chain snatchers, and having a bunch of people on stage. Corbin (formerly known as Spooky Black) made a special appearance for a pair of closing tracks that built to dramatic tensions that saw the crowd explode. They were ready for what was to be an insane conclusion to one of the better rap shows I've ever been to.
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Travi$ Scott appeared and immediately set aggressive intensity as his standard. "All my pretty motherfuckers up here," said Travi$ before jumping into the massive "Quintana," addressing the VIP crowd stationed on the second floor, "I ain't fuckin' with you. I'm fuckin' with those motherfuckers on the front line who's ready for war."

His rapping wears its inspirations on its sleeve but his live presence stood apart from the majority of rap shows. Screaming and raging around the stage with wild vibrancy, his performance felt like a hardcore show at times. As the DJ choppily dropped the beat, Travi$ shouted his raps as the audience shouted them back, moshing and jumping and flailing elbows.

The set displayed Travi$ Scott's unique self-production, darkly epic with giant bass meant to soundtrack paranoid drug trips and nightclub after-parties. Coupled with his brazen stage dynamics, which included climbing to the railing of the VIP section during "Upper Echelon", the songs carried a hugeness that was overwhelming in the best way. Focusing mostly on work from last year's Days Before Rodeo, Travi$ closed with the vibrant "Mamacita" before launching into "Drugs You Should Try" for the much clamored-for encore, a somber yet energetic ending choice.

When one of the crew lost their cell phone while crowd-surfing, the night could have ended on an unfortunate awkward note had the DJ not dropped a reprise of "Mamacita" as Travi$ chose the winner of the Yeezy Boosts.

Designated the most turnt of the night where nearly anyone present could've won, it was local rapper Ronnie Vyce who took the crown for jumping from the balcony to swing from the rafters at the height of the night. To claim his prize, Vyce rushed the stage and danced alongside Travi$ Scott as they mouthed the words to Young Thug's verse together. One of the most satisfyingly intense rap shows I've ever seen, Travi$ Scott's appearance will be difficult for other artists to top.

Personal Bias: As the only one with a notebook in the mosh pit, I feel like I may have experienced the show differently than most people. 

The Crowd: Alternating between buck and turnt.

Overheard In The Crowd: "I was going for those Yeezy Boosts, but I got tired."

Random Notebook Dump: I can only imagine how much crazier it would've been without the consistent security interruption.

Setlist:

Days Before Rodeo The Prayer
Quintana
Sin City
Uptown
Don't Play
Hell Of A Night
Upper Echelon
Skyfall
Quintana Pt. 2
Company
Sloppy Toppy
MIA
Basement Freestyle
Nothing But Net
High Fashion
Mamacita
Drugs You Should Try

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