Ying Yang Twins
The Pourhouse, Minneapolis
Thursday, March 27, 2014
The modern world is a frightening place, full of peril. Airplanes disappear without a trace. Mortar shells burn brightly under an ashen sky, marring city streets with blackened craters. Unrest is rampant. Economic woes abound. Twerking contests have become a commodity. And, the Ying Yang Twins have embarked on a nationwide tour.
The duo made their Minneapolis tour stop last night at Pourhouse. At first it seemed innocent enough -- suburban kids intermingled peacefully with stone-faced city slickers, posing for selfies and feigning shyness when the opening acts tried in futility to get the crowd turnt up. What happened next, though, defied all expectations. What happened next threw all notions of decency out the window. What happened next was sooo ratchet.
The first couple of performers, including the evening's emcee Lenerd, rapped unimpressively along with their backing tracks. DJ D.Mil was visibly upset as Lenerd instructed him to start his set's first backing track over after it mistakenly sped up, leaving Lenerd to rap haphazardly over the jumble. The second time it played, the backing track did exactly the same thing. Lenerd gave up and mumbled along. A miniature Snickers bar lay defeated in the center of the dance floor. Every so often, someone would step on it.
The third act, Absent and Marx, was a refreshing departure from the banality of the backing track nightmares. Interestingly, as the two moved further into their set, the audience collectively shifted its position farther from the stage. The reason for this perhaps was that the two weren't really doing the whole party music thing. Their songs seemed more informed, more heartfelt, with forceful delivery.
DJ D.Mil continued to spin in between the live sets, playing twerk-friendly tunes by the likes of Chris Brown and YG. It was early yet, but the crowd was filling out when Scott Snares took to the stage. Threatening "murder with my tongue," he declared, "I'm verbally abusive!" A man wearing crisp Nike sneakers, their laces glowing neon green under the black lights, held one hand high above his head. His braids were tightly wound against his skull. Two women pushing 40 to the left of him were losing their shit, sloshing their vodka cranberries onto one other. A girl with X's marked on her hands bent over the stage, her back visible through a shredded t-shirt, seemingly praying to the fog machine. Things were starting to get interesting. People were starting to become visibly inebriated.
Suddenly, Lenerd dropped the bomb. There was going to be a twerking contest at midnight. He grabbed a girl and pulled her onstage, begging for a preview of what was to come. Much to everyone's surprise, the girl did a backflip. In heels and a minidress. Then she did two more backflips. A man greeted his friend with a pat on the back, lamenting, "I miss the old days," as the two surveyed the scene. Another man idly tossed dollar bills from the second-floor balcony.
The next performers were the first of the night to start rapping about more gangster-oriented subjects like body bags. Mooney and Rico AKA Young South were dressed in all black and draped with shiny chains. Audience members whipped out their phones and started videotaping. The duo's songs were interspersed with flows from rapper Purpose and the velvety singing of Jason, who remained hidden beneath a pair of sunglasses. The juxtaposition of all four artists resulted in an intriguing display. Jason's voice was sexy, the raps menacing.
Immediately following was Raw Gee, who gave multiple shoutouts to his mother. She was brave enough to be down in the trenches with the rest of us. "Mama said to keep it movin!" he shouted to her from the stage, as she jumped wildly up and down, beaming proudly at her son.
Everyone was getting pretty antsy. Considering that six acts had already performed, this was no surprise. For the next 45 minutes, people got more drunk and excited for the twerking contest. At the stroke of midnight, the contest began.[page]
One by one, ten women were led to the center of the stage. DJ D.Mil played about 15 seconds of a song while each woman attempted to twerk. The backflip girl did another backflip, accidentally kicking a guy with her high heeled shoe on the way down. Multiple girls were booed and pushed back into the crowd. One woman got in an argument with the host of the contest, and the two hurled insults back and forth until she pranced away in a huff.
"Is that your boyfriend?" a girl kept screaming at her friend, pointing to a random guy in the crowd. "Where's my purse?" she screamed at her other friend. Someone kept touching my ass. Part of a drink was spilled on my arm. I wound up in someone's selfie. "Is that your boyfriend?" the girl screamed again.
A girl who looked like a wannabe Brooke Candy, complete with neon pink braided hair extensions, did her version of the twerk onstage by wiggling her right leg so that only her right buttock jiggled under her spandex dress. Bros shrieked in approval. This twerking contest was weak, yet it wasn't over. A tall, skinny girl was up next. Suddenly, everyone lost it. She was twerking so violently that it looked like her entire lower body was vibrating. She threw herself upon the ground, raising her feet up into the air as her body continued to vibrate. Needless to say, we now all know exactly what underwear she was wearing.
Eventually there was the obligatory screaming contest to see which twerk goddess would win the $100 prize, but not before all of the competitors did weird dancing things upon each another. Lo and behold, "Brooke Candy" won the twerking contest -- probably because people were afraid she would gouge out their eyes with her neon yellow acrylic nails if they didn't scream for her. "Slut! Slut! Slut!" the 'is that your boyfriend' girl was wailing at the top of her lungs. "Slut!"
Believe it or not, there was still one more performance in store for us before the Ying Yang Twins would finally take the stage: Ceeza da Emperor. His most memorable rap lyric? "Me and money go together like apostrophes."
As Ceeza finished his set, Kaine of the Ying Yang Twins stood on the side of the stage, taking gulps from a clear glass bottle of liquor. A bro with a terrible tribal tattoo all over his upper arm ran to him, pumping his fist in the air, screaming. Kaine looked away, drinking more.[page]
Finally, it was Ying Yang time. Kaine looked seriously pissed. The DJ played their first song while the Twins walked around the stage, not even attempting to rap along with the backing track. D-Roc kept screaming, "Haaaaaaaa!" People were going absolutely apeshit. A guy asked me to move from my spot against the wall so he could lean his drunk girlfriend against it. She held one hand over her mouth, gagging. On stage, Kaine held his bottle of liquor high in the air. A man in a striped three-piece suit and white cowboy hat took photos in a makeshift booth.
Eventually, the Ying Yang Twins did start actually performing their songs. It was obvious though that Kaine especially did not intend to do much else on stage than drink. He made a point to chug from the bottle of liquor while D-Roc rapped through most of their songs alone. Sure, their big hits like "Miley Cyrus" and "I Need a Dime" got the room turnt up, but there were many disgusted faces to be seen from the lack of effort displayed by the Twins.
Things kept getting weirder. The DJ played a bunch of random tracks that weren't by the Ying Yang Twins, yet they were onstage rapping along. It became clear that Kaine was not just drunk anymore. He was absolutely shitfaced. "We make strip club music!" he yelled at the audience. "If you was in the pussy club, nigga, you would be broke!" At one point, D-Roc actually left the stage and went upstairs to sit on the balcony next to some drunk girl who didn't notice anything that had just happened and appeared not to know who he was. A hand reached from the audience toward Kaine. "I ain't gonna shake your nasty hand!" he retaliated.
A woman with an intense body chain, thigh high boots, and an ear cuff that shined like a 1,000-watt megabulb got on stage. Kaine was finally focused...on her. They whispered in each other's ears for a while, and she danced at him. He shouted something about blowjobs at the audience and she did some unforgivable things with her tongue. D-Roc again left the stage, this time not to return. "All the new artists out...Ying Yang still the best thing going today," Kaine slurred. There were about 25 people left in the venue, clinging to the hope that this show would somehow end well or sticking around to see the meltdown through. The DJ started packing up his things. Kaine and the ear cuff woman kept talking.
Somewhere, Miley Cyrus is twerking.
Personal Bias: I wanted to review this show because I had a pretty good idea of what I'd be getting myself into. I'm all about it.
The Crowd: Lots of bros, lots of angry-looking people, lots of confused-looking drunks, lots of drunks in general. A girl I know from MCTC.
Overheard in the Crowd: "Hey, so where's the party? Am I coming back to your house?" -random bro
Random Notebook Dump: A dude from the suburbs asked me why I had a notebook, so I told him I write for City Pages. He said he didn't know what City Pages is but he made me pinkie swear to write that Parker VanEador says "The Ying Yang Twins are the shit." Hi Parker. I take pinkie swears very seriously.
Setlist: Ying Yang Twins
Me & My Brother
All Around the World
I Need a Dime
Whistle While You Twurk
(infinite DJ mixes)
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