On Wednesday night Velvet Jones hosted rap megastars and cultural phenomenon Migos, the chosen sons of the preeminent Atlanta hip-hop scene, which has grown into something more broadly indicative of contemporary hip-hop (and, by extension, pop culture at large).
While each member of Migos maintains their own distinct delivery and voice, as rappers they’re are most effective when working as complimentary pieces in one larger cooperative, with each taking turns to demonstrate their own distinct style of the “Migos flow”—namely irreverent word play and a tactful, piddle-paddle, stumbling rhythm.
The night’s festivities would open with a handful of spirited opening sets from area hip-hop acts, though the absence of any clear introductions made it feel more like an open mic night. Songs aimed at capitalizing on Internet memes and ambitious attitudinal ‘anthems’ about weed didn’t leave a huge impression on the all-ages crowd, which was still filing into the club prior to Migos’ set.
When the group did suddenly emerge, they immediately enraptured the hundreds of fans who were pressing towards the stage, screaming and making a number of anonymous hand motions.
The Migos trio of Quavo, Takeoff, and Offset took turns on ether side of the stage, engaging with the nearly riotous crowd in a manner that suggested genuine amusement; the smiles on their faces were lit up by a strobe-like series iPhone camera flashes.
The lion’s share of Migos’ set was, to be sure, one of the more memorable hip-hop shows Santa Barbara has seen of late, and only in part because of the group’s high profile. Packed into the small venue, the report between the performers on stage and the impassioned hundreds surrounding the stage built with each successive track.
But, just as in any relationship, intimacy can have its consequences. Nearly an hour into the set, as Migos launched into their definitive track “Versace,” all of the night’s good vibes evaporated thanks to a hat. The cap, which appeared to be thrown by a fan close tot the stage, hit Quavvo. Minutes later, Migos left the stage.
In hindsight, the crowd probably could have — nay, should have — attempted to keep Migos on board. But nary a chant or plea was raised, and the venue cleared out, leaving a bad taste left in every mouth that had yelled “Versace!” just minutes prior.
To be clear, there’s no point in blaming anyone for spoiling what could have been an amazing show. The best thing that anyone can take away from Wednesday night’s troubled concert is that it’s stupid to throw things.