01/20/2013 - Diplo's Trap Hawk Down was a four show performance starting in Baltimore, making his way over to his hometown of Philadelphia, continuing to Atlantic City, and wrapping it up in New York; making it not your typical Sunday night. Diplo traveled to each location by helicopter which made it possible to host this unheard of series of events. I was fortunate enough to catch the performance at the Mixx in the Borgata Hotel. The Mixx resembles a lavish mansion with private VIP rooms upstairs, tables downstairs, and a two floor stage with an enormous LED backdrop.
Diplo's performance began a little after 12:30 AM and lasted for the majority of the night. Just your average booth, but Wes spiced it up with dancers posted on platforms on both sides. The dancers were dressed in neon bikinis, splattered with paint and plastered with Diplo across their abdomens. There was also some kind of hype man dressed as a fox wondering around the party.
Diplo is on his high-end fashion game. Whether it's Maison Martin Margiela shoes or custom Major Lazer letterman's jackets, dude is always looking fresh to death. The jacket he sported to this performance I had never seen before, a black leather letterman jacket adorned with patches featuring skulls, M's, I's and possibly a Major Lazer emblem. After the party got going Diplo removed his jacket revealing a tee from the upcoming street wear brand HBA (Hood By Air). The sound system was on point and I enjoyed tracks like Rihanna's 'Pour It Up', a new single of Major Lazer's album #FREETHEUNIVERSE "Bumaye", and the legendary 'Express Yourself'. The performance was unique as it always is with Diplo and I'm sure each location had a different selection of music from start to finish with Diplo's 9 hour, 4 city, extravaganza.
12/30/2012 - RPM Presents and Pacha NYC really outdid themselves with an event where all the artists could easily be considered headliners. Walking into Pier 94 on this chilly evening, I couldn't help but notice how the weather had little to no effect on New York City's EDM fanatics. It felt as if you were at a summer festival; girls barely clothed but still rocking their boots with the fur and guys in an array of rave wear. The morale was extremely high and you could feel it in the air, literally, a 133,000 square foot sauna. The venue is enormous with multiple bars and a VIP section lining the walls of the hall on risers, creating a clear view of the stage. Also, there was a giant futuristic vehicle of some sort in the center of the room that was used as a secondary dance platform. Atop were dancers in outfits full of feathers and glitter that you couldn't help but shift your focus to.
Diplo performing at Pier 94 on December 28, 2012.
Sazon Booya, a young moombahton duo with an insane hype man dubbed Mysterio, were the first performance to catch my eye. Blasting jaw dropping sounds artists wish they could have come up with flawlessly and setting the tone for the entire event. Sazon Booya's set came to a conclusion, but that did not stop Mysterio from crowd surfing and hyping up the ravers during the following artists performances. As per usual, the most exciting part was when Diplo took to the throne. The fans were hungry and Diplo fed them exactly what they were craving; a unique mix of hip hop favorites, moombahton, and the highly explosive new genre, trap music. Recently, Diplo has been erecting his own Twerk Wall within each venue to allow his fans to get their interpretive dance on. A place to take snapshots and post it to social media with the hashtags #TWERKWALL… but that is not the only place where all the twerking went down.
Diplo performing 'Express Yourself' at Pier 94 on December 28, 2012.
Shrieking girls eagerly reached out towards Diplo in the hopes of being selected to express themselves on stage. Diplo carefully picked a handful of the finest women from the front of the rage cage and brought them up onto the stage. Allowing the legendary 'Express Yourself' to commence. Right then and there I knew Diplo had stolen the show. After a nearly impossible set to follow, Afrojack was up at bat. He grabbed the mic and his unmistakable voice echoed throughout the establishment. He brought the excitement of the crowd to an all time high as he gave a shout out to the one and only New York City. Nick's label "Jacked" is a hit making army with hangers full of bass booming missiles. He gave an impeccable performance showcasing him and his posse's new creations. The show was remarkable, but I think RPM Presents and Pacha NYC need to bring Diplo to our city as a headliner… and fast. #FREETHEUNIVERSEE
12/28/2012 - When first entering the concert hall I couldn’t help but notice Kanye's notorious 7 screen experience overtaking the stage we've been hearing about since Cruel Summer's premiere in Cannes. The stage was enormous shrinking Kanye's stage presences; I had never seen such a set-up before. I knew instantaneously that Mr. West was going to blow the crowd’s mind with his performance that night. I sat in my seat and within minutes the lights dimmed and the show commenced. The screens illuminated and all lined up perfectly projecting numerous landscapes with a lot of focus on winter, I assume because of Kanye's highly anticipated upcoming album, "Cruel Winter."
Kanye West performing Runaway
Surreal gentle waves of a lake surrounded by snowcapped mountains with flocks of birds and dashes of ice bergs so vivid and to scale you actually felt like he was dancing on ice bergs. The bass in all the tracks vibrated like an earthquake throughout Revel's Ovation Room, beginning with the vocals of a revamped version of the 80’s hit, “Cold As Ice” by The Foreigners. Kanye entered the stage jumping up from behind his slanted stage floor which also had graphics displayed. The tension felt throughout the audience was a sheer mix of anxiousness and excitement. Once visible, a wave of camera phones sprouted to capture memories of DJ Khaled’s voice echoing as he introduced “KANYE WEST,” and "Cold as Ice" faded into the single, “Cold (Theraflu). “
Kanye West performing Cold
He continued with his performance with mega hits like “I Don’t Like,” "Touch the Sky," "Gold Digger," "Birthday Song," “Power,” “Jesus Walks,” and many others. A lot of artists perform the same old songs over and over again, with Kanye you get a perfect mixture between new and old and basically whatever he feels like doing for that event. Each song relaying a different panorama views such as glaciers, and island, and the clouds. The most incredible moment was The Louie Vuitton Don’s rendition of “Heartless.” The stage was illuminated as forest of giant evergreens swaying in an intense snow blizzard. The scene came to life as paper snowflakes were blown around the audience from the ceiling. Kanye livened up the concert by sporadically returning to the stage in various adorned masks. One being made from white feathers resembling the phoenix in his film "Runaway" and the other being completely crystallized in diamonds.
After the performance came to conclusion of course the crowd wanted an encore. So Konman stormed the stage ending a far beyond phenomenal with the epic "College Dropout" single "All Falls Down." Overall, the concert was one to never be forgotten. Definitely worth the combined four-hour road trip down to Atlantic City and back to New York. After the concert I heard quite a few attendees jabbering about no surprise guests, this was one of three solo performances in the USA, next time read the event information before you purchase tickets. In the following performances in Atlantic City Kanye announced he is having a child with girlfriend Kim Khardashian. 10 out of 10. This just leaves me with one question to ask, “AHHHHHH, YEEZY YEEZY HOW YOU DO IT HUH?!”
Don't sleep on this people. Afrojack has just added a second NYC date including a show with Diplo at Pier 94 on Sunday, December 30th. Tickets go on sale Thursday, December 13th, at www.RPMpresents.com/pier94. Make the right decision and attend this event.
10/27/2012 - Major Lazer is a collective of modern day rockstars. The Jillionaire, Walshy Fire, and Diplo will go down in history next to David Lee Roth, Ozzy Osbourne, Jimi Hendrix, and Kurt Cobaine for what they have done with their music. 1OAK was jam packed with all different kinds of ghouls and goblins this past Halloween weekend. Not to mention a mob outside the door big enough to fill the place three times over and enough liquor to flood the place like Sandy did to New York subways. Plain and simple; if you weren't at Terminal 5 or 1OAK (at least one of them) in New York City this past Friday you are a complete and utter fool and missed out on two of the best events this weekend, maybe even this year. The entire Major Lazer crew including the productions newest dancers did their thing on em until early Sunday morning. Dropping bombs like Paul Tibbets; playing some of the hottest tracks from right now, back then, and probably next year as well.
I could identify tracks like Clique by Kanye West featuring Big Sean and Jay Z, Stay Schemin by Rick Ross featuring Drake and French Montana, Break Ya Neck by Busta Rhymes, Birthday Cake by Rihanna, Did It On Em by Nicki Minaj, and Pon De Floor by yours truly, Major Lazer, but Diplo's phenomenally intricate mixing style made it pretty difficult to tell which was what. One big mixed up "M-M-MAJALAZA!" soundtrack. The bass was thumping (glad I had some ear plugs or I probably still wouldn't be able to hear) and every got extra rowdy for Halloween. The most eclectic set of all times (of course, its Major Lazer). Now a days, everyone is a music journalist, they all have their secret blogs to get the newest coolest material to bump while they do what they do. The performance had a little of everything; rap, raggae, moombahton, dub step, house, and some crazy crazy stuff I can't even put a genre on. With Major Lazer, you get everything. Taking the EDM culture far beyond anyone else's abilities and just being different. I knew there were going to be AT LEAST a few amazing songs I would never be able to find so I whipped on my iPhone and snagged a ten minute clip of their performance. Truly a one of a kind performance, no pun intended. Take a look at the clip and an even closer look to 2:02. Walshy Fire is MC'ing it up. I tried to do some investigating to figure out what the banger was but came up stumped. In my opinion, the track sounds kinda like Original Don, so I have a feeling it's something coming from the Major Lazer camp. We will have to wait and see…that ish cranks though!