Photo by MARY LYNN DOMINGUEZ
When I climbed into the Uber that would take me to the Fillmore to see Fetty Wap, I had two realistic expectations in mind: getting ‘too turnt,’ and as a result, risking ‘alcohol-exposed’ pregnancy as advised against by the CDC. Ouseman, the Uber driver, had been busy driving degenerates like myself to the sold-out Fillmore all night. He attempted to casually switch his preferred jazz station to a hip hop one that I guess seemed more appropriate for a young trap queen like he assumed I was. Meek Mill began to blare, nearly making us both deaf on the spot. Little did Ouseman know, I’m not exactly a typical Fetty Wap fan. I would have been perfectly content with the jazz station and the conversation he started about our hometowns. We both agreed that Fetty Wap probably wouldn’t be playing in Mali, where he was from, anytime soon. Sadly, you can only bond so much in a three-minute car ride.
My first impression of The Fillmore, the shiny and relatively new venue in town, was that it felt similar to walking through the TSA, except with wall-to-wall Pinterest-inspired décor and 21+ wristband checkpoints everywhere. Waiting in the photo pit for Fetty Wap’s set, I sat through two embarrassing acts of ‘rising stardom’ in 2016— some generic lip-syncing and dancing girl group whose name eludes me at the moment, and Post Malone, who performed a song called “White Iverson” about saucin’ and swaggin’, which he thought up after he got his hair braided in cornrows and figured he looked like a white version of Allen Iverson. He sang another unremarkable but laughable song about wiping away his tears with money. The opening acts were fitting, because the crowd was made of approximately 75 percent white girls and guys with similarly appropriated cornrows, in addition to various basic tattoos like birds and infinity symbols.
At one point, one of Fetty Wap’s hype men walked towards the edge of the stage to where I stood, right in front of the World’s Most Basic Fan Girls, and pulled out a wad of cash. The only time in my life when I wish I’d had a butterfly net at a concert was right then— sometimes rent gets hard to come by. The girls in the crowd tapped me on the shoulder and pointed at money on the ground that they couldn’t reach, begging for me to puhleeeease grab it for them. So naturally, I picked it up, did my best to dramatically wave them around to the beat of the music, and shoved them in my pockets. In that moment, I was prepared to be Crowd Enemy Number One. Indeed, I was on the receiving end of hella side eye, except for one forgiving girl whose hand rose for a high-five. I knew that Fetty Wap’s set was about to begin when another girl grabbed my arm and started hitting me, as though that hilarious time when I kept the two fallen dollars for myself brought us closer than ever.
After a video about how grateful his crew was to be on the rise to stardom, Fetty Wap walked onstage. A sea of smartphone camera lights served as an additional spotlight for Fetty Wap, who was decked out in bleached Swiss-Miss-Snoop-Dogg-hybrid braids, obligatory gold chains, and a smile that was cool and shy—as if to hold off from appearing too eager. Supported by what I can only assume were the Remy Boyz, Fetty Wap led the set, pulling through songs from his self-titled 2015 debut about the importance of getting money, getting high, and providing for your most faithful hoes a sort of indefinable trap-rap-R&B-hip-hop sound. While swerving and sing-rapping through each song like clockwork, Fetty Wap occasionally turned the microphone to the audience, who would fill in lyrics like “She walk past, I press rewind/ To see that ass one more time,” “I’m too turnt, when I shoot, swear I won’t miss, AYE,” and of course, the collectively auto-tuned-riffing “Yeaaaah baby” like some kind of unapologetic, drunken “Kumbaya.”
At one point between songs, Fetty Wap grabbed a handful of his CD’s, signed them all, and handed them out to the already-star-struck crowd of faithful hoes — both male and female — which was one of his many genuine gestures of appreciation. While the opening acts were questionable and I’m still not really sure how to categorize Fetty Wap’s music, I’m secretly hoping he doesn’t fade out too quickly. P.S. The publicist wanted me to be sure to tell you this was the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour. Ordinarily I’d be all ‘fuck no’ but she she asked nicely. — MARY LYNN DOMINGUEZ