YG brought his politically fueled Fuck Donald Trump Tour to Vancouver for two sold-out shows
Vancouver, BC – Originally published Dec. 1, 2016 – A week ago today, the Vogue Theatre opened its’ doors in downtown Vancouver for YG’s Fuck Donald Trump Tour. Heading into a night of two sold-out shows, it was fair to say that most people held high expectations (and passionate feelings) about his looming performance. Constructively, the promotion for his most recent album, Still Brazy, had positioned YG as one of the most vocal rappers to hold disapproval for the recent election south of our Canadian border.
The choice of naming for his tour made attendees deeply aware that his political stances would be a highlight of the evening, and realistically fueled the filling of the venue for both shows. Shout-out to the Vancouver Police Department for lining the streets with cruisers after the show to make sure that night remained positive and non-violent. Among the passionate fans and politically engaged were also many of us who were unsure how this predicted emotional release of energy would transpire, and also how we would communicate it the best to you without inserting our own political bias.
It would have been easy to review the tour for its’ point blank events at face value because there really were a multitude of monumental happenings to fill pages. From a stage full of twerkers, to the multiple women who fully exposed themselves, to the life-size Trump replica that was destroyed – every moment was eye opening and stimulating. But, the things that resounded with me the most as a reviewer were the realizations and declarations that went unannounced, and undeclared throughout the time spent watching how the youth responded to the show.
There was an overwhelming and heartening approval of support for freedom that could be felt in the young crowd’s unifying movement and chants as they followed YG’s political prompts. There was the resounding division (and support for it) that we similarly watched polarize much of North America during this election as a result of deeming opposing political sides as the “right” and “wrong” ones. And, most critically, there was the sinking realization that YG had openly profited off of the US’s current political struggles by dedicating a whole tour to it.
4Hunnid’s most recent signee, Kaimayah was the first to open the evening. Low-key, this girl is talented beyond compare, and deserved more recognition than she received from the crowd that evening. Playing some of her most notable releases like “Out The Bottle”, she was able to rally the energetic audience as they came in slowly through the door after passing through the strict security clearances that night.
The all-ages evening prepared an audience that was mostly filled with alcohol fueled teenagers moving in packs. Interestingly enough, most people were fully embracing to each other as they compared who they were most excited to see (the antics were rated close to the top of their lists). Kaimayah must have been used to the widespread chaos as she calmly controlled the audience and directed their attention to her performance as she worked the stage. For many, it was our first time seeing her perform live – but it hopefully won’t be our last. Her set was authentic and her bars were strong.
YG’s affiliate, RJ was up next and appeared donning all black attire and a backpack. He managed to take the energy up about five notches within a mere two tracks. At one point, he eagerly called on the females in the front to join him up on stage. You really haven’t seen everything as a reviewer until you’ve witnessed more than 25 beautiful women mount the main stage to confidently twerk their way through a rap show. You could feel the gentlemen sigh in disapproval as they were ushered back to the audience. The lights remained brazen, yet controlled, until they announced the entrance of YG following a short intermission.
By this point in the show my optimism was high because this was vastly uncharted territory. Similar to the election, it was hard to take your eyes off the performances as they were filled with multiple unexpected curve balls. And, although it was an evening based around political discontent, it still seemed to have brought together much of the youth under the heading of a positive outlet. Many love rap music for this very reason that it offers a platform to vent frustration, criticism, and untamed self-expression without constraints. If you look to any moments of historical unrest, rap music has been the first to express and gauge the current state of society. This would have also been a fair statement to make after watching the show last Monday.
Iconically, YG entered the stage on a gurney while rapping the opening bars to “Who Shot Me”. It wasn’t the highest energy entrance that I expected, but the rapper was smart to choose a track that focused our attention on the music. It also laid the groundwork for the identifying storytelling that YG is lyrically known for. As he rolled the set into “I Just Wanna Party” the crowd collectively went crazy, and you truly felt like you were in the presence of a real OG. His stated confidence was grand as he casually swung his body from stage right to stage left, and at one point graced our eyes as he stripped his white tee away to reveal his chiseled abs.
If there was any debate about his talent or authenticity as an artist, it quickly disappeared as we realized we were in the presence of a seasoned professional performer. “Word is Bond” had the audience rapping the lyrics back to him, and “Twist My Fingaz” was the ultimate testament to the relevance of his newest album, Still Brazy. Generally, at a given show, there are a few tracks that receive the highest recognition from the audience. YG impressively received an equal resurrection of approval for every single song that he played.
The rapper was visibly content with the turnout as he engaged the crowd with a plentiful amount of banter as he relayed, “We live our life. We do what the fuck we do. Whatever happens, happens N**ga. Straight like that.” More comical interactions occurred as he chanted at various points in the evening, “Show them titties! Show them titties!” He also confessed that he loved Vancouver, and wanted to record an album here one day as he described, “Ya’ll got the pretty ladies here, and the sky scrapers. I’m from LA. We like the tall buildings. They make us feel at home.”
Highlights of the show included the widely famous “My Nigga”, Jeremih’s “Don’t Tell Em”, and much of the content from Still Brazy. As we approached the end of evening and the audience’s energy started to wane, he questioned us by exclaiming, “This is the Fuck Donald Trump Tour right?!” He then asked the audience unabashedly, “If you motherfuckers got a chance to meet Donald Trump, what the fuck would you do to this motherfucker?” When the audience reacted by banging the metal barricades, he replied, “Oh, you ready huh?!” One of YG’s mates then brought out a life sized replica of Donald Trump dressed in a suit and tie. After questioning why the doll didn’t suspend from the air like it was apparently supposed to, he prompted the audience which side wanted to destroy the replica for him instead. He threw the doll into the audience and the mosh pit tore it up before throwing the arms and legs back to him on stage as if they’d just devoured some chicken wings. It was barbaric, and yet comical at the same time.
The performance of “FDT” ended his set and had all of the audience chanting “Fuck Donald Trump!” Whether you came as a fan, or a casual listener, the California rapper put on one hell of a show that entertained even the most generic listener. He’s admittedly one of the best performers I’ve seen this year, and convincingly one of the best male rappers. Whether his tactics were appropriate or warranted is up to total personal interpretation, and political viewpoint.
Written by Kira Hunston for HipHopCanada
Photography by Jamie Sands for HipHopCanada
Photos: YG Live In Vancouver