Skip to content

Kanye West’s Chaotic Sunday

article-kanye-0606-8

By JON CARAMANICA, reposted from New York Times (here)

Just past 2 a.m. Monday, Kanye West poked his head through the roof of a car heading north on Third Avenue in the East Village and surveyed what he had wrought. On East 11th Street, outside Webster Hall, maybe a couple of thousand young people were clustered — in the street, on the sidewalks, on stoops, on balconies, sitting atop Postal Service trucks — waiting for a just-announced concert that was beginning to seem as if it might not happen. When Mr. West rode by, a few hundred of them spied him and peeled off, surrounding his car, taking pictures, reaching for handshakes.

After a minute or so, he drove off — the Kanye West concert was not to be, an anticlimactic end to a roller coaster day.

The city gives, and the city takes away. One of the truest and most persistent charms of New York night life is its unpredictability. Certainly, as severe thunderstorms were bearing down on the New York area Sunday evening, the idea that the night might end with throngs of young people congregating on downtown streets awaiting their hero would have seemed ludicrous. But with a couple of tweets, Mr. West summoned a gathering out of thin air, a reminder that, for the right person, the city can be activated at any moment.

The congregation was — as spontaneous large-scale eruptions of fandom go — exceedingly low-key. There were cheers when a familiar face, like ASAP Rocky’s, made his way through the crowd. People posed for selfies with the sea of fans as a backdrop. Couples kissed amid the hubbub. For about two hours, police officers — whose boss, Commissioner William J. Bratton, had made inflammatory comments about rappers after a shooting at a T.I. concert at Irving Plaza last month — watched from a distance, more bewildered than tense. (There was one arrest, for disorderly conduct, according to the department.)
For Mr. West, the day’s events were set in motion 14 hours earlier, when the third day of the Governors Ball music festival on Randalls Island, where he was to be the headliner, was canceled because of severe weather. Suddenly, Hot 97’s Summer Jam 2016, just outside Manhattan at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., where a set was already scheduled for his G.O.O.D. Music label, took on additional importance. The raison d’être of Summer Jam is surprise marquee appearances — surely Mr. West would show.

Weather had also decimated Summer Jam, the annual confab thrown by the leading New York hip-hop station, Hot 97 (WQHT 97.1 FM). The afternoon festival stage, with a promising lineup including Chance the Rapper and Dave East, was canceled outright; the main show started hours after it ordinarily would have, with some of the announced sets — Young Thug, Tinashe, Kid Ink — scuttled, seemingly to speed things along.

But that concert also ended abruptly (reportedly for curfew reasons) during DJ Khaled’s guest-filled set; Future, the headliner, never made it to the stage. (In addition to beginning late, the show was also delayed after a chair-swinging fight in the crowd that prompted a swift police response.)
What remained, though, was vintage Summer Jam, and one that focused more intently on New York hip-hop than in recent years. There was a mini-reunion of Terror Squad, the crumbled late 1990s-early 2000s crew, recently reignited by “All the Way Up,” a swaggering hit by Fat Joe and Remy Ma, who was released from prison in August 2014 after a six-year stint. ASAP Rocky and ASAP Ferg performed a string of avant-rap thumpers. And the show began with an enthused set by Maino and Uncle Murda, Brooklyn roughnecks with nary a mainstream breakthrough between them, but plenty of street hits.

 

New York was present, too, in a way, during the G.O.O.D. Music set early in the show, thanks to the label’s newest signee, Desiigner, the Brooklyn rapper who recently topped the Billboard Hot 100 with his debut single, “Panda.” (Never mind that it directly channels Atlanta style.)

He performed last in the crew, dancing wildly and making ludicrous facial expressions while his teammates — Pusha T, Big Sean, 2 Chainz, Travis Scott and yes, Mr. West — powered through an energetic set emphasizing their tough side. For most of it, Mr. West played grinning paterfamilias, anchoring posse cuts like “Champions,” “I Don’t Like (remix),” “Mercy” and “Clique,” that last one largely a cappella.

Music is but one of Mr. West’s concerns these days. Earlier on Sunday, he had escorted his 2-year-old daughter, North, to see “The Lion King” on Broadway. On Monday, he released the first boots from the second season of his clothing collection. He turns 39 on Wednesday — a casual birthday party took place backstage at Summer Jam, with a cake reading “Pablo,” for Mr. West’s recent album, “The Life of Pablo.”

Often, Mr. West speaks about embracing the improbable. He is a catalyst for creativity and is stubborn in his belief that he can, with the right words, align the world just so, along an axis of his choosing.

But thousands of young people clogging East Village Manhattan streets proved to be untameable, even by Mr. West. Not that he didn’t try: Kim Kardashian, his wife, posted on Snapchat a video of Mr. West on the phone, asking someone to call the mayor and have some streets closed so screens could be set up to simulcast the last-minute concert. He wanted the assembled fans to be able to “have a party outside.”

Even after Mr. West’s drive-by appearance came and went, the faithful stood firm, waiting to be allowed into Webster Hall for the show. But around 2:45 a.m., dozens of officers from the Police Department’s Strategic Response Group began clearing the streets. Fans jumped down from their perches — those mail trucks, a Dumpster, scaffolding, atop parked cars and S.U.V.s now with dented roofs — and began to disperse.

Some, though, still held out for any flicker of hope. When Virgil Abloh and Heron Preston, members of Mr. West’s creative team, walked out of Webster Hall just before 3 a.m., they were immediately noticed. Dozens of people chased them down the block, to Third Avenue, stopping them in the middle of the street for pictures and videos. Minutes later, the two ducked into an S.U.V., which sped away. A few dedicated fans sprinted behind it, off to wherever this night in the city might take them.

Leave a Comment





Amazon_Smile_logo
LET-ME-HELP-LOGO

Support Let Me Help Inc by shopping at smile.amazon.com

The Daisy Jopling Band To Perform “Who’s Who” At The Transfiguration Church In Tarrytown, NY Sunday May 12th, 2024 7 PM ET

By admin | May 9, 2024 |

The Transfiguration Church in Tarrytown, New York Presents “Who’s Who”, original violin arrangements of iconic songs by The Who performed by the Daisy Jopling Band featuring the Sleepy Hollow High School Chamber Orchestra on Sunday, May 12th, 2024. Location: Transfiguration Church 268 South Broadway Tarrytown, NY 10591 United States Tickets are $25 and can be…

Cyborg Drummer/DJ DRMAGDN Headlining Montauk Music Fest

By admin | April 9, 2024 |

Major Label BMG Records Artist & Producer DRMAGDN Cyborg Drummer / DJ will be making his Montauk Music Fest debut this year in May. DRMAGDN will be the Official Host & MC of The Montauk Music Fest plus play headlining sets on Friday 5/17 and Saturday 5/18 from 10pm-12am at Gurney’s Montauk Resort (290 Old…

RED CARPET EVENT @ Chelsea Table & Stage 4/12/24 Featuring THE AMERICAN RELICS & DRMAGDN

By admin | March 25, 2024 |

On Friday April 12th, 2024 beginning at 6:30 pm ET  there will be a Red Carpet event pre-show sponsored by Tribeca Records at the trendy nightspot Chelsea Table and Stage located in the heart of Chelsea at 152 west 26th street (inside the Hilton Fashion Hotel) in NYC. The Red Carpet will be followed by…

Live Review: Composer Randy Edelman Live at Chelsea T&S “2nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Massacre” 03/16/24 and Record Release in NYC

By admin | March 17, 2024 |

There was an infinite vitality of velvet green flowing deliciously through the air as Composer Randy Edelman presented his 2nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Massacre at the trendy new nightspot Chelsea Table & Stage in the heart of NYC on March 16, 2024….. a vivacious close to the spirited Irish Parade. His music is the…

DRMAGDN: Cyborg Drummer/DJ Debuts @ Chelsea T&S With Retro 80’s Party & Red Carpet Event 4/12/24

By admin | February 29, 2024 |

BMG recording artist, producer and World renowned, Global Touring Electrifying Powerhouse, DRMAGDN: Cyborg Drummer and DJ will make his debut at the popular, trendy night spot Chelsea Table & Stage (located at 152 west 26th street inside the Hilton Hotel) on  Friday April 12, 2024 @ 9:00PM. DRMAGDN will be celebrating his high energy brand of Electronic Dance Music (EDM)…

Going Steady: New Singles 2-23-24- 2-29-24 Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | February 26, 2024 |

dance pop, gooey confection

US Top Ten Albums Tracking 2-16-24 – 2-22-24

By Iman Lababedi | February 26, 2024 |

75K EAUs is abysmal

Our Friend Tony Orlando’s Farewell Tour

By admin | February 25, 2024 |

“I still hit the ball, I just can’t run the bases!!!”

Sneak Peaks: New Album releases 3-1-24 – 3-7-24

By Iman Lababedi | February 25, 2024 |

contenders for the best punk rock around

Child Bite, Lamb Of God, Pantera At Madison Square Garden, Thursday, February 22nd, 2024, Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | February 25, 2024 |

A three hours of hard rock, metal not metal, swift, loud, egoless pure metal

Scroll To Top