On Sunday night (April 19), The Smokers Club Tour invaded New York City for its second annual 4/20 concert. Despite the concert falling a day early, a slew of artists like Domo Genesis, Smoke DZA, and Lil Herb helped set the table for the night’s headliner Joey Bada$$.
A throng of hip-hop fans swarmed Terminal 5 to see the Pro Era leader provide scintillating raps from his catalog. To start the night right, a bevy of young artists like J $tash, Frais, and Jet Life’s very own Young Roddy and Trademark Da Skydiver, each captivated the crowd with their performances. J $tash injected doses of heavy trap music with “Shawty Wanna F***” and “Guerillas,” while Young Roddy took a smoother approach with records like “What That Is” and “Grizzly.” The balance of trap and mellow records proved to be the theme of the night, as fans indulged on their offerings without any hesitation.
Chicago upstart Lil Herb was up next. Unfortunately, Herb lost his voice prior to the show and was wrestling with that issue all performance. Regardless, Herb valiantly performed several cuts including “Chiraq” sans Nicki Minaj, “Jugg House,” and “I’m Rollin’.” His affliction didn’t stop him from turning up as he persistently kept telling the crowd “F*** my voice. It’s 4/20!”
Next up, was Odd Future’s Domo Genesis. Not only did Domo provide a great performance, but he also served as the night’s comedian. Domo—who refers to New York as his “second home”—kicked off his performance with his Alchemist-produced record “Prophecy.” After that he would jump into “Me & My Bitch.” Later, Domo quipped about having hair grease fall into his eyes and that he needed a second. Fans granted him his two seconds to heal and then the turn up continued. He quickly recovered and jumped into his “favorite record” “Hot Soup In My Motherf****** Bowl.” The whimsical one line record had the crowd pumped and ready for the star of the night, Joey Bada$$. But, before Joey came out, Smoke DZA surprised the crowd and performed several cuts of his own. Donning his championship belt, the Harlem bred rapper quickly performed “Continental Kush Breakfast” and “4 Loko.”
At approximately 11:05, Joey Bada$$ and his long-time collaborator and DJ Statik Selektah entered the Terminal 5 stage. The 20-year-old quickly had the crowd’s full attention once he walked out and began rapping “Survival of the Fittest.” What was intriguing about Joey’s performance was his ability to mesmerize the auidence despite his young age. His entire performance was imbued with passion and sheer emotion. Because of his high-octane energy, he transformed records like “Paper Trail$,” “Sweet Dreams,” and “Christ Consciousness” into a powerful performance. The Pro Era front-man called on CJ Fly to come on stage for “Hardknock.” Terminal 5 instantly became a euphoric playground for Joey because he finished every track on a high note, which was perfect considering the occasion. He also performed more bangers including, “Like Me”, “Big Dusty”, and “Snakes”.
In just a year, Joey jumped from supporting act to headliner and showed why he’s fans ushered him as hip-hop’s one of golden child. Not only does he pack punchy lyrics but his stage performance is as equally powerful, especially at the tender age of 20.—Carl Lamarre