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Flatbush Zombies Concert Review

Flatbush Zombies
April 12th, 2016
The Granada - Lawrence, KS

Meechy Darko and Zombie Juice
Two-thousand-and-twelve was a big year for New York hip-hop. Brooklyn trio Flatbush Zombies released the video for their song "Thug Waffle" and proved (like Odd Future the year before) that an exciting rap group with an unorthodox style could gain success in the music industry using solely the internet. Remy Banks released his first mixtape "World Famous." A$AP Rocky's single "Fuckin' Problems" shot to the top of the charts.

Fast forward to Lawrence, Kansas in 2016. Hip-hop fans finally got to experience some of the music they've been listening to religiously for years at a sold out Granada Theater.

Zombie Juice
A booming voice comes on over the PA announcing the arrival of Flatbush Zombies. The voice takes the tone of a professional wrestling announcer introducing a heavyweight champion on their way to the ring. The three rappers emerge one by one as their verses begin in the first song. First Zombie Juice, Erick The Architect, and finally Meechy Darko.

The group released their formal debut album "3001: A Laced Odyssey" last month on their own Glorious Dead Records. The hour long concept album hit number one on Billboard's independent albums chart. It also provided plenty of new material for the group to play on tour, having not released a new album in three years.

If you can't tell by listening to their albums, it's quite apparent live that the members of Flatbush Zombies have an impressive level of charisma and contrast each others' styles perfectly. Zombie Juice, a shorter man with a long beard spits his lines in a nasal voice and a charming demeanor while meandering across the stage. Meechy Darko, often hopping up and down shirtless, pounds in hooks with a nearly DMX-level of machismo. Erick The Architect plays the midfield, helping on both fronts when necessary and providing relief when one rapper needs a break. Needless to say, the group could probably survive off their charisma alone if they needed to. They don't though.

A$AP Twelvyy
Paired with space-themed animations and plenty of strobes behind them, the hip-hop tag team with an obsession with psychedelic drugs (weed and acid references galore) and wrestling (Juice sported a Cactus Jack t-shirt) drove the young audience wild for over an hour. One break in the action consisted of Meech holding up the group's new CD while telling the crowd, "They want to take this from you!" and urging people to buy their discs before launching into "3001" track "R.I.P.C.D."

Songs from the month-old album were received very well, but the handful of songs performed from "BetterOffDEAD" ("222," "Palm Trees," and "Bliss") created several moments where the majority of attendees were rapping along.

Remy Banks
The Zombies' set ended without the standard encore routine of walking off the stage and quickly returning. Instead, the group opted to jump down into different parts of the crowd and play their original hit "Thug Waffle." Things came to a close with the trio rapping a song a cappella followed by Juice running up to the balcony to thank the audience, shout out Tech N9ne, and start the increasingly popular chant of "Fuck Donald Trump!" A fittingly obscene and fun end to an obscenely fun performance.

Remy Banks, of Queens hip-hop collective World's Fair, was the first to perform Tuesday evening. His updated style of '90's NY throwback made his 2015 tape "higher." one of the best of the year. Hip-hop fans aren't usually quick to let an opening act win their hearts, but that certainly seemed to be the case. His short set went off without a hitch, just as it did last year when he came to town opening for Earl Sweatshirt.

A$AP Twelvyy, of A$AP Mob, was the second opening act. While Twelvyy doesn't have many popular songs that are solely his, his verses on other A$AP songs and the infamy of his group members Ferg and Rocky were enough to extract an extremely energetic and positive response to his set. Twelvyy looks to release his debut solo mixtape "2127301090" later this year.

(Yung Grandpa's opening DJ set was lit as always. "Laffy Taffy" got shit poppin'. Let him play your Bar Mitzvah)

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