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Ugly God Concert Review

Ugly God
November 9th, 2017
The Granada - Lawrence, KS

Ugly God
Friday night's Ugly God show was likely the youngest rap show crowd to pack The Granada since last year's Lil Yachty gig. The Houston-based rapper, born Royce Davison, first grew his fanbase through memes and viral videos, one of which involved him letting a small lizard bite his nose. After a successful string of singles which included the now-platinum "Water," he dropped his long-awaited "Booty Tape" and hit the road. Davison took the stage as the clock struck 9 P.M. and offered fans an outrageously entertaining 45 minute set.

In the first half of his set, split down the middle by a minute-long retreat back to the green room, Davison created more highlights than most performers can muster in an hour. The cloud rap-indebted "Bernie Sanders" was a throwback to a simpler time and spawned a mosh pit in the middle of the floor. A charged-up performance of "I Beat My Meat," one of Davison's many outlandish trap-style sex raps, included him commending a security guard for knowing the words and dancing along.

The latter half of the set included an on-stage appearance from a fan in a Pikachu costume, post-fame reflections on "Like A Maverick," and a second performance of "Water" where Davison and his DJ tossed a few dozen water bottles into the crowd for fans to spray as the beat dropped.

Davison has recently teased the release of his debut album and noted that he'd like to see his art evolve beyond memes and cartoon references. While he is certainly more talented than most give him credit for, such artistic changes are difficult for nearly anyone. Nobody knows what will come next, but Friday night's show gave Kansas a glimpse of the Ugly God that fans first fell in love with.

St. Louis rapper Yusee took the stage before Ugly God for one of his first performances after some time spent incarcerated. His new material is a drastic change from what he was making two years ago and references the style of a handful "new wave" rappers via his clothing, beat selections, and a short cry of Lil Pump's "eskeddit!" as he took the stage. Yusee's raps were slightly more lyrical than many acts currently holding SoundCloud fame, but for whatever reason, while the kids went crazy to Pump and Xxxtentacion songs during the DJ sets, Yusee didn't receive the same reception.

Jooby Truth's opening set was likely one of his most successful yet. In many of his past performances he has lost the audience's support by performing slower numbers more focused on his lyricism, but the handful of tracks he picked for this set were spot-on. His aggressive style is more closely influenced by Waka Flocka Flame than any of the newcomers that are Ugly God's peers, but Jooby still manage to connect with the crowd and get them hopping along with him. Although he ran out of the steam on the latter half of his closing track, "Rap Money," things still went pretty well.

An opening set by local rapper KingJamz was living proof that picking the right beats can only take one so far. Jamz and his crew faced down several hostile hecklers shouting for them to leave the stage as he performed a handful of frat-informed rap songs. Ugly God fans didn't seem the least bit  interested in hearing half-shouted bars about "drinking Natty, not double cup."

As Yung Grandpa's always-Based DJ set came to a close, he invited Topeka's Dub Santana and Tione to the stage to perform two collaborative tracks. Despite a valiant social media effort to attain a full opening slot, this was the next best thing and the guys made the most of it. The pair won an unconventionally warm response from the early crowd as they bounced across the stage to their songs "DDM" and "Papercha$e."

Full photo gallery here.

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