Big Sean, Kid Ink - Club Nokia - 3/27/12
I don't get this trend; you never would have seen Run DMC or N.W.A. do this. But the ladies shouted like they were at a Justin Bieber concert. Sex appeal aside, the kids (the average age was 20) didn't mind seem to mind or feel cheated that the show ended before the 10 o'clock news, which meant they had enough time to get back to the dorms in time to finish up their homework before class in the morning.
Kid Ink was chosen as the 2012 freshman representative to open up the show. Though he has some promise, Ink is plagued by the same problem as Big Sean: unimaginative beats. The highlight of his brief set was when he leapt off the stage and grabbed a blunt from an audience member, which was met with a huge cheer. Not all of the anointed freshmen have had the success a magazine cover seems to promise. If Ink is to avoid drifting off into anonymity, the L.A. native has some work to do.
Critical Bias: I was shocked to see that everything ran on schedule and not hip-hop time.
Random Notebook Dump: If you told me 10 years ago that I'd be counting varsity jackets at a hip-hop show, I would have called you a moron. Joke's on me.