Saturday Aug. 11 marked the ninth annual Fool’s Gold Day Off, a one day festival put on by the Brooklyn-based record company to promote emerging talent in the music industry.
Fool’s Gold Records, founded in 2007 by DJs A-Trak and Nick Catchdubs, have put on the Day Off concert series in major cities across the US and Canada since 2010. Day Off has always had its finger on the pulse of the music underground. Previous Day Off NYC lineups included A$AP Rocky, Flatbush Zombies, Flosstradamus, Danny Brown, Migos, Run The Jewels, Travis Scott, Meek Mill and Post Malone; all before these artists hit the mainstream.
FG Day Off 2018 took place at Knockdown Center in Maspeth, Queens, a fairly quiet neighborhood for such a historic venue. The building has been in use for over 100 years as both a glass and door factory. The high ceilings and huge open space harken back to the venue’s time as a factory, but the spacious stage, industrial-style bars and art gallery give Knockdown Center a modern feel.
With such a promising past, FG Day Off 2018 had a lot to live up to and it most certainly did. The 2018 lineup featured the series’ most diverse range of talent yet, from female rappers that could rival Cardi B to punk bands that brought a whole new meaning to the words “mosh pit.” Here’s a breakdown of who performed, who to keep an eye on in the coming months and who is sure to be a star.
The next generation of female rappers: Bbymutha, Junglepussy, Asian Doll and Chynna.
The huge gender gap in the rap industry has been making its way into music industry headlines, and FG Day Off responded by featuring some of the best up-and-coming female rappers in their 2018 lineup.
Bbymutha has been an entity on the underground rap scene for nearly four years and is starting to gain momentum. Brittnee Moore, a native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, is a single mother of four and raps about her personal experiences as a mother, from failed relationships to hustling to reclaiming her identity and confidence. Moore is controversial; people either hate her or love her, mainly because she is unapologetically herself.
At FG Day Off, Bbymutha was full of excitement and energy onstage. She performed with a big smile and interacted with a responsive crowd. It was clear that people were excited to see her perform. When she played “Rules,” one of her most popular songs, the crowd surged to life, screaming and singing along to the lyrics.
Junglepussy is another female rapper that has been gaining popularity in the last couple of years and not only because of her shocking moniker. Shayna McHayle hails from Brooklyn and has been been making music under the name Junglepussy since 2014. The release of her most recent album “Jp3” shows McHayle’s evolution as both a person and an artist, as she raps more about her vulnerability and journey to self-love as a black woman while still keeping her classic confidence and playful lyrics.
Junglepussy had great energy on stage, dancing from side to side and hyping up the crowd. Her flow and lyrics were well-constructed and well-executed. Her voice sounded similar to Missy Elliot’s, whom McHayle sites as a big influence, while still maintaining her own uniqueness. Her two biggest hits “Bling Bling” and “Trader Joe” were met with delight from the crowd.
After Junglepussy’s set there was a surprise performance by Asian Doll, a female rapper who has been getting a lot of attention recently after the release of her sixth mixtape “Doll SZN” and her feature on Bhad Bhabie’s “Hi Bich (Remix).” The 21-year-old Dallas, Texas native is bubbly and full of confidence and knows exactly what she’s doing. In an interview with XXL Magazine, she said that her goal in making hip-hop music is to “keep leading the youth. I feel like girls—especially from the hood, where I'm from—they have no voice. They have nobody...I just wanna keep motivating the girls [to] keep being themselves. Especially for dark skin girls.”
When Asian Doll bounded onto the stage in a pair of white high-tops, a tiny mini-dress and hair falling all the way down her back, the crowd went crazy. While all of the female rappers had their own forms of energy, Asian Doll didn’t stand still for a second while she ran and danced back and forth across the stage while rapping along to her song “Arm Froze.”
Perhaps the biggest breakout performance at FG Day Off was from Chynna, a 23-year-old who hails from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and grew up hanging around A$AP Yams and the entire A$AP Mob. Chynna’s energy was smooth and steady; she exerted a lowkey confidence that differed from Junglepussy’s in-your-face style and Asian Doll’s female hypebeast aesthetic. Chynna’s beauty is apparent- it’s no wonder she was signed to Ford Models at only 14 years old- but her unique flow, cool-girl style and vulnerable lyrical content give her the talent to back up her superstar good looks.
Songs to listen to: “Rules” by Bbymutha, “Bling Bling” by Junglepussy, “Arm Froze” and “Poppin’” by Asian Doll, “The Conversation,” “Glen Coco” and “practice” by Chynna
The new kids of SoundCloud: Michael Christmas and Comethazine
There’s no doubt that the genre known as SoundCloud/mumble/emo rap has taken off at a rapid rate this past year. Michael Christmas and Comethazine represent the two different sides of the SoundCloud spectrum: the playful and the hypebeast, respectively, although there’s certainly crossover between the two.
Michael Christmas hails from Boston, Massachusetts and is described by Highsnobiety as the “everyman’s rapper.” This couldn’t be more true; with his round face, infectious smile and casual style, Christmas almost seems more like a 19-year-old you would meet walking down the street rather than performing onstage. Don’t let this fool you, however: Christmas had a charming attitude on stage, and his sometimes goofy but always sweet lyrics make Christmas stand out from many of the other rappers on the SoundCloud platform. His live flow was clear and will keep him from being branded as a “mumble rapper.”
His song “Not The Only One,” which reached almost 300,000 plays on SoundCloud, resonated most with the crowd and cements his role as the relatable rapper with the chorus: “I'm still f*ckin' up all the time/ I know I'm not the only one/ I still can't get sh*t right/ I know I'm not the only/ I feel like staying in tonight/ I know I'm not the only one/ Today I didn't go outside/ I know I'm not the only one.”
While Michael Christmas is the cute boy-next-door, Comethazine is the newest addition to SoundCloud’s collection of hypebeasts. That’s not to say he’s exactly like everybody else: something about his flow and style is intriguing and makes you want to keep listening. His breakout song “Piped Up” has over five million views on YouTube and he’s been keeping the momentum going with tracks like “Bands,” “Might Cop a Jag” and “Let It Eat,” the latter of which being a collaboration between him and Ugly God.
At FG Day Off, Comethazine payed homage to the late XXXTentacion by covering his and Ski Mask the Slump God’s hit “Take A Step Back” to the delight of the crowd. He then played his most popular songs with a huge entourage on stage including Asian Doll, Spaghetti Boys and Luka Sabbat. With a sound similar to Smokepurpp and Ski Mask, it’s easy to see how Comethazine can be the next big artist to emerge from SoundCloud.
Songs to listen to: “Not the Only One” and “Girlfriend” by Michael Christmas, “Piped Up,” “Bands” and “Let It Eat” by Comethazine.
A contemporary (and a classic) rap collective: World’s Fair and Dem Franchize Boyz
From NWA to A$AP Mob, rap groups have been creating great music for decades. World’s Fair is one such group. The collective, which hails from Queens, New York consists of Remy Banks, Jeff Donna, Lansky Jones, Nasty Nigel, Prince SAMO, DJ THOTH and Cody B. Ware. Just over a month ago the collective dropped their debut project “New Lows.” World’s Fair is classic New York hip hop: nothing extremely innovative but a good traditional sound.
On stage, the members of the collective interacted well with each other, bouncing lyrics off of one another and mixing flows nicely without becoming muddled. World’s Fair boasts a diverse crew and this keeps their music from getting too boring while still maintaining a classic New York sound. While perhaps not the strongest performance at FG Day Off, World’s Fair still brought a good energy to the stage.
Every year, FG Day Off will throw a few surprises into the lineup and 2018 was no different. Pimpin’ and Parlae of Dem Franchize Boyz made a special appearance and performed many of the group’s most famous hits, from “Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It” to “White Tee.” The crowd loved them; everyone was dancing and having a great time. Both Pimpin’ and Parlae still had their cool swagger and classic dance moves to keep the night going.
Songs to listen to: “Elvis’ Flowers (on my grave)” and “Win4” by World’s Fair, “Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It,” “White Tee” and “Oh I Think Dey Like Me” by Dem Franchize Boyz
The breakout star: Sheck Wes
Sheck Wes was the headliner of FG Day Off 2018, and he most certainly did not disappoint. Wes has been gaining popularity at breakneck speed with his hit single “Mo Bamba,” which has been a top hip-hop track of the summer. He recently signed a joint record deal between Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music label and Travis Scott’s Cactus Jack Records. His former professions as a basketball player and model make him stand out from other up-and-coming rappers, along with his infectious energy and extremely catchy songs.
Kerwin Frost of the Spaghetti Boys DJed a bit before Wes made his appearance. When Frost played “Mo Bamba,” the crowd went crazy and when Wes burst onto the stage while the track was still playing, the crowd went even crazier. Wes jumped right in, singing the hauntingly catchy chorus along with the entire venue.
Wes blew all of the other performers at FG Day Off out of the water in terms of the sheer amount of energy he brought to his performance. Wes did not stay still for a minute but instead zig zagged across the stage, stomping, jumping and kicking as he went. He performed “N****s Ain’t Close,” a collaboration between him and Lil Yachty, as well as his popular songs “Live SheckWes Die SheckWes,” “Chippi Chippi” and “Do That.”
While Wes only has five songs out right now, he announced that his debut project “Mud Boy” will drop in the near future. His strong vocals, addictive choruses and confident persona, along with the approval of Kanye West and Travis Scott, give Wes everything he needs to become a huge star.
Songs to listen to: All of them (check his SoundCloud)
As always, FG Day Off featured a stacked lineup full of fresh talent as well as some familiar faces for their 2018 New York concert. In terms of artists to watch, keep your eyes peeled for more on Chynna, Asian Doll, Comethazine and Sheck Wes. Within the next couple of years (possibly, for some, even the next couple of months) there’s a good chance they’ll make it big and you’ll be able to say you listened to them before they were famous.
Lucie Turkel is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.