Last Friday, Control experienced one of its most interesting lineups to date. Southern rap star Waka Flocka graced the Avalon with his presence alongside trap producers Mayhem and Party Favor. This lineup and event demonstrated that although rappers like Waka Flocka are part of the original trap sound in hip-hop, there is an increasing trend among these rappers to work with their EDM producer counterparts to create a new genre hybridization of hip-hop and EDM.
MAGNETIC RECOMMENDS: Top 10 Bass & Trap Chart
Mayhem and Waka Flocka were without a doubt the two most important players of the night in this fusion of true trap and its EDM spinoff. Mayhem pumped up the crowd for Waka Flocka with his set filled with trap bangers mixed into new hip-hop tracks. Among Mayhem's slew of turn up tunes was one of his most notable songs "Bricksquad Anthem" which he produced with Antiserum. Coincidentally, this song featured a vocal sample from the event's headliner, Waka Flocka.
I've been to my fair share of Control events, but I've never seen a crowd as energetic and frenzied as when Waka Flocka took the stage. Although he hardly rapped, and instead chose to perform only his ad-libs, he still managed to excite the crowd with his incredible stage presence and crowd interaction. Waka's lack of ego was especially impressive as he allowed crowd surfers to linger on stage and even offered them swigs of his various handles of liquor. Additionally, Waka was generous enough to lend members of the audience various pieces of bling including his Foghorn Leghorn necklace. The favor was returned later when the audience tossed up beads, bling, and a kandi necklace depicting Waka's likeness.
Waka later paused the music to speak to the crowd, informing them that without Mayhem, Waka would never have entered the world of EDM. He also brought trap heavyweight Carnage on stage who shouted about his "Chipotle Gang" movement and hyped up the crowd. Waka also made a very poignant statement, announcing that now that the audience and everyone involved in the event had come together in this way everyone became a part of his family. This demonstrated why Waka's live show goes over well with EDM fans, since he preaches openness, respect for one another, and to "turn the fuck up". It's interesting to note that these values are almost in perfect sync with those of electronic music culture.
A few minutes later, Waka walked off stage into the crowd parading around the room with his security entourage. His zig-zagging motion through the crowd was easy to track as his presence caused an unbelievable amount of excitement as members of the audience immediately around him erupted in shouts and screams. After returning to the stage, Waka proceeded to play his EDM centric collaborations with Steve Aoki, Carnage, Mayhem, and The Chainsmokers.
Overall, the event demonstrated that collaborations between mainstream artists like Waka Flocka and EDM producers like Mayhem work well together not only due to the similarities in musical styles, but also due to the fact that the two scenes promote the same lifestyle. Although some hip-hop artists promote violence and negativity, Waka's mentality is closer to that of electronic music culture. Some might view these collaborations as "selling out" or "going mainstream", but this seems to be more of an exploration of new sounds and possibilities for both of the artists involved. It's rumored that in the distant future all people's ethnic backgrounds and appearances will be essentially the same thanks to the mixing of different races. If music gets a little mixed up too, it might not be such a bad thing. In fact, it might result in something truly exciting.