Joey Bada$$, Flatbush Zombies, The Underachievers and friends unite once again for their Escape from New York tour.

Cincinnati had saved a perfect Saturday night for Beast Coast and fans. Humidity was scarce, the environment was calm, and a small breeze was flowing through the Riverbend Music Center. Smoke was rolling off the stage like a fire was present, which illuminated the rays of a Cincinnati sunset shooting through the side of the covered pavilion. The venue’s environment was relaxed in appearance, but if you had attended this show with the intent to not come out sweating or exhausted, then you’d been greatly mistaken.

Four performers were scheduled to hit the stage for brief performances one directly after the other. CJ Fly was the first to come out, performing with a noticeable sense of humility. CJ was backtracked but proved it wasn’t necessary as he rapped every single word to each song, even freestyling without a beat at the end of his set, then showing his love for the crowd before departing. The bass grew more and more with each upcoming appearance. Nyck Caution carried his own manifested energy on stage as he pointed at fans singing along. Nyck’s set felt like it flew by, but everyone soaked it up when Nyck concluded with a performance alongside Kirk Knight, who was eager to make the whole crowd jump to the beat. The Underachievers finished off this mini hip-hop marathon with a properly achieved conclusion.

With Beast Coast having so many collaborators and being relatively new, it was hard for fans to gauge what direction their performance would take. The supergroup handled this situation perfectly once Meech appeared at the top of the Statue of Liberty wreckage for the chorus of “Left Hand,” Beast’s first recorded single from March of 2019 featuring each of the BC affiliates. See our review of their debut album here. The hype only grew from here - Cincinnati’s roar could’ve been heard from a mile away as each Flatbush member made their debut appearance of the night, Erick soaking up the sound as he bolted across the stage for his verse. The roar once Joey jumped up next to Meech almost seemed to overcome the bass.

Little did Cincinnati know Flatbush and Joey had both planned to treat their fans with the utmost affection. For a start, both debuted new individual singles strategically scattered throughout their shared set which seemed to gain nothing but positive feedback. I considered it to be a treat when the overall vibe of the show was contrasted by two slower songs performed by Joey, entailing phone lights and lighters to brighten up our standing area. The hidden intimacy was spread through the crowd by Joey as he spoke to front-row fans and asked people to exercise open-mindedness. 

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