Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka Flame at Epic 4/3/11

Categories: Last Night
Photo by Tony Nelson
For most people Sunday evenings tend to be a quiet night to relax but by the looks of 5th Street and 2nd Avenue outside Epic late last night, you'd never know it. Hundreds of hyped rap fans lined both ends of the street around 11 p.m. to hear two of radio rap's current headliners (and headline makers), Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka Flame, with what felt like absolutely no regard to the upcoming work week. 

In fact, upon our arrival to the scene -- and it can really only be described as such -- a woman in a dangerously short satin dress (a popular choice this night among the ladies) tripped on the sidewalk twice, rolling like a  pro-linebacker and dropping a wad of cash that came from god knows where on her tiny frame.

"Yo! Girl! You dropped your bankroll!" a brawny dude yelled after her, but she didn't look back and stumbled purposefully away toward one of two white tents shielding patrons from the wet weather and attempting to make some semblance of order in front of both entrances. This wouldn't be the first time someone effectually made it rain in the packed club tonight.

Photos by Tony Nelson
Waka Flocka Flame takes the stage
Walking into the venue was like stumbling upon a late night thug rap convention, dudes rocking their best gear and club swagger, milling about with ladies who looked prepped to walk onto an uncut music video set -- we're talking metallic hot pants, sparkly short dresses, 4-inch stilettos, the whole nine yards.  Tall video screens sporting a money design were placed throughout and acted as a backdrop for a photo booth upstairs (and really, who wouldn't want to pose with falling cash).
Photo by Tony Nelson
Stage packed with rappers and crews

A gaggle of locals took the stage for several hours and somewhat chaotically tried to entertain the anticipatory 21+ crowd. But finally, just after 1 a.m., they got their first headliner as Waka sauntered out to whooping and hollering. After what felt like just three or four short songs (including highlight "Bustin' At 'Em"), he was joined by a sweatsuited Gucci Mane without much fanfare -- though the glint from the phallic icy dessert around his neck and what looked like haphazardly thrown cash should have given fans their cue. Before we knew it, Gucci was performing  "Hard In Da Paint" with Waka and more hype men and security crowded on stage.

Random gun-fire effects and sirens strung snippets of tracks together, the lazy-lipped Gucci delivering what felt like only a few verses from tracks "Lemonade," "Weirdo," and "Makin' Love To The Money." The downstairs crowd packed together to get a glimpse and folks upstairs in booths leaned excitedly over the railings and sang along where they could, lifting their drinks (and entire bottles, in some cases) in the air.

Photos by Tony Nelson
Gucci's face ice cream cone says 'Brrr'
Gucci never really made a point to address his hundreds of Twin Cities fans, but who needs such pleasantries. They were entertained by the sight of him. It seemed like they were there to see (and not necessarily hear) the two rappers in the flesh, cameras flashing and phones clicking as fans updated Facebook statuses and Twitter accounts with the Atlanta rapper's trademark lines (e.g. S'Gucci!). They got what they paid for -- and much of that seemed to be kicking it with each other, being seen, drinking in the stone cold face of Monday, and hooking up. Gucci was just the catalyst -- but don't tell him that.  

Photo by Tony Nelson
Personal bias: I'm a new Gucci convert that likes his remixes far better than his straight-up stuff. Check out this mash-up and this mixtape by Sinden.
The crowd: Happy, not out to fight, out to be seen. 
Overhead in the crowd: "He's wearing a sweatsuit. A sweatsuit." and: "Had to wear my Gucci shoes tonight. It would just be wrong not to." 
Random notebook dump: Did that girl just seriously walk up to me to look me up and down and walk away? (Just because they're a happy crowd doesn't mean they're not judgmental) 
For more photos: See our full slideshow by Tony Nelson.
Setlist: Gucci has over 50 mixtapes and the two rappers were sharing tracks and performing snippets. But if you want to give a setlist a shot, comment below and we'll give up tixx to an upcoming event.

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