Ying Yang Twins at Pourhouse, 3/27/14
|Kaine of the Ying Yang Twins, before his complete meltdown|
Ying Yang Twins
The Pourhouse, Minneapolis
Thursday, March 27, 2014
The modern world is a frightening place, full of peril. Airplanes disappear without a trace. Mortar shells burn brightly under an ashen sky, marring city streets with blackened craters. Unrest is rampant. Economic woes abound. Twerking contests have become a commodity. And, the Ying Yang Twins have embarked on a nationwide tour.
The duo made their Minneapolis tour stop last night at Pourhouse. At first it seemed innocent enough -- suburban kids intermingled peacefully with stone-faced city slickers, posing for selfies and feigning shyness when the opening acts tried in futility to get the crowd turnt up. What happened next, though, defied all expectations. What happened next threw all notions of decency out the window. What happened next was sooo ratchet.
The first couple of performers, including the evening's emcee Lenerd, rapped unimpressively along with their backing tracks. DJ D.Mil was visibly upset as Lenerd instructed him to start his set's first backing track over after it mistakenly sped up, leaving Lenerd to rap haphazardly over the jumble. The second time it played, the backing track did exactly the same thing. Lenerd gave up and mumbled along. A miniature Snickers bar lay defeated in the center of the dance floor. Every so often, someone would step on it.
The third act, Absent and Marx, was a refreshing departure from the banality of the backing track nightmares. Interestingly, as the two moved further into their set, the audience collectively shifted its position farther from the stage. The reason for this perhaps was that the two weren't really doing the whole party music thing. Their songs seemed more informed, more heartfelt, with forceful delivery.
DJ D.Mil continued to spin in between the live sets, playing twerk-friendly tunes by the likes of Chris Brown and YG. It was early yet, but the crowd was filling out when Scott Snares took to the stage. Threatening "murder with my tongue," he declared, "I'm verbally abusive!" A man wearing crisp Nike sneakers, their laces glowing neon green under the black lights, held one hand high above his head. His braids were tightly wound against his skull. Two women pushing 40 to the left of him were losing their shit, sloshing their vodka cranberries onto one other. A girl with X's marked on her hands bent over the stage, her back visible through a shredded t-shirt, seemingly praying to the fog machine. Things were starting to get interesting. People were starting to become visibly inebriated.
|"The Backflip" is this girl's twerk move|
Suddenly, Lenerd dropped the bomb. There was going to be a twerking contest at midnight. He grabbed a girl and pulled her onstage, begging for a preview of what was to come. Much to everyone's surprise, the girl did a backflip. In heels and a minidress. Then she did two more backflips. A man greeted his friend with a pat on the back, lamenting, "I miss the old days," as the two surveyed the scene. Another man idly tossed dollar bills from the second-floor balcony.
The next performers were the first of the night to start rapping about more gangster-oriented subjects like body bags. Mooney and Rico AKA Young South were dressed in all black and draped with shiny chains. Audience members whipped out their phones and started videotaping. The duo's songs were interspersed with flows from rapper Purpose and the velvety singing of Jason, who remained hidden beneath a pair of sunglasses. The juxtaposition of all four artists resulted in an intriguing display. Jason's voice was sexy, the raps menacing.
Immediately following was Raw Gee, who gave multiple shoutouts to his mother. She was brave enough to be down in the trenches with the rest of us. "Mama said to keep it movin!" he shouted to her from the stage, as she jumped wildly up and down, beaming proudly at her son.
Everyone was getting pretty antsy. Considering that six acts had already performed, this was no surprise. For the next 45 minutes, people got more drunk and excited for the twerking contest. At the stroke of midnight, the contest began.