Last Friday, 3 Chicago rappers on the rise came up north of Chicago to planet Evanston. The stoner teddy bear Alex Wiley came through with XVRHLDY and Carl from Hurt Everybody opening. Performing at 27Live off Church Street, these guys turned an intimate venue into the number one place to catch real hip-hop that night. Northwestern students, with open arms, welcomed them with a packed location. Word about the concert spread around after XVRHLDY showed up at multiple frat parties with free pizza. It was definitely a creative promotion. If you were a lame and didn’t catch the concert, here’s what you missed:
Carl walked on stage solo, letting everyone know that his cohort Supa Bwe was currently in Mexico. However, Carl handled his own by instantly giving off great stage presence. He performed bits and pieces of the more popular Hurt Everybody songs (Anubis City, Trident, etc.) then went into his new drop ‘Weapon of Choice.”
With a live band behind him, XVRHLDY swaggered on stage in what seemed like slow motion. Holding a white box in his hands, he opened it to reveal the gooey pizza pie inside. He handed several others and I a slice; aren’t you jealous? After introductions, Xavier went into songs from his Need to Know mixtape, except with the band and the energy of the crowd behind him it was cinematic. His usual laid-back voice and demeanor transformed into an extroverted roar as soon as he got hold of the mic. Towards the end, in a surprise turn of events, Xavier brought Saba came out on stage to perform Timezone. Crowd went nuts and I wasn’t expecting it considering how lowkey 27Live normally is as a venue.
The headliner came out wearing a Closed Sessions hard hat. Alex Wiley represented his label to the fullest, with Closed Sessions logos all over his live band’s equipment. By this point in the night, the venue was fully packed and everyone was down to rock out to Wiley’s rock-influenced sound. Naturally, he performed cuts off of his latest mixtape, ‘Village Party’. These songs were met with audience participation which made Alex’s rendition of the songs magnetic.
To listen some more Alex Wiley if you couldn’t get enough at the show, peep his soundcloud: