A$AP Ferg / YG

Sound Academy, Toronto ON, January 14

A$AP Ferg / YGSound Academy, Toronto ON, January 14
Photo: Matt Forsythe
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The "East vs. West" mentality in the hip-hop world is a thing of the past, and if there was ever a moment to capture the admiration the two coasts now share for one another, it was the Toronto stop on a joint outing between two emcees from either side of the continent. Nearly two months after postponing their original performance, Compton, California's YG and Harlem, New York's A$AP Ferg made it to the provincial capital for the lone Canadian date on their "BestCoast Connection" tour, playing to a Sound Academy crowd who were more than ready to get rowdy on a Wednesday.
 
YG commanded the audience's attention from the moment he arrived onstage, with a DJ, hype man and his entire entourage of over 20 people. Wasting no time in getting the pervasive production styles of DJ Mustard pumping through the sound system, the confident Californian was on-point for the opening one-two punch of "BPT" and "I Just Wanna Party," charging through his verses without missing a word. After cheerfully inviting the females in the audience to toss their undergarments on stage (an invitation to which a handful obliged), YG continued to tease the audience with brief snippets of My Krazy Life cuts "Meet the Flockers," "Really Be (Smokin N Drinkin)," "My N****" and his 2009 hit "Toot It and Boot It."
 
While it felt as if the energy level of the crowd took a hit each time his DJ cut a song short, YG attempted to remedy this by playing the work of fellow West Coast icons Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar and Atlanta's O.T. Genasis. In a surprise move late in the set, OVO ally P. Reign was brought out for a quick few bars of his late 2014 jam "DnF," with YG letting the Toronto native have the stage to himself in front of an adoring hometown crowd.
 
Throwing the reigns to the East Coast, A$AP Ferg soon arrived onstage to raucous cheers. While he didn't bring half the amount of people that his touring partner did to the stage, his posturing and presence were more than enough to make up for it.
 
"You can call me the 6 Lord tonight," he exclaimed after tearing through bass-heavy opener "Perfume." Parading around the stage with a spirited hype man at his side, the Harlem native's energy never seemed to diminish, with some in the crowd only wishing they could keep up. Much like YG's set before him, stoppages were a common occurrence, though only to try and get the crowd a bit more engaged. While periodically relying on vocal overdubs for some of his speedier sections of rhyme, Ferg's dizzying flows were largely in fine form throughout the evening, particularly on Trap Lord staples "Murda Something" and the popular "Work" remix.
 
Ferg was also keen on sharing the stage with Toronto talent, bringing out rising local Tory Lanez late in the set to perform his track "The Godfather." Urging the audience to keep the party going despite the late hour, Ferg stopped the set to hand out balloons for the audience members to blow up before dropping A$AP Rocky's "Wild for the Night," and took a page straight from the heavy metal handbook in orchestrating a "wall of death" mosh during "Let It Go," in which the audience bounced around to the beat. Ferg closed with a spirited performance of "Shabba," which did well to heat up the crowd before they departed into the cold winter evening.

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