A Boogie wit da Hoodie amazes the crowd at The Intersection

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A Boogie wit da Hoodie amazes the crowd at The Intersection

With a distinctive twinkle in his eye working in tandem with his iconic, sparkling smile, A Boogie wit da Hoodie crafted a histrionic atmosphere like no other at his show at The Intersection, truly showing the crowd how to boogie like no one else.

An earnest rapper with an ironically comical name, A Boogie skyrocketed to fame in the last year with chart-topping hits like “Look Back At It” and “Drowning.” Now a globally known artist, I anticipated the event and the spectacle I knew he would put on for weeks. My expectations were incredibly high, but they were still shattered by the unbelievable display put on for us.

Walking towards The Intersection in downtown Grand Rapids on a chilly March night, the line to get in wrapped around the block as dozens of eager fans buzzed in anticipation of the extravagant display that awaited them. Upon finally gaining entry, however, my friends and I quickly traded the chill of the outside for the warmth of the intense atmosphere that stood before us.

Three openers– an eager DJ from New York and two accompanying acts who went by Don Q and Trap Manny– took the stage almost immediately at 8 P.M. It was obvious that they were far less known, but the crowd didn’t care. The almost-filled venue was physically buzzing, and a sense of camaraderie developed between those excitedly awaiting what was to come.

Both openers made up for their lack of notoriety with overflowing excitement and passion, and it undoubtedly worked in their favor. With lights flashing and performers jumping, exhilaration built up from the crowd as more energy was infused into the pit.

But everything changed when Don Q belted out, “Who is ready to see A Boogie?” and like a spark engulfing a forest in flames, the crowd roared in a domino-like effect.

A flash. A bang. A cloud of smoke. Emerging out of nowhere, there he was. Literally jumping into action, he screamed out, “Look Back At It,” immediately launching into his viral hit. The perfect choice to open with, the crowd screeched as A Boogie garnered more energy and translated it into more fire, more zest, more passion.

One song in, we already knew that our expectations were about to be blown out of the water.

This animation was channeled throughout his entire setlist, which contained close to two dozen songs. In a true rollercoaster of sensation, he traversed through a variety of songs, but a common thread woven between A Boogie’s entire set was his passion. He performed hits like “Jungle” and “Beast Mode” from older albums, but each song added a new dimension to his performance.

An unexpected but welcome surprise was that the three hours were not filled solely with hardcore rap and consistently rambling verses. Several times, the lights dimmed as A Boogie was stripped of the daunting connotation associated with being a “rapper,” his emotional crooning revealing an unknown side of him. This was most demonstrated in “Still Think About You,” when the crowd traded “rock on” gestures for flashlights and waving hands.

It was clear that he simply wanted the crowd to have a good time, and A Boogie continually emphasized the concepts of finding his biggest fan or handing out free meet-and-greet passes. Perhaps a tad exaggerated, the crowd hit its peak as limbs intertwined and bodies jumped in hopes of reaching one of the several goodies being flung into the crowd.

A Boogie disappeared for a couple of minutes as his accompanying acts took the stage, but as the crowd roared “A Boogie” over and over in synchronized booms, it was clear that he was not done yet.

He emerged out of a cloud of smoke for his final encore, his iconic smile outshining all of the strobe lights flashing from up above. As rays of red and blue luminescence flashed across the crowd, they illuminated the abundance of euphoric faces in the pit. Countenances of pure elation, passion, and glee.

A night never to be forgotten, A Boogie truly does it like no one else.

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