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Hardly working, having fun

BY JENNIFER HOCH | APRIL 30, 2014 5:00 AM

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The sounds of trap music filled the IMU ballroom on Tuesday as hip-hop artist A$AP Ferg took the stage.

Ferg previously studied fine arts before getting into hip-hop through his good friend and collaborator, A$AP Rocky. He designs his own jewelry, stage set, and clothing to match the lighting and ambiance to “morph people into this whole warped world.”

Assistant general manager of SCOPE Kaitlyn Drake ran in and out of the second floor IMU ballroom making final arrangements and assisting SCOPE members moments before the show. She said her biggest excitement about the show was the complex lighting in the ballroom and that the intricate system took several hours to set up.

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”Everyone looks like they’re ready to get turned up,” Drake said, before Ferg took the stage. “It’s great that we get such a wide variety for these shows … even some middle school-looking boys showed up.”

The evening opened with the musical stylings of AWTHNTKTS, an Iowa City trio that made its presence known asking, “Iowa City, what the f*&^ is up? What the f*&^ is good?”

UI senior and SCOPE veteran Katy Beightol came running up the stairs of the IMU saying, “A$AP or die.” She spoke in excitement becauser she said she was trying to have a good time with her friends and take advantage of UI events during her last few weeks as a student. 

“It’s the perfect pregame for Summit’s dollar-you-call-it,” Beightol said. “I more or less came to the show because I am perpetually in a rap-music video.”

An animated and colorful crowd of people raised their voices as Manhattan native DJ TJ Mizell laid down tracks in preparation for Ferg. Minutes later, A$AP Ferg walked onto the stage as the ballroom transformed into an array of fog and smoke from factors apart from the stage effects.

Fluorescent red and blue lights lit up a row of young adults throwing their bodies as far as they could reach past the gate that separated them from the stage. Every hand in the ballroom was raised as Ferg jumped around the stage announcing, “Throw your hands up” to the audience, shortly before addressing the females in the room with, “Where my girls at?” while winking at a cluster of swooning women in the front row.

The Harlem native performed for an hour with a heavy emphasis on hustle and creativity, finishing up with his single “Shabba” and just as much energy as he had opening the show.

Ferg spoke to The Daily Iowan in a strained voice after competing for volume with a roaring audience. He said his goal is to always tire out the audience menbers to the point where they don’t have any oxygen left in their bodies and that he can perform as long as the crowd can keep him going.

“I have drive; it’s effortless,” Ferg said. “I have a very good habit; I’m hardly working. I’m just having fun.”


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