Danny Brown and Action Bronson’s 2 High 2 Die Tour rolled through Milwaukee’s The Rave on Friday night with enough raw energy to power the city for days. The tour, which would make a great stoner buddy movie a la Pineapple Express, is a testament to the fact that a personality, and not lyrical prowess alone, can make a rapper great. That’s not to say the two didn’t spit fire all night, but it was the persona of each rapper that took center stage.
West Coast hardcore punk staple Trash Talk splintered the venue’s rafters early on with their fistful of songs clocking in at maybe 60 seconds. The louder and faster they played, the harder the diehards that showed up early thrashed around in the most confusing circle pit I’ve ever seen. It looked like a punk dance class being taught by a bunch of kids having epileptic episodes. The crowd was sparse at first but frontman Lee Spielman kept the energy steep, and by the end of the show, the pit had turned into something more traditionally punk.
Next up, Action Bronson started off by generously tossing Solo cups into the front row and pouring shots of Grey Goose for his fans in a gesture that brought to mind the image of Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam. The always bombastic Bronson stuck to his tried and true methods: taking joints from the front row, dousing himself and the crowd in water, and leaving the stage to saunter through his adoring fans like a prizefighter. As the beat for “The Rockers” rolled, the Queens native hopped off the stage and did his verses surrounded by the crowd before leaving the room and climbing the lobby stairs, disappearing from sight. Moments later, as another SAAAB Stories standout “Strictly 4 My Jeeps” began to spin, he emerged on the balcony and threw a fist in the air before ripping into his rhymes. When he finished and returned to the stage, he triumphantly announced that he was “320 pounds of fucking beef” and that we could expect Blue Chips 2 to drop soon, both announcements drawing enormous cheers from the mob of loyal fans.
In between Bronson’s and Danny Brown’s closing set, Brown’s touring DJ SKYWLKR charged the crowd with a few bass heavy bangers complete with AIM chat notification bings and Danny Brown making a gun noise samples. When the crowd seemed ready for Brown’s ridiculous energy, he came out to R. Kelly’s “Bump N’ Grind” and stuck his tongue out in his now infamous expression that could someday rival Gene Simmons in tongue related music iconography. Easily the loudest and rowdiest set of the night, Brown tore through several cuts from his popular XXX as well as singles from his much-hyped upcoming album, Old. Undoubtedly the highlight of the show was the weed anthem, one of several of the night and in Brown’s discography, “Kush Coma”. Unfortunately, ASAP Rocky wasn’t able to make it out to perform his feature but the track still brought a massive wave of juice, turning the whole club up to around 13.