The night began with DJ duo MNYH$E, who then transferred their set to local DJ Young Profit, known best for his work with rising Denver rapper Tony Neek$. Mook tha Martian then began the rap element of the festival, bringing his raw Atlanta style to the Colorado crowd. Headlining DJ LiTE BRiTE warmed up the crowd before transforming the show into a collaborative one, where Retro P, M1 and James Wade each took turns spitting their own verses. The small stage set up in front of the DJ booth made for an intimate environment, allowing the audience members to interact closely with the performers. Beach balls were flying and the performers grabbed onto audience members’ hands for support. Between sets, the crowd jumped onstage like performers themselves, exhibiting Boatclub’s mission of providing a space where people can express whoever they want to be.
The young crowd began to get anxious as they chanted over the music for Lil Yachty. As he emerged from his VIP room backstage, DJ LiTE BRiTE built up excitement by playing the infamous two electronic words “lil boat” repeatedly. The second Lil Yachty’s red hair hit the light, fans went berserk, breaking the barrier between them and the backstage area where photographers and previous performers were planted. Fans yanked Yachty into the crowd, who gave in and darted around. Security grew tense as Yachty moved further away from them, and fans couldn’t stop smiling as they snagged wicked close-up shots of him in the crowd.
Lil Yachty eventually made his way back onstage, but people were reluctant to let him go up and had to be warded off by angry security guards, who remained there for the rest of Lil Yachty’s three-song set. Also onstage was Lil Yachty’s smiling producer, Burberry Perry, holding a microphone and rapping alongside Yachty. Before jumping into each song, Yachty had to wait for the crowd to calm down. He looked anxiously between his producer and DJ LiTE BRiTE, in awe of his intense fanbase that has truly been built up within a matter of months. Though his set was small, Yachty played house favorites “Minnesota”, “1Night” and “Wanna Be Us” before retreating backstage.
This uniquely underground event pioneered Boatclub’s national presence. It paved the way for a better platform in Colorado for emerging hip-hop artists, and it provided a space for the local hip-hop community fanbase. Be sure to stay on the lookout for future Boatclub events, and keep an ear out for all the artists who performed!
All photos per the author. Head to our FB for more photos from this show.