As the Brazilian samba beat of Jorge Ben’s hit ‘Mas, que Nada!’ echoed out from the Orange Stage on Thursday afternoon, Apollo Stage countered the gentle melody with the drum machine’s guttural throb. In the minutes before American rapper Joey Purp took to the stage at Apollo, Rio de Janeiro and Chicago’s west side became unlikely neighbors.
Chicago raps on Danish soil
Rain spat down in thin waves over the trash bag-clad crowd – an audience much on the younger, streetwear-inclined end of Roskilde’s attendees. After some 10 minutes’ delay, layered rap air horns heralded Joey Purp’s thundering debut, riling the stationary masses into a mosh of waving palms and open, panting mouths. Mountainous bass, and a sparse, spiraling synth melody backed Purp’s crisp delivery, kicking the show off to an undeniably strong start.
With two mixtapes and one critically-acclaimed album to his name, Joey Purp took to the stage with a diverse discography just as well suited to bringing out reflective head-nodders as he is capable of sparking moshes. Purp’s set began with highlight tracks from his debut album ‘Quarterthing’, followed by an abbreviated tour through his 2016 mixtape ‘iiiDrops’, which was best received during his hit single ‘Photobooth’. Though occasionally overshadowed by the volume of his backing beats, Purp’s vocal delivery was consistent and clear –maintaining his flow even as he rode prone across the supporting hands of the front row.
Overall, the concert leaned toward the more down-tempo end of Purp’s portfolio, which occasionally seemed at odds with a crowd somehow determined to mosh to every number. Assorted teens, evidently determined to be seen moshing, pushed the crowd into anticipatory mosh circles during obviously lower-energy tracks, which consistently fell flat with general disinterest. This moshing inclination finally found its outlet during the end of the concert, when Purp brought the tempo to a peak with the punching ‘Girls @’, featuring Chance the Rapper.
By the end of his set, Joey Purp proved himself in his ability to please established fans and sway curious newcomers. Through a windswept, grey Thursday, Purp’s punctual lyricism and pounding bass production brought new life to the limbs of the Apollo audience, marking a solid success for the American rapper on his continuing ascent as an international artist.