PHOTOS BY: Sang Nguyen
WRITTEN BY: Dylan Stevens
Maryland rapper IDK was at the Foundry on Tuesday, October 15th, 2019. This was the first time he had performed at the venue on his own. Previously, he had come with fellow rappers, Denzel Curry and A$AP Ferg. It would not be until around 8 PM that the first of two openers, Philadelphia hardcore rap trio, Psychodelicate took the stage. The low energy crowd was bombarded with their abrasive and erratic performance, but regardless, they put on a good show. Unfortunately, one of their three microphones malfunctioned, and they were left passing two of them around between verses and hooks. At around 8:30 PM, Psychodelicate left the stage and soon after the second opener, Bronx rapper Kemba came on. His performance was passionate as he weaved lines about growing up in New York City with big dreams effortlessly to the cheering crowd. The crowd was impressed with his stellar lyricism, and at the end of the show he took a picture with everyone in attendance. After the show, he stuck around to sell merchandise, talk with fans, and take pictures.
Around 9:20 PM IDK took the stage to a booming crowd while wearing a long white rain jacket with his hood pulled up while also wearing clear shades with little LED lights on the side. He walked along where the banister held the crowd from the stage and calmly shook hands with a few fans like he was a priest or holy figure. After making his way back onto the stage, he suddenly broke into the song “42 Hundred Choices.” The energetic song bolstered the crowd’s energy, sending the venue into a frenzy. IDK’s rapid fire lyrics and melodic hooks were recited by the crowd word for word. More somber songs like “Alone” also had the fans singing and swaying alone. In between many songs, IDK would address the crowd. As his instrumentals lost their drums and faded to a halt, IDK would muse about various things. Some of the topics related to diversity, artistic drive, and chasing your dreams. The artist was particularly good at getting the crowd involved. Even at one point, he let a large fan in a Chargers football jersey and cowboy hat on stage to rap with him. After the kid’s “performance”, he embraced IDK and had a word, it was not until the security guard lightly pulled him off stage that he left.
Closer to the end of the show, shortly after 10pm, IDK began another speech about his mother who unfortunately had died of AIDS. He then performed the song dedicated to her, “Julia . . .,” which features him questioning God and how his life could have been different if he was born as a different person, in some cases an abuser and even a wife of a cheater. But he reminisces on how he knew he was different since he was a kid, as well as the strength of his mother.
He finished the concert with the explosive song “24.” The entire crowd moshed as he encouraged the madness, and afterwards the crowd erupted. He exited the stage after thanking the fans and giving his goodbyes. Hopefully he will return to Philly soon after such an energetic and wild show. He put on a wonderful performance that he will hopefully continue to give for the length of his tour. His album, Is He Real? is out now on all streaming services.