The DC-Maryland-Virginia area has been bubbling under the radar for years, spitting out only occasional mainstream stars. However, the DMV is on the come up. Acts like Rico Nasty, YBN Cordae, and IDK have been putting the DMV on the map in recent years, and have even garnered some mainstream success in the process. There are also dozens, if not hundreds, of worthwhile rappers still toiling in the underground, stirring up their own bit of success there. One of the often cited issues with the DMV is a lack of camaraderie in the community, and not enough people propping each other up. However, this was disproven on November 29, 2019, at MilkBoy ArtHouse in College Park, Md., when PG County rapper IDK headlined a show featuring an all DMV bill.
The crowd wrapped all the way around the block long before the doors opened, and it took until nearly 8:45 to let everyone in, delaying some of the show. First up was Gabby!, whose short set served to open the night up for the energy to come. She rapped her way through several bass-heavy tracks that portrayed her attitude on the beat, and served to hype up the crowd for some of the more energetic and dynamic performances to come.
Next up was Baltimore’s own Butch Dawson. As usual, Butch Dawson brought his incredible energy and unique music to the stage. The crowd went from a “3” at the beginning of his set, to a “10” by the end according to Butch and his DJ, Shido. Performing crowd favorites like “Check Up” and “Feel Nobody,” the crowd was energetic and even moshing at times to the fast-paced set. After the set concluded, there was no come down in sight for the audience, and they were ready for it.
The final opener was Landover, Md.’s Black Fortune, a DMV favorite. As soon as the producer tag for “Katrina” was heard, the crowd began its frenzy. The rapper arrived decked out in red bandanas used as a facemask and a cape, apparently showing off his affiliations and origins. Black Fortune performed many of his latest hits, including “McDeez,” and some new material from his upcoming record OsshLord. With few breaks to speak in between songs, Black Fortune slammed through much of his set list, keeping solid momentum throughout. Eventually he ended the set with “OsshWop,” leaving the crowd ready for their headliner with energy as high as ever.
Just like the rest of the night, there was not much of a break between sets, and IDK shortly arrived on stage to dazzle his first sold out crowd in his hometown. IDK took the good energy his openers had garnered and turned it into an excellent set for an excited audience. Many of the songs were plucked from IDK’s latest album “Is He Real?,” including songs like the fast-paced “Digital,” and the risqué and raunchy “Porno,” featuring Pusha T and J.I.D. During J.I.D’s part in the song, IDK allowed a fan from the audeince to spit a verse of their choice, which went over well with the audience, and seemed endearing to IDK.
Fans knew practically every lyric to the songs, and IDK frequently gave them the opportunity to do the songs themselves, pointing the microphone toward the crowd often. Before performing his final song, IDK brought out another emerging DMV rapper, 3ohBlack, to perform his hit single “All Talk,” which much of the audience seemed to be familiar with. After this brief interlude, IDK finished his set with “24,” a heavy, piano-driven anthem that the crowd knew all of by heart, enough to do the whole hook for IDK without his help.
IDK also took his time to address the audience and speak about his journey over the past few years, including thanking the audience for their support throughout, even mentioning specific people that he’s seen throughout all of his shows on tour and in the past years in the area. The sentimentality was clear, seeing as this was the final show of a long tour IDK has been on this year. IDK is a talented artist that is finally getting some of the recognition he deserves after being passed over for a number of years. IDK’s fans know why he’s great, and no one should miss the opportunity to find out for themselves.