It’s as if the internet came to life for a night…and I was all for it
The internet is a big place, with depths of the web that most people often don’t see. However, for the average person, what matters to them most is on the surface of the internet: music and memes. We often find that the two combine to create music that’s both funny and enjoyable to listen and sing along to, and with the nature of the internet, becomes viral overnight. One of the earliest examples of this is Soulja Boy, with songs like 2007’s “Crank That” and 2018’s “Rick and Morty.” Another great example is Yung Gravy, who was shot to stardom after his 2018 viral hit “Mr. Clean,” and then would combine with bbno$, who also had a viral hit of his own in 2019 with “Lalala,” to make a great dynamic duo. A third, and final, example is Freddie Dredd. Although his music isn’t as humorous in nature as the previously mentioned artists, his music was catapulted into viral stardom with his 2019 hit “Cha Cha” being notably used on TikTok. Each of these artists have had their music used on TikTok countless times.
Well, all four artists found themselves performing together at the Hollywood Palladium on Dec. 4, 2022 in a show that was as humorous as it was energetic.
The night started with Yung Gravy’s DJ Tiiiiiiiiiip. He acted as an emcee too, not only performing music but also interacting with the crowd through the use of a Google Slides presentation, laced with various gifs and jokes.
After the initial laughs came first act Freddie Dredd, known for his style of music that emphasizes a Memphis Rap and Phonk sound, combined with aggressive lyrics to boot. Dredd, a Canadian rapper, is someone that has been on my wishlist of artists to see ever since a friend showed me his music in 2021. His style of music truly brings out something primal in listeners, it makes a listener feel like they’re a villain marching down a dark alley at night, and that was definitely present in his performance. Both newer tracks of his like “Limbo” and “Want,” and older tracks like “All Alone” and “Sweater” were a great start to the night as it raised the energy of the crowd. It’s impossible to listen to Freddie Dredd and not want to jump around or at least bop your head, and he would match the energy of the crowd with his movements and facial expressions, his entire body and head jolting with the music, and the way his face screamed primal as he sang his lyrics with such authority.
Although Freddie Dredd makes aggressive music, it’s often said that he’s a lighthearted person, and that was put on display when Yung Gravy walked to the stage to hug Freddie. The smile on Freddie’s face was priceless. And, staying in tune with that lightheartedness, his set was finished off with a song that could only make sense for an artist like Dredd: an EDM remix of “Hamster Dance.”
After Freddie Dredd, out came the man, the myth, the legend, Soulja Boy himself — along with his entire entourage. Soulja Boy was also another reason why I decided to go to the Los Angeles show over the one in San Diego (sorry, San Diego). I was interested in hearing the internet classics of my childhood being performed live, and I surely was not disappointed. Soulja Boy came out with a deep discography of songs that have been cemented in the internet hall of fame like previously mentioned “Crank That” and “Rick & Morty,” but also “Kiss Me Thru the Phone” and “Pretty Boy Swag.” Soulja Boy knew what the crowd wanted and gave them exactly that. His performance also felt like something out of the 2000s and 2010s era of the internet with his DJ consistently using the airhorn sound effect that was prevalent in both music and internet humor around this time, along with the use of his iconic line, “Soulja Boy, tell ‘em” as a soundbite. At one point, he even came down from the stage and walked up to the barrier to be closer to the crowd and keep on rapping, it was something that I wasn’t expecting and he stayed there for a considerable amount of time. Memes aside, Soulja Boy’s performance was a treat overall.
Then, after a quick 30 minute set from DJ Tiiiiiiiiiip that kept up the humor in the air, the men of the hour arrived: Yung Gravy and bbno$. I knew before coming into this show that some of these artists’ best work was when they are together. As a pair, they’ve made songs like “Whip A Tesla” and the entirety of the “Baby Gravy 2” album, along with the numerous singles. To make an analogy, they’re basically Shaq and Kobe; each can ball by themself, but together, they’re unstoppable, and that was evident in the show. Both artists took turns performing together and then performing alone, both able to keep the energy of the audience throughout their sets — the entire Palladium was jumping, dancing, and having a good time. Not only was the crowd excited about the music, but they also participated a lot with the duo. One of the notable things about Yung Gravy and bbno$’s tour is that they promised that every bra thrown onto the stage would result in a bra being donated to a women’s shelter. As a result, throughout the show, bras were being thrown left and right to the stage, both as a show of love to the duo but also solidarity in the cause. At one point in the show, a girl, resting on the shoulders of someone, began a barrage of bras to the stage, to which Yung Gravy took notice and praised her. I had the opportunity to interview her after the show to get her thoughts.
“When I saw their TikToks about the bras being thrown, I thought of just bringing my own to toss on stage for fun, until they posted that they were donating all of them to women’s shelters, which I think is so incredibly sweet and selfless,” Sarah Cheang said. “A few days before the show my best friend and I bought $100 worth of bras and stuffed them into a clear bag. I tried tossing them on stage a few times but I kept missing. I figured that, since I was missing it by a few feet, I could just move forward a bit so it would at least land on stage. I asked a guy if I could squeeze past and he offered to let me onto his shoulders. I felt a little bad for essentially stopping the show, but it was good for a cause and Yung Gravy knows I exist.”
On top of receiving bras for their charity drive, the duo also did a little bit of giving of their own. At one point in the show, Yung Gravy grabbed a large bouquet of roses and walked up to the barrier and began handing them out to lucky fans, of which I was one — just a small flex.
He also gave a signed shoe to two audience members, and bbno$ donated a cookbook to whichever audience member he thought had been partying the hardest throughout the show. A final surprise to the entire audience was when Yung Gravy mentioned he had a special guest and brought out Jesse McCartney, which nobody expected at all. I didn’t know who he was at first, but he truly left a lasting impression on me when I heard him sing live. McCartney is able to sing well and brought an interesting, but welcomed, change of pace, as sections of the crowd went wild for him.
Speaking of music, to forget the music would be a disservice. The duo performed their most notable discography, like the aforementioned “Mr. Clean,” Whip A Tesla,” “and Lalala,” but also “1 Thot 2 Thot Red Thot Blue Thot,” “Gravy Train,” Welcome to Chilis,” “Edamame,” and “Bad Boy.” The two simply make some of the most entertaining songs that you can party to. To say I had fun would be quite the understatement. Hopefully, the Gravy Train makes a stop in Los Angeles (or San Diego) sometime again soon, for another edition of the Yung Gravy; bbno$ dynamic duo.
Photos by Helix Creative Solutions.
Revision: This article was updated at 7:45 p.m. on Dec. 30 to reflect edits from our editorial board.