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Mission Creek: Armand Hammer Perform In the Purest Form

The last performance of Day 2 of the Mission Creek Festival was one for the ages. Taking place on a windy Friday night at Gabe’s, the set from Armand Hammer was an incredible way to end. The dark backdrop and the red lighting gave me chills as I was witnessing the incredible music firsthand. The first song they performed was “Landlines”, the intro from their latest album We Buy Diabetic Test Strips. That song set the tone for the entire night with its loud throbbing bass and fiery, traded off deliveries from Billy Woods and Elucid

Having been to multiple rap shows in various stadiums and arenas, this performance was the most memorable one I’ve seen so far. Most rap concerts play the song through giant speakers while the artist does ad-libs and lets the crowd perform the rest of the song. Armand Hammer’s performance heavily contrasts with those other shows because they actually rap their entire songs from beginning to end without the traditional hypeman. It’s something that shouldn’t be uncommon in today’s music scene. This creates a much more intimate atmosphere for fans to connect with their favorite songs and truly witness the artistry of hip hop. Additionally, the rap duo’s style of performing adds a new dimension to their songs, allowing the audience to hear them in a new, different context, and allowing them to discover unrealized themes in the lyrics. 

Image via Alyssa Leicht

The energy of the crowd was unlike anything I had ever seen before, with each person locked in like a lion towards its’s prey. People were rapping along to the songs word for word while consciously rocking their heads back and forth. The energy of the crowd was like a wave, coming and going in seismic shifts. This was absorbed by the performers, with every verse vibrating through my chest and echoing through my mind for days to come.  

Armand Hammer’s setlist was incredibly structured, as it allowed both artists to shine as both individuals and as a duo. It summed up the entirety of their careers and gave a showcase of artistic evolution over time. For me, this concert was the best of the Mission Creek Festival by and far, and there is no amount of money that I wouldn’t pay to witness this show again. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to witness hip hop in its purest form, and create an incredible life memory that I will never forget. This was a masterclass in how hip hop should be performed.