A tall, brolic white kid with full-sleeve tattoos, saggy jeans, baseball cap and gold grill in his mouth anxiously paces back and forth on a darkened sidewalk, looking for trouble. Seconds later, in a twisted bit of fate, he's knocked out cold on the concrete, the victim of a devastating right hand sucker punch and a punishing stomp to his face. His assailant runs off, camera phones pop out and a crowd of twenty-somethings silently wonder if he's dead. "Will this be on Worldstar tomorrow?" one mutters. People laugh, the kid finally wakes up and the party continues.
This is the deceptively-dangerous vibe that the accompanies an ILoveMakonnen concert. In October the Atlanta-bred hybrid singer/rapper was attacked on stage at the nightclub S.O.B.'s while performing his hit song "Tuesday," and though someone else was clearly the victim outside the venue Tuesday night -- the first stop on the Loudest of the Loud tour -- maybe the music had something to do with it. New York's Bowery Ballroom is a 575-person capacity venue and it can often seem even smaller than it actually is, because under the booming assault of skittering 808 drums and catchy shout-along choruses, it occasionally felt like it was being shook by the hand of God. ILoveMakonnen gets the people going.