Fresh off the release of it’s first studio album, 3001: A Laced Odyssey, hip-hop trio Flatbush Zombies traveled to Chicago’s Concord Music Hall on March 31 as part of the 3001 Laced Tour. The group took the stage and lit up the night, making the already hyped-up crowd overflow with excitement when the band played its hit songs. With an album that was released only three weeks prior to the show, the group had a whole set of new music to play for its fans, which made the night that much more incredible.
Flatbush Zombies came together as a group of kids from the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City and have been making hits ever since. They have collaborated on popular songs with major groups such as A$AP Mob and artists such as Juicy J, Joey Badass and Action Bronson.
Even though the band has had significant success to date, the release of its first studio album marks a new era for the group. The album includes new hits such as “Bounce,” the first single off the album and my personal favorite. The album is extremely versatile, showing off two sides of the Flatbush persona: the first being the group’s ability to weave a threesome of starkly different vocals into energizing stage music, and the second being a unique way of telling a story through the composition of the album.
My favorite part about this performance was the chance to hear each member’s voice live. One of the best aspects of Flatbush Zombies’ music is that each member has an extremely distinct sound, from Meechy Darko’s raspy growl, to Zombie Juice’s lofty high-pitched vocals, to Erick the Architect’s rapid fire attack in the way he delivers his lines. The differences among their styles are obvious in the recorded music, but they were overtly on display when the trio tag-teamed through the set list.
As people were filing out the door after the concert ended, Zombie Juice took the stage one last time to give a surprising message. He called for everyone’s attention and then publicly denounced Donald Trump, saying “F*** Donald Trump” as a picture of the presidential nominee’s face with the same three words written underneath it appeared behind him on a projector screen.
After such a powerful performance, politics were the last thing on my mind at that moment. However, I feel this act was an insight into what Flatbush Zombies stand for. The band cares about people — fans, haters, friends and strangers alike. The final song on the group’s album, “Your Favorite Rap Song,” is 13 minutes long. Six of those minutes consist of audio clips of different messages, good and bad.
This sends a message to listeners: You are heard. Flatbush Zombies stands for something greater than pop culture rap music. The band wants people to know that if you put yourself out there and are vulnerable to the criticism of a harsh world, there will be those who love you and those who hate you — but as long as you believe in yourself and believe in your message, people will listen.
Flatbush Zombies’ music is available to download at thegloriousdead.com.