10.21.22 Papa MbyeOct 31, 2022
Papa Mbye transcended the boundaries of music at 7th St Entry Friday night, Oct. 21. The Minneapolis show was hosted by Against Giants, Radio K’s The Vanguard, and Carbon Sound, where the upcoming Senegambian-Minneapolis artist performed with two local Minnesota openers, RIOTGRRRLDARKO and Mike Kota.
Tickets were sold out for that night, so if you planned on getting tickets at the door you were probably going to miss out on a great show. 9 p.m. hit the clock and RIOTGRRRLDARKO raised on stage to perform songs on her album “Spitting in the Wind” and other singles as “Like Nancy”. She killed it that night after performing earlier at the First Draft Taproom & Kitchen. Falling within the lines of trap metal, horrorcore, and ragecore, she embraces that frenetic energy in the trap drums and the 808’s.
A great opener that lasted about 30 mins who lifted the audience’s spirits and got them going in a great mood. There was a sound malfunction towards the end of her set but she brought it back even stronger with her partner on stage, lifting the audience’s mood up as they cheered her on. Despite Lady Rager’s belief that she’s awkward on stage, she brought the grungy-gritty vibe she identifies with online. She closed her set with “DIE MAD” singing “Ima die pretty and these hoes gon die mad” in the purple lights as everyone moshed.
So the energy is high in the air and people continue to fill the room as Mike Kota sets the stage solo not too long after. As she states in her Spotifiy bio “for the joy, for the love, for the healing, for the feeling,” Kota’s music is the kind you flow to. The audience enjoyed the artist’s quite calm but excited presence to be performing for so many. Her guitar melodies echoed as she played with the extremes her voice could go to, leaving you speechless.
Songs like “Every Damn Day” and “Wasted Time” made the red-lighted stage an enfolding experience. The singer is passionate about her craft. Compelled by performance nerves, she made sure to communicate with her audience about her experience on stage and how it felt to be where she was that night. That type of conversation with your audience brings a more intimate connection in the performance, especially as she transmitted indie pop, fluid rock, and R&B.
By the time both opener’s sets had ended, the venue was filled with people. The air got heavier – and it got really hot. The band started to set up on stage until it was time to start the show. I kid you not, the moment Papa Mbye hit the stage everything stopped for a second. This one guy even turned around to his friend and said “He just has amazing energy, man.” And that guy was right.
In yellow-purple lights, Papa Mbye and the band embody a matchless energy, wrapping the whole audience and captivating you in their pop punk, early 2000s pop trance. Fitting Papa Mbye into these genres is not enough. He explores more than these, like 80s alt-rock, DIY rap, or R&B. The band brought a trumpet into some of their performed unreleased songs, which shows his expansiveness across genres. Papa is eclectically versatile in his demeanor, leaving you in a trance of wanting more of Papa.
“Ladybug” is one of his new songs to be released. It was powerful and drove the crowd wild, jumping around as Papa swung his hair around completely intertwined with his mic. He sings to his audience but the relationship he has with the mic when he’s on the stage is unique – you can tell by the way he closes his eyes, grips the mic, and shouts the lyrics of his songs.
The room got so hot that one of the guitarists took off his shirt after he broke one of his guitar strings. Papa Mbye invited a few guests on stage, like FruitPunchLoverBoy for “IDONTSENDSEX”, Mike Kota, and Philli Irvin. Papa even went as far as to cover Steve Lacy’s “Bad Habit” towards the end of the set. The audience was fully engaged throughout his performance, singing and moshing as the song like “ONLY RIGHT”, progressed. Even when he appeared to have finished his set for the night, the audience chanted “One more song!” Papa and the band came back to perform their last song before the night was over and everyone headed to Samambo, at Glass House.
A transcendental full-circle moment as the three Minnesota local artists who performed that night left people insatiated, begging for more. Each artist had their own style and crowd they appealed to but somehow they all tied in together to bring an outstanding performance at 7th St Entry. It doesn’t take much to impress people with good music, but Papa Mbye is truly an astounding performer with a repertoire you are now compelled to listen to so you don’t miss out.
By Izzy Silva