Cordae brings “A Bird’s Eye View” to Los Angeles

David Schaupp, Guest Writer

I’ve been a fan of North Carolina rapper Cordae for over three years, so I was excited to see him perform for the second time. When I saw Cordae tour “The Lost Boy” in January 2020, I had no idea it would be my last concert for a very long time, or that “A Bird’s Eye View” would be my first concert since the start of the pandemic.

“A Bird’s Eye View” is very different from his debut, “The Lost Boy,” emphasizing soulful vocals and slower paced blues over fast rap and trap beats. 

The concert was located in the heart of LA at The Novo. The venue is strange, with stairs and railings dividing the crowd despite the fact that the entire venue is general admission. Naturally, I arrived an hour early to ensure I got as close as possible to the front. It paid off. I was five people away from the stage. 

However, once the speakers turned on, it sounded like whoever had the aux just hit shuffle on a random Lil Keed album, and while I like maybe two of his songs, the rest were all skips. 

After about an hour of Lil Keed, the lights went off. I could not have been more relieved. The openers came out and began yelling for the crowd to turn up. I was a little confused about why a couple of fifty-something-year-old men were trying to get the place bouncing, but when the intro to Ye’s “Father Stretch My Hands” came on, everyone started moving. After the drop, the place was popping and I was even more excited for the show to start. 

The second opener was Coast Contra — a group of four rappers with infectious energy. They performed about seven songs that no one knew, but the crowd was feeling them anyway.

After their set, the awful DJ returned and began repeating songs — one of the most heinous crimes a DJ can commit. People started booing when “Goosebumps” came on for the third time after over two hours of waiting.

Finally, the curtains closed and the music went quiet. People cheered and chanted for Cordae. The lights began to flash. The DJ began to yell. The curtains opened and Cordae was onstage.

He opened with “Sinister,” which, although not the strongest opener, made everyone scream and bounce. Cordae finished the song and greeted LA with love and appreciation, and we loved him back. 

He transitioned to “Kung Fu,” and the first real mosh pit opened. After came “Super,” one of my favorites from his new album, although I was slightly disappointed that he did it so early in the night. 

Then the vibe completely changed, as a standing microphone was brought onstage and the lights faded to a dark purple. Cordae began to snap and groove, and it almost felt like a jazz or R&B club as he sang “Chronicles,” “Thanksgiving” and “Bad Idea.” 

The mood was over as soon as it started, though, and the mosh pits came right back with “Broke as F*ck,” “Have Mercy” and “Soda.” 

Then, in the clear highlight of the concert, Cordae yelled, “I know you guys know this one!” and began the intro to “RNP” — his most popular song. Everyone began to bounce, but then a figure stepped out and sang the chorus. It was Anderson .Paak. We lost our minds. The chemistry between the two on their verse was perfect and the crowd was rapping along with them. The song ended with Cordae yelling “that’s my f*cking brother!” and the two dapping each other up. 

Anderson .Paak left and Cordae wrapped up the concert with “Today.” His closing message was “My name is Cordae from High Level, I love you LA, and I am out this b*tch.” As he walked out, “Cordae” chants began, with every hoarse throat showing him love. People began to leave, but the cheers willed “Broke as F*ck” to play again, so Cordae ran back onstage for an encore, performed the chorus, then disappeared.

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