Yung Gravy Smothers the Boulder Theater with Comedy and Passionate Energy
If one word was, to sum up, Yung Gravy’s performance at the Boulder Theater on November 2nd, 2021, it would most definitely be lighthearted. The artist from Rochester, Minnesota wasted no time showing a relaxed, yet childlike presence on stage. He truly delivered a memorable performance in front of a vibrant audience.
Matthew Hurai, better known as Yung Gravy has been a professional hip-hop artist since 2016. He broke into stardom back in 2018 thanks to social media platform giant, SoundCloud, who helped promote his first platinum-certified single, “Mr. Clean”. Since then, Yung Gravy has performed and sold out several shows across the U.S. As well, he has an upcoming debut tour in Europe next year. His unique sound pairs 1950s oldies music as well as 1970s soul music with modern, trap-infused beats.
To start off the evening, Yung Gravy’s DJ, Tiiiip, appeared before a rowdy crowd of predominantly energetic Boulder students. He mixed together popular songs from a variety of eras, including Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” and Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A.”, to hype up the eager audience.
Shortly after Tiiiip’s solo set, Yung Gravy approached the stage in a calm, yet collective manner as hundreds of spectators screamed with uncaged excitement. The stage lights dazzled on Yung Gravy as he opened his set with his funk-laced banger, “Gravy Train”. He directly followed up with his breakout hit, “Mr. Clean”, which ironically coordinated with his soothing voice that echoed through the speakers in between songs.
Aside from how Yung Gravy portrayed himself as a performing artist that night, seeing him humbly portray himself as a person became an intriguing part of his set. Throughout the set, he discussed his perennial love for sports, which energized the college football-crazed crowd. To play along with Yung Gravy, Tiiiip enthusiastically threw on the NFL on Fox theme, as a wave of kids jumped up and down with excitement. Yung Gravy also portrayed his friendly demeanor when he let his DJ and his producer rhyme with him on stage during select songs. Yung Gravy displayed his romantic and softer side, as he gracefully tossed roses that were directed towards the younger women in the crowd.
To settle down his vivacious spectators, he performed sentimental songs like “Charlene” and established a more soothing mood to his set in contrast to the vibrant club anthems that he started the show with.
Aside from his musical performances, Yung Gravy’s infamous on-stage segments were the most unforgettable part of his set. These sudden antics consisted of jovial throws of both water bottles and carrot cake into the audience. Shortly after supplying the audience with perishables, he proceeded to show off an unexplained tattoo of Martha Stewart’s name inked on his upper shoulder before performing his song with the famous Food Network’s star name in the title.
Yung Gravy’s merry persona may make him one of hip-hop’s funniest live performers, but his passionate and fan-appreciative performance on-stage that night in Boulder was no joke. With joyful energy that distinctly matched the power of his tender heartbeat, he not only showed that he was a talented performing artist but showed that he was a master at crowd control as well.
Hurai’s performance style resonates with fans not only in the hip-hop community but also connects with fans that carry eclectic tastes in music. For that reason, his live performances, such as this one, are the coating to mainstream hip-hop’s turkey. With this type of charismatic performance, he likely won’t be leaving the music industry alone anytime soon.