As bbno$ steps onto the stage of his sold-out show at the o2 Academy2 Islington, he announces that he will be handing out a signed cookbook to the fan that goes the hardest at his show. The absurdity of that statement sets the stage for what was one of the wildest and most entertaining concerts I have ever attended.
bbno$ is the epitome of an internet kid. He started out a soundcloud rapper from Vancouver, Canada, studying at university while writing songs. Then, out of nowhere, a boyband in China filmed themselves dancing to his music which brought him viral fame in Asia. Since then, his song ‘Lalala’ has become wildly famous on TikTok, and has amassed over 250 million streams on Spotify. Nevertheless, bbno$ has all the self-awareness and the goofy personality to make all of these cliché stereotypes seem lovable. He interacts with the crowd all throughout the show, cracking jokes and tempting the crowd with snippets from his song ‘jurassic’ three times before actually playing it. Throughout the evening, he also encouraged the crowd to stay off drugs and made them thank their moms “for giving them the common sense to go to his show” before beginning his song ‘bad girl.’ bbno$’s music could be a perfect time capsule for the internet of today. His nostalgic 80s beats are mixed with lyrics that flex his great credit score, or others that are outright ridiculous like “don’t get strep, don’t get bronchitis.”
His set also included songs that featured his frequent collaborator, Yung Gravy, who was at a show in Detroit that night (which prompted the crowd to passionately chant out ‘fuck Detroit’). In his place, he took up three fans who rapped alongside bbno$ during Yung Gravy’s verses on songs like ‘Rotisserie’ and ‘Whip a Tesla.' In these songs the catchy lyrics are guaranteed to get stuck in your head days after listening to them.
However, the most iconic moment of the night took place right before bbno$ introduced ‘Lalala,’ as he explained the backstory to the song and started off the beat of the song only to play ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ by Rick Astley instead. Hysterics proceeded, with the whole crowd singing along and dancing. bbno$ finally played his hit song and surfed through the crowd whilst every single fan sang out the lyrics alongside him. He then ended the night in a mosh pit with the crowd, arguing that they were one of the best he had ever played for, and returned to the stage to play an unreleased song featuring Yung Gravy.
When the show finally ended, after its two encores and dance interludes, the fans exited the venue still singing lyrics with a smile on their faces, and I managed to catch a glimpse of the most energetic fan of the night proudly holding a cookbook with bbno$’ name sharpied on it. Nobody outside of the confines of that show would understand the momentousness that the worn-out cookbook held, kind of like bbno$ and soundcloud rap itself.
Edited by Alexia McDonald, Head Digital Editor