Trying to get into Mohawk was a bit of a mess Thursday night — Bronx rapper French Montana headlined the House of Vans showcase, and there were a lot of folks clamoring to see him.
Lines were frequently not adhered to, and some people tried to get in through the side entrance, to the dismay to Mohawk staff. Inside, it was clear why the outside was a little chaotic. Montana started the set strong by bringing out a pair of Harlem’s hottest, ASAP Ferg and ASAP Rocky. The crowd was ferocious when they came on, as this is the sort of surprise appearance that people expect from SXSW. One would have expected Rick Ross to show up, considering that he was just down the street at Empire Control Room and that he and Montana made the smash “Trap House” together.
That was not to be, but Montana still had the crowd lighted up. He only made one anti-Trump comment, preferring instead to focus on “positive energy,” giving honor to Chinx, a deceased member of his Coke Boys crew, and stump for the release of Max B, a frequent collaborator who is currently serving a prison sentence. Montana didn’t need a beat to carry his hit single “Ain’t Worried About Nothin,” as the crowd was more than happy to help him go a capella. It must have been frustrating to hear people scream his lines if you were still outside. “Pop That” also caused an uproar — had the whole crowd had towels to spin like French did, they could have offset any environmental damage caused by the influx of people for SXSW.
After “Nothin,” he decided to play his new single, “Unforgettable,” twice. He seemed carried away by his own vibe, but the crowd was relishing in it. Sometimes, you gotta embrace the vibe and not worry about doing the same song twice in a row.