Sometimes you can recognize history as it's being made, but more often than not you stumble into history. History finds you. If it seems like ILOVEMAKONNEN's history's is being written in overdrive, that's because it is. In just under two months, the ATL artist went from beauty school dropout to hip-hop household name. Seriously, peep the timeline:
- August 8: Seemingly out of nowhere, Drake hops on previously essentially unknown Makonnen's "Tuesday." I write this.
- Sept. 1: Makonnen is performing in front of thousands on Drake's tour. First show on tour.
- Sept. 2: Makonnen confirms that he's signed to OVO.
- Sept. 4: Performs at ALIFE show in NYC, does not get punched in the face (see above).
- Oct. 22: Performs at SOBs in NYC, gets punched in the face.
Who knows where ILOVEMAKONNEN will be in two more months, let alone two more years. He could just as easily be a superstar as he could get folded back into the teeming ranks of rappers who had their moment and lost the spotlight's love. That's exactly why I'm so fascinated by this video. It's such a snapshot of this exact moment in time when MAKONNEN's name was hot enough to pack out a trendsetter event like ALIFE, hot enough that one of our dope videographers (Olivia Seally) made sure she was there, but not so big that half the audience is seemingly seeing him for the first time.
We might one day look back at this video and say, "Oh yeah, I remember when that dude was a whole thing." We might look back at this video and say, "It's crazy to see him perform in such a small venue." Or it might simply fade into the fog of hip-hop history. That's the fascinating thing about history - it makes us more than we make it.
I do know one thing though: wrist, wrist, wrist, wrist, wrist, wrist, wrist, wrist, wrist, wrist, wrist, wrist, wrist, wrist, wrist, wrist, wrist, wrist, wrist, wrist, wrist...
P.S. - One bonus point if you can spot A-Trak, 10 bonus points if you can spot Miss Info, and 1 million bonus points if you can spot Michael Christmas and OG Swaggerdick.
[Nathan S. is the managing editor of The DJBooth and a hip-hop writer. He also occasionally talks in podcast form and appears on RevoltTV. His beard is awesome. This is his Twitter.]