A brawl broke out between Harlem rapper ASAP Rocky and his crew against a drunken crowd at the Vice Kills Texas party around 3:00AM Sunday morning, ending the SXSW music festival in Austin with a small eruption of violence for the second year in a row.
The last of perhaps one too many A$AP Rocky gigs, including three on the fest’s final day, began with the A$AP Mob’s usual antagonistic, punk rock-styled antics — slam-dancing, stage-diving, crowd-surfing and spitting — during a late-night concert in a downtown warehouse venue.
But all that intensity finally took a turn for the worst, as it did in 2011 when irate fans denied entry to a SXSW reunion concert by Toronto hard rock duo DFA1979 broke out into a riot.
A$AP Rocky had about a dozen A$AP Mob members onstage, all looking understandably exhausted and messed up following days of multiple performances and onstage Courvoisier quaffing and spliff smoking. There had also been a small scuffle earlier in the show. But after one of the crew had his do-rag apparently swiped by stage-diver, the concert was stopped while the Mob demanded its return. Someone in the crowd then threw a can of beer, hitting one of the guys onstage.
Despite angry yelling from both sides, Rocky valiantly tried to defuse the situation and seemed on the verge of pulling it off — until someone threw another beer can at the rapper. At this point, Rocky warned against throwing anything onstage other than water or there would be consequences. When that was followed by more stuff being thrown, Rocky and his crew leapt into the crowd, fists flying.
Most of the audience scrambled to get out of the way, but several men mixed it up with the rappers as a full-blown brawl ensued for several minutes. At least one audience person had a gash one his head from the fight. Eventually, security managed to clear the room and the police arrived to shut the party down.
A$AP Rocky, who had been earning raves all week (and all year) for his group’s exciting and rowdy performances, recently told Spinner he hoped to avoid a “rock star thug image.” But after this artist-audience throwdown at SXSW, that might become a bit more difficult.