Technically, it’s not an A$AP Ferg show without sweaty, moshing, crowd-surfing pandemonium.

And of course, Shabba Ranks.

That’s exactly what Redbull Sound Select presented to a free crowd at Tattoo on the Friday night slot of North By Northeast (NXNE). For a free show, the small venue wasn’t overly crowded; it was as if organizers planned it so the anxious fans had just enough room to turn up.

As a rare treat for the crowd, hip-hop journalism OG Elliott Wilson was on the sidelines enjoying himself alongside the young bucks and rapping along to many of the tracks the DJ played. Namely the Drake songs as “Worst Behaviour” seemed to be the self-proclaimed GOAT’s theme song.

The surprise of the night came when A$AP Twelvyy jumped on the stage to perform “Our World” and “Jay Reed” to the die-hard A$AP fans and ended with back-to-back performances of the newest A$AP Mob single “Hella Hoes”. From the moment the beat dropped, many fans lost a little of their minds.

Next up, the man everyone came to see, Ferg, spit tracks like “Dump Dump”, “Hood Pope” and “Dope Lord” to the small sea (rapid river, perhaps) who started an immediate mosh pit.

Ferg also introduced the crowd to Marty Baller, A$AP’s newest member who hyped for him all night as a fraction of the show was dedicated to presenting some new music. The young spirited rapper might just be the next up to blow in the mob.

Ferg also gave a young upcoming spitter the spotlight to come on stage and showcase his skills. As he held the mic out, a young man from the sidelines jumped up, snatched the mic and ripped a freestyle that made everyone, including Ferg and posse, wild out. The A$AP artist even let him take a second round at performing for the crowd, who loved every moment of it.

And of course, the night ended on a high note when the crowd shouted along to “Work” and “Shabba Ranks”, making it hard to even hear Ferg over the chants.

To close out the night, the A$AP artist invited some fans on stage and the adrenaline-filled festivalgoers charged the stage, dancing until they realized that the rest of the audience had piled out of the venue.

That’s what you call work. And yes, he put ’em in the dirt.

Words By. Samantha O’Connor + Photos By. Candace Nyaomi