Words like “humble” and “down to earth” are commonly used to describe artists and idols, but they’re often merely decorative and empty adjectives to make them seem more human and relatable. Not in Korean-American singer/rapper Jessi’s case though. For her first ever show in Los Angeles, CA at the Belasco Theater on October 16, the “Unpretty Rapstar” runner-up proved she cherishes her fans and the position she’s in currently while completely owning her performance.
But a headliner needs excellent opening acts to pump the audience for the main performer. And even though their set was short, Yung Koconut, Lyricks, Ken Nana, and the rest of their squad had a massive bro party on stage, throwing water at the audience every five seconds and dancing all around, to songs like “Mollah” and “Revenue.” Even rapper Dumbfoundead made an appearance, jumping up and down and serving as a guest hypeman.
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Korean hip hop duo Mighty Mouth were next up, receiving loud cheers from the audience. Members Sangchu and Shorry J followed suit keeping the energy at 100, performing their hits including “Lalala,” “Movie Star,” and “Bad Boy.” The guy’s excitement was visible, especially Shorry’s, revealing his abs, flirting with fan cams left and right, and even giving his microphone briefly to a fan during a song. Mighty Mouth lit up the venue and set the perfect pace and energy for the main act.
Once Mighty Mouth’s stage finished, the screen above the stage played Jessi’s now famous “this is a competition” speech which made her a household name during “Unpretty Rapstar.” Having a venue filled with Jebbies (her fan club name), cheers and woo’s boomed throughout the Belasco and served as the best welcoming for Jessi.
Unfortunately, a few mishaps with the CD almost ruined her intro, but Jessi made the best out of an awkward scenario by taking the time to introduce herself and dissing us all Californians by saying In-n-Out Burgers “wasn’t as good as [she] expected.” But this wasn’t the only instance Jessi took to throw shade. Oh no. In true Jessi ssenunni fashion, she continually asked the audience why they weren’t drunk enough, said “Unpretty Rapstar 2” is “not as fun as it used to be,” and playfully complained that the guys from the opening acts didn’t help her out onstage as her hypemen. From another artist, this might have been frowned upon, but coming from Jessi, that’s just her being real, and being real is what made her massively popular in the first place.
Among the songs she performed, Jessi especially shined when she belted out “I Want to be Me” as her first full song and replaced the n-word in her cover of Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money” with “baby” — which other artists should take note on. Aside from her new hits like “My Type” and “Unpretty Dreams,” the singer took her fans back to 2009 by performing “Life is Good,” which she shared it was still hard for her to sing. She also did a medley of a few songs including a cover of Guy Sebastian’s “Battlescars,” her verses in “Me, Myself, & I” from “Unpretty Rapstar 2” and Vasco’s “Bonnie & Clyde,” and gave her intro, a mashup of “My Type” and a few verses from “SSENUNNI,” another shot. However, the song that received the most excitement from the fans and her alike was the latest single “SSENUNNI.”
Before the encore, Jessi told the audience “I’m never gonna forget this moment,” and that sentiment was her set’s whole mood. Right from the get go, Jessi was all smiles, even with her jetlag, repeatedly thanked the audience for coming, and expressed her excitement perform in LA. And as mentioned before, these were not empty words just to make the fans feel special. Throughout her set, Jessi took every cellphone she could get her hands on from the audience and took videos and selfies with them. Seriously… she took the phones of everyone in first two rows, at least. For the encore, Mighty Mouth came out onstage with Jessi and followed suit by also taking as many selfies and videos as they could, as well as the traditional one with the audience as the background.
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However, once the show ended, the fan engagement was clearly not over for Jessi. Security guards and staff urged Jessi to get off the stage, but she wouldn’t, she kept on taking phones from the audience. Even when a security guard whisked her away, she somehow cheated him and ran to the pit to dance, hug, and keep on taking pictures with her fans. To say Jessi was truly happy and genuinely wanted to meet her fans is an understatement. Jessi gave her fans a whole experience rare in the K-pop field, and Jebbies loved every second of it. Turned out this ssenunni isn’t that bad or mean when it comes to her fans.
Check out more pictures from the show here:
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