Live: Chris Webby Packs Irving Plaza, Scowls While Doing So

Chris Webby
Irving Plaza
Thursday, December 29

Better than: A Republican debate.

Chris Webby has "203" inked across his right side, a gothic "Connecticut" burned into the skin beneath his neck. There are the scattered images of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mario Brothers and Transformers among his tattoos; a search online suggests Simba exists on his leg, but I didn't check. Some tattooist put a coupling of eighth notes a few inches above his hip. He is suburban, aggressively so; the voice of parking lot angst, the face of middle-middle-class rage. When he tosses an unopened water bottle down at the floor, he scowls: "Motherfucker!"

Outside of the traditional hip-hop blogs, far away from radio, his is a bubbling movement, a frathouse contagion. Over more than two years on the way to six mixtapes—his latest, There Goes the Neighborhood, reached the top of iTunes' hip-hop chart—Chris Webby has racked up some 70,000 followers on Twitter, 150,000 fans on Facebook and 20 million YouTube plays. (He still does not have a Wikipedia page.) This is not to say that he isn't looking for mainstream appeal: at this very moment, he's staging a campaign to get his face onto the cover of XXL's next Freshman issue.

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