Last night, Maryland’s finest, YBN Cordae descended on London for his first ever show in the capital. Sadly, it was only a quick stop on what is an impressively extensive European tour, but as our conversation in the green room of Islington’s O2 Academy revealed, his work in the 48 hours he was here will continue to bear fruits as the months go on (more on that later). The show itself was an intimate one, but that worked to Cordae’s favour in many ways.

There were no casual fans there that night. Every last person in the room was a true ride-or-die fan that new every last word of even the deepest cuts. Despite being, in his own words, “sick as a bitch”, Cordae—bouncing around in his PUMA RS 9.8 Spaces—dominated the stage from start to finish, whipping up huge mosh-pits and building the energy to almost unbearable levels. 

For anyone wanting to hear some new cuts from the album, that would have to wait. There were one or two snippets, but this was more about giving the fans what they wanted. His gratitude for the fans that supported him from day one (which, admittedly, wasn’t even that long ago for the rapidly ascending rapper) was palpable, from the immediate chemistry he had with the crowd to the countless fan photos he stayed for at the end.

As Cordae made clear to us below (and reiterated during the show itself), this was the beginning of something huge. This was about building a strong and long-lasting relationship with the day one fans that mean so much to him.

The PUMA RS 9.8 is available from 20th July in stores and online.