If only the Brooklyn Nets could've subbed in Chris Porter at the Barclays Center on Tuesday night (Nov. 29). The rising New Jersey rapper specializes in quick blasts of energy, and with him on the court, the team might not have needed two overtimes to defeat the L.A. Clippers.
Alas, Porter had to watch like everyone else, biding his time until the epic contest finished, and he could finally take the stage at the Billboard Lounge, the swank court-level venue that hosts post-game shows throughout the NBA season. The place was already buzzing following the Nets' thrilling 127-122 victory, and when Porter grabbed the mic around 11 p.m., it was like a nonstop fast break for the next 25 minutes.
Rocking a green bomber jacket emblazoned with "I Feel Like Porter" - a takeoff on Kanye West's lyric-slogan "I Feel Like Pablo" - Porter didn't jump right into "Water Dance," his Pitbull-assisted viral hit from 2015. He did jump, though, pogoing with his hype men through a couple of dizzying intro tracks, one of them a brand-new YouTube-ready rager called "Look at Me Dance." "I'm a get money with my eyes closed," Porter rapped, setting his quick, gregarious flow to rattling hi-hats and throbbing bass.
On "Water Dance," Porter fared just fine without Pitbull, though he cut the rubbery tune short, as if he was eager to move on to newer material. This was a good call, because next up was "Catwalk Killer," a tropical-flavored banger custom-built for making ladies strut like '90s supermodels. As luck would have it, a half-dozen model-types were in the house, ready to refashion the stage into their own private runway. "Catwalk" is a showcase for Porter's fluid sing-rap melodicism, and yet he wisely stepped aside, content to let the ladies practice their hair flips and fierce stares.
Along with viral dance challenges, another big trend in hip-hop right now is kicking it Caribbean-style, a move that's especially justified in Porter's case. "My people are from Trinidad," he told the audience, "so I was inspired to do an island song." He proceeded to shout out his "dancehall queen" over the requisite West Indian rhythm, taking the party to a climax before ending on a thoughtful note.
"If you've got love in your heart, put your hands in the air," Porter said, introducing "Keep Loving Me," a slow bouncer with a meme line that might prove prophetic: "I'm a young black entrepreneur soon to be a millionaire."