F.Stokes performs memorable show

F.Stokes, a Madison native, brought his hip-hop show to The Sett Saturday night sharing stories of his upbringing with the audience.  

F.Stokes, a Madison native, brought his hip-hop show to The Sett Saturday night sharing stories of his upbringing with the audience.  

Image By: Thomas Yonash

There is only one word that may sum up the hip-hop performance in The Sett Saturday evening: positivity. It was the type of Sett show to which I have grown accustomed. A small attendance for an up-and-coming artist who deserves more than a free show in a subpar venue.

With an energetic opening by two fellow alumni of Madison Memorial High School, TussleMat and Arthur Saint, the evening was off to a good start. For being one of the first shows these two rappers have performed, they did an impressive job with their lyricism and youthful stage choreography. Despite the lack of high-quality sound engineering in The Sett, these two young artists still managed to perform with what seemed like no recognition of the poor audio quality. TussleMat and Arthur Saint are just two examples of the growing collective of local hip-hop artists to look out for in the future of the Madison music scene. 

After a short hiatus, F.Stokes took the stage. Endlessly referencing Madison and his upbringing in this area, the local artist was off to a somewhat routine start to another small town hip-hop show. But as soon as F.Stokes began, he took his set in a completely fresh direction. Similar to TussleMat and Arthur Saint, F.Stokes used positivity to make due with the small number of attendees that he had. 

After his third song, F.Stokes had the whole crowd sit on the ground as he sat in a bar stool just in front of the stage and told the story of his young adult life. F.Stokes then segued into spoken word among the group of sitting concertgoers, then conducting the next five songs in the middle of a throwback, rap-battle style circle on the floor of The Sett.

As F.Stokes moved everyone up onto the stage to finish the concert, TussleMat and Arthur Saint continued to watch alongside and interact with the main act. F.Stokes made due with what he had that night, as did the openers. Both acts had more fun than any artist I’ve ever seen perform in The Sett and let positivity reign through every song. Even if this show was just a launch pad for these artists, it is an evening on campus that I will not soon forget. 

Correction: the original article stated the number of beers the performer drank, which was incorrect and removed, and that the performer had returned to live in the Midwest after 13 years of living in New York City. This was false, and has been corrected as such.

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