Rapper, producer, singer-songwriter, and YouTuber Benjamin Lasky, professionally known as Quadeca, has quickly become one of my favorite artists due to his unique come-up story. Quadeca—or as fans call him, Quad—has crafted an enticing album that places you right in between life and death. His third studio album, I Didn’t Mean to Haunt You, changed the way I think about a concept album. It’s written from the perspective of a ghost in the afterlife, viewing his family living without him; the record is a truly emotional experience. I’d dare to say that I have moshed with Quad in between heaven and hell, as I saw him perform on his Quadeca | Quickly, Quickly tour in Purgatory at the Masquerade in Atlanta, Georgia.
"I never thought I would mosh with one of my favorite artists to a Death Grips-like track from an album about being a ghost in the afterlife."
Quad opened up the night with “knots”, accompanied by a full band. When Quad split the crowd in half preparing for the first mosh of the night, everyone chanting “I’m an open book in a closed casket” and “I don’t fade to black I cut to static”. These lines allude to the final minutes of the album being static, representing the fade into the afterlife.
Taking the show from a near-metal experimental hip-hop track into the entrancing “tell me a joke” is far from an easy feat as the track begins with soft ambient sounds. Yet, the booming moments hit just as hard as they did in “knots”. The live drums on this track were especially astonishing. During his set, Quad reminded us that these songs would never sound like this again, with the accompaniment of his live band and our voices meshing together.
Quad teased unreleased tracks with acoustic sets throughout the show. After performing what he said may be his hardest work yet, “born yesterday”, Quad took us back to his first studio album, Voice Memos. With the introspective “Man on My Left Shoulder” and the soul-sampled “These Days”, day-one fans got what they were hoping for.
Naturally, Quadeca performed his critically acclaimed “Sisyphus” off of his second studio album From Me To You. Quadeca’s high-pitched vocals at the beginning of the track pulled at our heartstrings before he started snappily rapping about the tough, never-ending climb of life.
Quadeca encored with his banger single “BEAMIN”. He fell into the crowd and moshed with his die-hard fans—I helped the man himself up off the ground as the night ended. I can easily say this was my favorite show I have attended to date. I never thought I would mosh with one of my favorite artists to a Death Grips-like track from an album about being a ghost in the afterlife.
When we thought Quadeca couldn’t get any more mysterious, he took to Twitter (now X) to tease his fans again. Changing his profile picture and banner to a wrinkled piece of blank white paper, Quadeca tweeted: “new era approaching”. Will the paper gradually get filled with sketches of his new concept album ideas? Or is this all to throw us off? Only time will tell.
Ethan Barrilleaux is a student at the University of Georgia studying Marketing and Music Business. He listens to primarily Hip-hop, specifically alternative and experimental rap. But, you can also find him listening to other genres such as Indie Rock and Bedroom Pop.