by Henry Shifrin
The energy at Brighton Music Hall before Flo Milli came onstage was unlike anything I’d seen before. The young crowd was eager to see the Alabama-born rapper, and after opener Monaleo’s performance finished, the tension was high. When the lights dimmed and the intro to Flo Milli’s hit “Come Outside” started playing, the vibe shifted immediately. The crowd erupted to sing every bar: their dedication was unmatched. Even for Monaleo, the crowd knew every line of every song; even for the deepest cuts Flo Milli brought out, the crowd responded with the lyrics, surprising even the artist herself.
Photo by Henry Shifrin for WRBB.
Flo Milli’s setlist interchanged new songs with her runaway hits fairly evenly – the second song “Roaring 20s” takes a sample from the Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof, using the “If I were a rich man” lyric to introduce the song that uses a variety of expectations to illustrate her wealth. Milli takes her time to boast: “They never should’ve fucked up and gave me money / Came straight out of ‘Bama, now ain’t shit funny.”
This tour comes off of the release of Milli’s latest album You Still Here, Ho?, although the setlist also heavily drew from her first album Ho, Why Is You Here?, which went viral on TikTok. Flo Milli’s sound is nearly inescapable for the residents of today’s Internet, from trending YouTube videos of her performance at the VMAs to TikTok audios with millions of views. This trendiness was on full display when the intro to Flo Milli’s breakout song “Beef FloMix” began playing. This song, published on her SoundCloud in late 2018, went viral on TikTok in early 2019 and showcases Milli’s hallmark lyricism and clever wordplay. The song’s opening lines have practically become an anthem for the TikTok generation – “I like cash and my hair to my ass / Do the dash can you make it go fast” as well as the later line “Bitch, I’m guarded like an Obama / If they hit you, you gon’ need your mama.”
If the back half of the setlist is where some artists begin to fade, it’s where Milli begins to shine. She sang her hit “We Not Humping” with opener Monaleo, as well as her track “Conceited,” off her newest album. As the night began to wind down, Flo Milli played the track “19,” which tells the story of her rise to stardom at the age of… you guessed it, nineteen. It was a perfect display of her drive and commitment to the art of rap, with bars like “I got rich at the age of nineteen / They chasin’ dick while I’m chasin’ my dreams.” If anything, this performance proved that Flo Milli is dedicated, is willing to put in the work to become a household name in rap, and can expand beyond her younger audience, which has been mostly accrued online.
Opening act Monaleo. Photo by Henry Shifrin for WRBB.
For her final track of the night, Flo Milli sang her smash hit “In the Party” which was also a massive trend on TikTok in late 2019. This song shows how self-aware Milli is, with the bar “I just woke up and I broke the Internet (Oh my God)” referencing to her social media fame. The crowd went wild for this song, to put it lightly.
“In the Party” isn’t just a career-defining hit – it’s a hit that defines Flo Milli’s rap identity, showcasing her her trendy and dynamic beats as well as her creative lyricism and quick delivery. The crowd peaked at the perfect time for this closing song, screaming every lyric and adlib as if they were the ones on stage. Leaving the concert was emotional: Flo Milli’s stage presence was unmatched, and her thankfulness for the crowd’s dedication felt extremely genuine. Brighton Music Hall is an intimate venue, and seeing such a great talent in a small room was a very special experience. I left that room knowing I would never see this artist in such a small venue again – Flo Milli is meant to be on a big stage, and she will do so with ease. The way she commanded the crowd was awe-inspiring.
On her second album, Flo Milli implored her audience, “You Still Here, Ho?” Her performance in Brighton provided an answer loud and clear: they’re still here, and they’re here to stay.
Photo by Henry Shifrin for WRBB.