Firecracker MC Young Unique Sets Sparks in ‘Sco

Linus Ignatius

Last Friday, March 4, brought a much-anticipated act to the ’Sco: the young, firecracker emcee Dominique Young Unique. Spitting rhymes sharp as daggers in her baby-doll voice to a densely packed crowd, the Tampa Bay rapper practically transformed the space into a city nightclub, turning the Dionysus Disco into an orgiastic, bacchanalian celebration of our youth.

The opening acts — Pepepiano and Teengirl Fantasy — eased the growing crowd into a sensual trance. The night began as Pepepiano hit the stage, filling up the ’Sco with kaleidoscopic, melty electronica, engineered for loosening up the joints. Soon after, Teengirl Fantasy took over, imbuing the swirling soundscape with a heavy backbeat and a summery bounce. By the time Dominique strutted on stage, the droves of ’Sco-goers were well-lubricated and awestruck by the sassy icon of ebullience before them.

Dominique herself stuck out as quite an anomaly on this campus. At 19 years old, the skinny black rapper in a sleek booty-dress scorned her fans with a sneer that M.I.A. would kill for. With her tight prints, false nails and syringe-sharp heels, Dominique is unquestionably quite the diva; add to that a snakebite lip piercing, and you’ve got one intimidating lady.

The crowd surged forward, drooling eagerly over the singer as she giggled, flipped her hair and made asides to the stagehands. Then she started laying it down, shooting off rhymes about hot girls, getting crunk and owning this planet, all over an extravaganza of synthesizer rhythms. Dominique’s energy shot right into the crowd, and she immediately had the dance floor riled up.

By this point, though, one could hardly call it a dance floor. Bodies were so utterly squashed — from the pool tables all the way up to the stage — that it seemed like only those in front had access to fresh oxygen. Hips swiveled against unfamiliar bodies, tongues were all over the place and inhibitions generally flew out the window. If you wanted to get a good view of the performance, you had to relinquish complete control over your body to the chaotic, bumping throng.

The result of this chaos was disoriented revelry. The crowd spilled onstage, only to be ushered off by Concert Sound (and only to reclaim the stage moments later). At certain points, Dominique held out the microphone to exuberant fans, who sloppily attempted to complete her rapid-fire phrases.

Dominique’s heavy bootyshaking came to a head when she launched into her popular single, “Show My Ass,” which was met with squeals all around. Barking each line more furiously than the last, she had the crowd in an ecstatic jumble, unsure of whether she was inciting or deriding them. As she looked out on the masses of liberal arts students eager to submit to her prophecies, my guess is that she was trying to do both.

Considering the anxieties and intellectualizations that typify the Oberlin student body, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Obies see something in her brassiness that they wish to emulate, at least for a night. And indeed, when the lights went on and the fire alarm went off in Wilder signaling the end of the show, the crowd was released in a riffraff swarm of unbounded zeal that culminated in a huge, drunken sing-a-long of Oasis’s “Champagne Supernova” — not the genre I might have expected, but satisfying nonetheless. Meanwhile, Dominique snatched up the ’Sco key inside, flaunting her diva stripes by taunting that she wouldn’t leave the building before getting paid.