070 Shake has had a breakout year like no other “freshman” artists today. From the release of her debut album “Glitter” to being featured on three out of five of Kanye’s exclusively produced albums, Shake, born Danielle Balbuena, has shown her dedication to her music and her fans immensely.
Shake released Glitter in March 2018, after her original album, “Yellow Girl” was pushed back. The 6-track EP circles around Shake’s sexuality, drug use and bouts with self-esteem issues; topics that are alarmingly high within the youth of today. Shake described her debut as “about being in a dark place and finding yourself and figuring it out. It’s about being in the lowest of lows type of shit.”
Yesterday (June 19) the great people of 1AMCreatives, the City of New Jersey and YesJulz came together to celebrate Shake’s life and career accomplishments with the youth of North Bergen. Shake turned 21 on June 13th. 070 Day was exactly what I expected it to be; music, food, and fun. The event was held in the Bruins stadium in North Hudson Park. Concert goers came out in droves, with the majority wearing white in honor of the sudden passing of Miami rapper XXXTentacion, by request of Shake. Some even attended the event with candles for a candlelight vigil also requested by Shake, hours before the show.
Shake came dressed to impress wearing black high platform shoes, a chain across her torso and a do-rag over her braids, which she jokingly called “that silky.” Shake captivated the fans of her city, the youth sang every lyric and danced along with the rapper despite a metal fence between them. It wasn’t long before Shake got tired of being separated from her fans, on the track, and in the stands, she quickly hopped the fence and join the crowd. Encouraging the crowd to mosh and riot, Shake got momentarily lost in the sea of music lovers before standing in the middle of the stands and continuing the show. After performing some more songs and requesting “rioting music” from DJ Odalys on the turntables, Shake began to give out hugs to her fans and autographs before returning back to the field.
Shake, of course, had a moment of silence for her friend XXXTentacion during her performance, even breaking down during one of his songs. She quickly pulled herself together and spoke to the crowd directly about love and appreciating someone while they are here.“I wanna have a little moment for my brother X,” She said, asking for the crowd to remain silent for a moment of reflection. She urged the crowd to hug their neighbors and to them that they loved them. “Hug the person next to you, tell them you love them!” She vowed that she will always be their family and them to her.
I know where we come from it doesn’t seem like anything’s possible but look at me. We can do anything with love. I give you all my positivity and I want you to receive it.
I learned a lot about Shake yesterday. I learned that she loves deeply and appreciates greatly. I learned that she knows how to speak to her young listeners and make them feel wanted and valued. 070 speaks to the youth of Bergen. They know her struggle, they respect her grind and hold her words near their hearts. All the qualities possessed by the People’s Champ.
*All photos owned by Megan Ambers*