As I said in the last post, I had a temper tantrum about he lack of shows in my beloved home state on, and ended up with 2 shows booked by the end of the night. Lashanta, a young ambitious sister who is just entering the game, but very astute and easy to work with, hits me up and says she wants to help. I finally get the info for Soundpony, we book the show. I reach out to all my homies from Tulsa who really get busy in Verse, Steph Simon, and Mr. Burns, and add Ayilla to the bill, who is managed by Lashanta.
I've had really good experiences in Tulsa the last two times for shows, and I've always had a love for the city, accept for the time I went to Night Trips and the drinks were trash, and the only Black fine girl had hair like Showtime Lakers Pat Riley. And the other time was when Booker T beat us in the Class 5A finals my senior year. I spent some time in the 918 when my cousin and aunt moved to Tulsa my junior year I believe, and it was lit af. I also knew a lot of Tulsa people from Math & Science cam and my semester at Langston, so I'm somewhat familiar with the city.
Tulsa had one of the strongest Black business districts in the country in the 1900's, blocks they called "Black Wall Street." O.W. Gurley, one of the first Black nationalists on American soil, was instrumental in building this Black nation for those African people post slavery who didn't go west or further to the mid west cities like Chicago or Detroit. in 1921, a white woman lied and said a Black boy tried to rape her, and white folks used that as an excuse to burn Black Wall Street to the ground, murdering mad Black folks. I grew up in Oklahoma K-12 and these Oklahoma schools which taught us Oklahoma history never taught us this. But the think I love about Black people in Tulsa is that they live with this in their spirit and it permeates in their Black pride and there sense of Black economics. As a unapologetic pro-Black empowerment conscious emcee, I've always felt comfortable around this type energy, and though I'm from southern Oklahoma, I'd like to think some of brother Gurley's spirit is somewhere in my soul.
THAT MF GOUT....
So yeah, we went to the strip club in OKC, I threw some ones, drank too much Henny, and ate terrible at Denny's. That gout in my ankle was was like, "Hold up wait a minute, ya'll thought I was finished?" That bih went full pre-joce Meek on a real nigga, and I just had to accept it. Once again, I throw back like a quarterback, and Mark drives us up to Tulsa.
Upon arrival we go to check in and Super 8 was acting stupid with us, so we call an audible and hit a lick at a nice Clarion situation, for damn near the same price!!! I normally don't do Clarion Inn, by this one was on it mane. I limp my big ass up to room, pop a few more pills, take a SCRONG ass nap, wake up refreshed as a bih, get dressed, head to the venue.
We get to the venue, walk in , and there's a dark skinned nigga with dreads taking his shirt off. The Ardmore nigga in me immediately gets ready to engage in amateur pugilism, because A-Town raised me crazy. Turns out he's the door man shooting a music video in the bar, and he was just changing tops. Good. Buddy to be mad cool. Verse a.k.a. DJ Why Not? pulls up, Mark & I eat TNT Wangs and then set up the merch.
People start trickling in pretty consistently, and we start at 11 PM on the dot as advertised. I introduce myself and the host for the night, LaShanta, and she brings up her artist Ayilla to start the night on. Li'l sis did her thing. More of a soulful/folky/Hip-Hop vibe, kinda like the sister from Oakland who came out in the early 2000's named Mystic. I was very impressed, and look forward to bringing her to BR for #SlayTheFlow in March.
Next up is Mr. Burns, a guy from Louisiana, but moved to Oklahoma when he was 18 and has been there every since. Pretty much the opposite of me. Burns come out in a Doom mask and absolutely kills. Burns is that good kinda crazy nigga that you need on your squad to win a championship. Imagine Dennis Rodman with a crossover like Filayyyyy. Super duper high energy performance, and he really got the crowd hype for the night. The crowd is pretty thick at this point. It's lit.
Now it's Verse's turn, who's also been running sounds all night as DJ Why Not?. At certain points he's rapping while manning the music at the same time, and he does a few joints with Burns. Verse is one of the coolest most laid back brothers I know, but is very intentional and sharp as a lyricist. I love him as a writer and his delivery always sticks, without have to do a lot of jumping around to when the crowd over, an emcee's emcee.
After Verse is Steph Simon's turn. Steph and I argue about OKC Thunder stuff via Facebook messenger constantly, as he was to trade Steven Adams, and I'm tryinna tell him he's playing like an all star this year. Steph dropped an Oklahoma classic last year with "Born on Black Wall Street," and is by far the crowd favorite with all the hit records. The venue is on swole at this point, and the people know Steph's songs. I'm like "shit mane..." No lie this is the best lineup I've been on in a while, where I know I gotta go up, bc I'ma drown if I don't.
Mind you my foot is still swollen, but I'm not no sucker, and these ppl ain't gonna see me limp tonight. I pretty much do the same set as OKC, but with much more vigor and focus. Acapella goes well, then "Bad Man." Wasn't alot of crowd participation through out the night, so it took a while for the crowd to see how I was coming, but they was all "bad motherfuckas" by the end of the record. Next is "Black God Fresh" which went over well, then "Henry Clay." "Henry Clay" is literally the story of how my Great Great Grandfather escaped slavery Texas to Oklahoma. With this being my homecoming show, makes perfect sense I rock it here, and it goes well.
WHITE PEOPLE WILD AF....
Side story: when I came in 2017 for my set at the Yeti, a white guy with a MAGA hat came to the show. He saw the artwork for "Seven" with an animated Trump on the front and started asking questions about my music. Whatever, you gonna shop or nah? After the set he was drunk, came back to my table this time without the red KKK hat. I'm always ready for the smoke so I size him up, he asks me how much do the CD's and shirts cost. I quote that mf full price on both, he then goes to his old lady and get's her card to spend a quick $30 with me. I successfully converted a deplorable, or maybe it was the alcohol? NDC regardless.
Look I know my state, and white folks here ain't always been the most progressive, but being that I'm so trill, I'm gonna do the "Fuck Donald Trump" record and be ready to fight if need be. I do the record and besides a 6'5 white guy coming to stand right in front up me with a blank face during the the song, it went over mad well. "FreeBLKPPL" next, then I go allllll the way back to church with "Stare & Whisper." I feel I had a really good set, but some of the local fans were more receptive to the local emcees with records they were familiar with, and I really can't do anything about that. Plus these Tulsa niggas can RAP.
Now it's 12:45 AM, we got about 135 people in a 150 cap room. 75 mins left, and Verse turns back to DJ Why Not? and goes IN. Mane these white folks and a few Black people was cutting up so bad I had to go leave my merch table to "host," (a.k.a. get on the mic and talk mad shit like I'm Diddy while Verse spins) which I'm sneaky good at. The DJ is spinning all the Panda/DieLit records I know nothing about, and NDC, bc these mf's in here #Wildin4Respect. At one point toward the end, a white guy stood up on some tall ass bar stools and started making out with a mannequin. Next, I hear Ayilla on the mic saying, "Go little booty, go little booty, go!!!" to a white girl who had neither a stitch of ass or rhythm, but gave all the effort in the world. It was like watching Rudy as we admired her desire and drive to shake that non existent tail feather with no idea with where the beat was. A true inspiration.
Finally the night ends with an older white guy who is a record collector who's done mad research on me, calling me Bryan (how tf do u know my government name?), talking about the war in Syria, and inter-sectional politics as it pertains to race, economics, and sexuality. All that and he STILL ain't buy nothing lol. Overall, it's the best show I've ever booked out of town, and I feel like I earned my respect. Can't wait to come back.
Venue: 4.5/5. Perfect spot for an underground Hip-Hop show. My only knock is there isn't a ideal plae to sell merch.
Crowd: 4/5. If they woulda been familiar with my music, it woulda been lit af. Means I got work to do to cultivate a fan base here. Other than that, it was thick and they showed mad love.
Merch Sales: 3/5. Mane it was so lit and my merch table was so poorly situated, that I could barely sell shit. Gotta figure that out better next time.
For those who don't know, (if you don't you've never heard my pro-Thunder rants or listened to my music), I'm from a small town in Southern Oklahoma called Ardmore. I lived there the first half of my life, till I moved to Baton Rouge in 2002 to go to Southern University for college (Go Jags!!!), and I've been here every since.
Oklahoma has a unique history for a southern state, west of the Mississippi, below the Mason Dixon, no legal history of enslavement of African people. At one point it was considered Indian Territory, a place set a side for the Indigenous peoples of this continent colonizers renamed North America after. After slavery was made illegal post-Antebellum, there was a bill proposed that was gonna split Oklahoma in two, with one half being Indian Territory for Native people, and an all Black state called Oklahoma territory. White folks voted it down, and they ended up letting colonizers have a land run to claim what was supposed to be sovereign for it's original owners.
That's some ol' bullshit.
Thousands of African people had escaped the Peculiar Institution of Chattel Slavery in neighboring states, as well as those who relocated to the area after the Civil War to work in a climate similar to the places where they were formerly enslaved on plantations in the Deep South. At one point, Oklahoma had more all Black town than any state in the country, only a few are left standing, a few in Southern Oklahoma where I'm from. I'm saying all this to say, when people think of Oklahoma, they think Western movie style Cowboys and Indians, not the struggle for justice & equity, the fight against White Supremacist Oppression, financial prosperity (Black Wall Street, more on that later though), or people of color. I come from that, and I rep it proudly. Black and Red people are my people.
I haven't done a lot of shows in Oklahoma, so it meant a lot to me to come back home to the state where I fell in love with the culture of Hip-Hop. Oklahoma has never had too many nationally famous Hip-Hop acts. Nitro had a few hits that made it to Rap City, Johnny Polygon reps Tulsa internationally, and Jabee is currently the biggest rapper out of Oklahoma on a national level. Though I haven't lived in Oklahoma in nearly 17 years, and I actually claim Baton Rouge as the birthplace of Marcel P. Black the artist, it matters to me to be respected in the place where I wrote, recorded, and performed my first raps.
The last show I did in OKC was summer 2015, wasn't a good one. I did my first show in Tulsa in September '16, and started my tour for "Seven" there in September of '17, but had a mad difficult time doing shows there in '18. In fact I saw 5 of my #FadeTheFlowSundaysAlumni get booked in my beloved homestate last year, and tho I'm happy my guys got to travel, I felt a way I wasn't getting no calls from nobody. So I had a minor Facebook tantrum, and had 2 shows booked in both cities by that evening.
Look at God.
Originally I was gonna fly up, but with us moving to a new home in between Thanksgiving and Christmas my money was looking funny. So I decided to catch that sliddab. The plan was to drive to Dallas and do a show, then OKC, then Tulsa back to back to back. Well Dallas fell through on me, so myself and my right hand man/Director of Function decided to catch that ride to Ardmore the day before OKC so we wouldn't be tryinna drive 10 hrs the day of the show. Ya'll know in my last post I talked about the sugars I've been dealing with, but this time another deadly MF grabbed me by the ankle, had me all messed up.
Damn You Braums!!!
I've been a great steward of my calories, blood sugar, carbs, etc. This is why I've lost 42 lbs in 3.5 months. But I haven't figured how to keep my sodium down. So while I ate healthy the whole ride up to Ardmore, saving my calories up so I can eat me some Braums, my right ankle had no idea what was about to happen. Mane I had enough calories left to get me a double quarter pounder, some fries, AND enough sugar left to get me an ice cold cherry limemade.
Lawd have mercy. *speaks in tongues.
Mane that shit was delicious. but bruh, not 30 mins after I smash the last bite, mane my ankle swoll up so damn big it don't make no sense. Any way I try to move it I'm in pain. That mothereffer gout don't caught the Gawd slippin. My daddy goes to Walmart at 12 am to get me some organic cherry juice, and drank half of that sour ass juice like it's Gatorade asap. My mama gives me a walking cane she got in Jamaica. I try to get up and I break the wooden handle. She gives me a metal cane, I hobble my fat ass to the back room and go to sleep. Foot on swoleasabih.com.
The next morning I remember I had some pills in the whip from when I had nerve issues in my left elbow. In the words of Mouse On The Track, "throw me back, throw me back like a quarterback." On top all this, I have an appointment to get my hair cut in OKC by my big cousin Greg, and we need to put this dresser my mama got for my new crib in the fan. Oh yeah, it snowed the night before in Oklahoma. It's cold than a MF outside, and the ground is super soft. My foot is too bad to help move it, so I offer to pull the van around so they can move the dresser from the house to the van easier. Mane picture why the van get stuck in the mud!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
So now my dad and Mark are pulling out all the stops to get me unstuck, and I'm virtually helpless in the cause. After 20 mins of struggle, they find some gravel to put under my tires. I'm able to pull in the street so they can put the dresser in, and now we're off. We get to OKC an hour after the appointment, so we wait. Get a cut, and by that time my foot finally goes down.
The Show Must Go On
We pull up to the venue, and it's dope. There's 3 full bodied women in the car in front the venue reppin they asses off to something that Cardi B would prolly approve of. And I'm #TeamBardi all day, so I was there for it. I meet the homie L Smooth, the dope emcee and promoter for the show tonight. Buddy was very accommodating, literally made me feel at home during my homecoming show. I have 3 of my childhood friends from Ardmore pull up, I'm super excited.
First act is a brother from Texas, solid performance, good ass boom bap. The next emcee was a Native American brother, type heavy set. I just new he was gonna rap over vox, mane was I wrong. Buddy was snappin and it made my heart so proud. Living in Louisiana, I mostly see just Black, white and Lightskinted people, so see so many Indian's enjoying Hip-Hop made me really happy to be home, proud to be an Oklahoman. Buddy was wild limber on stage, and his hypeman was lit af. Dope set. Next was the homie L Smooth, who has some of the coolest boom bap production I've heard from anywhere in the country. His "Pillowcases" record his a bop fareal fareal.
Now I go up. My Ardmore friends know Bryan Williams, Broom, Bufu even, but they don't know Marcel P. Black. Hit em with the acapella, they bite, but are still tryinna figure out what's going on. Start off with "Bad Man" & it's hilarious because BR is a God fearing college football coach and instead of saying "Bad Motherfucka" he's says "Bad MotherMucka" on the call & response portion. Next is "Black God Fresh," and I can't lie ya'll, I was really feeling myself. I had some camo Polo jeans, and olive green long sleeve Polo shirt with a hoodie, a camo Polo hoodie, with my Russell Westbrook Jordan 1's, and a new Mitchell & Ness OKC Thunder snapback. Feeling & looking good, foot not acting stupid, so I'm rapping and performing good. I rock "Henry Clay," they fool with it. On "Hallelujah," they all saying "Fuck Donald Trump," except BT of course. Now it's time to go to church, so it's "FreeBlackPPL" and "Stare & Whisper" Devotion.
"Nigga, it's lit!!!"- Anonymous
The best thing about the show was being able to bring people who I grew up with from as early as our mothers walking together while pregnant into my world. They hit it off with Mark, so it was lit. I normally don't drink on the road for health, safety, and financial reasons, but it ain't everyday I have my day ones with me on the road, so of course we go to "throw ones." We get there kinda late, so I go full steam ahead buying Hennessy & Red Bull doubles for us all. My potna told me there don't be know Black girls at this particular spot, let's just say was he wrong, boy was he wrong.
Next think you know, in true Ardmore nigga fashion, we end up in Denny's, I'm eatin all out my diet, but it's lit. I have the time of my life, no complaints on anything. Until I wake up the next morning with a swollen ankle, but that's for part 2 of this to be continued head ass story...
Venue: 4/5. Dope venue.
Crowd: 2.5. If there was one bad thing, it was a lack of a crowd. The Native American emcee brought a crowd, but alot of them dipped after him. Which left me rapping for about 15-20 people. I say this with no shame because all indie/underground touring emcees have this happen, and if it's never happened to you before, it's because prolly rap over vocals at pay to play open mics. The crowd wasn't bad at all, they were very responsive, but mane sometimes it's a fight to maintain that high level of energy in front of so few people. I still did work tho. Thank you for the ones who did stay.
Merch Sales: 3. For a smaller crowd at the end of the night, I did OK. Plus people came and shopped before my set, so that's always a plus.
Sound: 3.5. Good sound, though I was told the music was too loud during my set.
Happy New Year!!! I've been trash as it pertains to doing post show rap blogs for the last 2 years, but one of my many resolutions is to do one for every show this year, so let's begin.
THE HOME TOWN HERO FINALLY PERFORMS AT HOME
If you don't know, I NEVER get booked in Baton Rouge to perform. There's a lot of reasons why I don't, but I just don't (that's for another blog). So when my people were hit up to do the show, I was really excited, being that I haven't been booked for a show as an artist since January 2016, back when I opened for Kevin Gates in front of 6,000 people for his "Islah" album release party, under protest. The manager for the company for who booked the show was very professional, made me an offer I could live with, we closed the deal.
TRAINING TO BE THE BEST RAPPER
For those who don't know, I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic in late September 2018. When I moved to Louisiana August of 2002 I was 230 lbs. That day when Doc diagnosed me, I was 454 lbs. Years of late night eating and drinking, not exercising, and just plain not taking care of my health caught up with me. While on tour, you tend to eat horrible at all the fast food spots, and I was drinking wayyyy too much Henny & Redbull. Then there's the mental health component in which I was self-medicating with food, eating my feelings to deal with the anxiety that comes with a Black man who is a husband and father and conscious rapper and mental health counselor and mentor and OG and all of that other stuff. I swear to got a Double Quarter Pounder with a large fry and a Coke is like smoking Snoop Dogg quality weed to me... But I digress...
That shit was killing me, so that day I changed my whole diet, and started working out again consistently, and in just a little over 3 months I'm down 42 lbs!!! It's helped clear my mind to the point I'm much happier about life, my pen is better, and my stage show is 10x times better. When I'm in that gym I'm thinking about how I'm gonna body everyone who touches that stage before and after, how my breath control both live & in the booth are gonna be a problem, how this form of self care is releasing tension and saving my health, giving me room to be more creative.
I want this shit more than ever, so I'm literally training to be the best rapper I can be. Being that I rarely rap in Baton Rouge, a lot of the guys who only know me since I've been a national touring artists never saw the bodies I caught on stage during my "local up and coming days," they just think I'm the fat guy who rants about my disdain for over vocals rap, and hosts free shows at the barbershop. So I'm also training to show these youngsters why I am the Baton Rouge God Emcee, how I earned it, and how I don't plan on coming off of that title soon. So the day of, before we go eat our New Years Day meal by the Rose's house, I go get a killer workout in, less that 5 hours before soundcheck. I'm not playing with non of ya'll, I swear.
If anyone knows me, they know I'm a student of the craft, artform, culture, and industry. one of my favorite things to do is listen to and study rap related podcasts, by favorite being "Super Duty Tough Work" by Ohio Hip-Hop legends Blueprint and Illogic. I always hear them talk about the benefits of being early, and I was able to open for Print when I booked him in Baton Rouge last summer as he promoted his "Two Headed Monster" album. He got there mad early, and was able to deal with the BS that took place when the venue double booked a 6 PM show right before our show with doors that started at 8 PM.
I told myself in 2019, I will be early for all shows, I will make sure I'm doing all the work on the front end so I'm not panicking on the back end if something goes arry. My guy says the soundcheck starts at 6:30 PM, I'm at the venue at 6:15 PM. I know I'm not making Tech N9ne money as a indie/underground rap guy, but I'll be damned if I don't work as hard or carry myself as equally as professional.
I get there, and noone's there. Club is totally locked up, lights off. I call the number I was given for the promoter who booked me, goes to voicemail, and that mf was full. I text him, no response. The plan was for my wife to drop me off, go take the kids to the sitter, then come back and see me perform. I've never worked with this promoter before, so my anxiety is thru the roof, thinking, "What if the show is canceled and I don't get my money?" Now I wanna get some Mickey D's to calm my nerves, but I fight the urge, bc I don't wanna fuck up my points, and having the bubble guts from greasy food while spittin' from your'e soul don't mix. While we waiting, the Rap Dad Mini-Van is on E, like light blinking E. So we decide to go get gas and come back. We go get gas, get back, about 10 till 7 PM, now the club is open, but the promoter isn't there. Doors open at 7 PM, and I'm like Bruuuhhhh...
FALSE START 2.0...
Finally the promoter arrives, get's me my table, I set my shirts & cd's up, email list and all. He tells me he heard of me when he googled Baton Rouge Underground Hip-Hop, and saw my name on mad different links. He says he peeped the 2017 XXL.com list I was on, and my music stuck out to him, that he has my song "Boss" on repeat. I ask him did he want me to perform it, he says "hell yeah." It's lit. In fact, when I went outside to walk my wife in, the sound guy is playing "Boss." Aight, cool. I go to the sound guy to give him my music, and the computer isn't working. So now they gotta scramble to find a DJ.
If you know me and how I throw events, you know I'm very serious and run a tight ass ship. I believe even tho we underground indie guys, shit needs to be professional as possible, so my anxiety again has me wanting a #2 from the Golden Arches, but them points mane, I can't fade it. Finally a DJ comes, we get the music right, but there's no soundcheck. I'm going up next to last, so I reckon they'll get it right before I get up there.
OK, NOW WE CAN START...
There's no host, so the first act goes on. Two fine sisters body suits (Lawd....) did a routine to Beyonce's Coachella performance. Then the smaller of the two did a Ciara "One Two Step" type dance record, singing over vocals. Okay. Next is Fade The Flow Sundays Alumni J-Pro, whom I recently reconnected with at December's FTFS. He's a good guy with good music, who I rocks with because I can tell he's a Hip-Hop head. After him is an R&B singer singing about murdering people over vocals.
Next two acts were interesting, including one artist who I can tell probably is really good in the studio but doesn't perform much. His nerves got the best of him and it never really came together.
A MASTER CLASS IN EMCEEING...
So now I go up, and though the crowd is not thick, and the show is a lot different in terms of levels of experience in performing than I'm used to on the road, I still have bodies to catch. I notice there's been no talking to the crowd, acapellas, or call and response all night, and that's what I do best, so they finna get this work.
I start off with my go to acapella, you know, the "My daddy sang gospel, but I chose to be a rapper" one, and they bite. The first song I do is "Black God Fresh," which will probably be the first song on my new album called "_____ _______" featuring ___ ____. This is only my 3rd time performing the record so I'm still working kinks out, but it still goes over well. The crowd is really into the call and response, and I really think they were surprised bc they didn't know what this fat guy was gonna do up there. My gym workouts are paying off as I'm wayyyy more nimble on stage compared to 6 months ago, not getting winded, and just having more fun in general.
Next is "Boss" per the promoters' request, the crowd is into it. After that I tell the crowd about how I believe my show in Lafayette was canceled the day of in October due to this song in which I say "Fuck Donald Trump" a lot. I gotta crazy chip on my shoulder with that venue and Laffy in general, but that's for another blog. Anyways, I know I'm in a Black owned venue, and quite frankly, NDC how people feel, because Fuck Donald Trump.
I do the record, the crowd is rocking with me, except a few negroes in the corner. Every dope performer knows that there's always a few niggas in the crowd who refuse to show u love and acknowledge you're doing your shit, because that's just how niggas be sometimes. The nature of niggas. I decide to give them this work specifically for the rest of my show, rap even harder and crisper, because I'm motivated by niggas not showing love, and I have a tendency to troll a lil bit too.
Finally, I end on "Stare & Whisper," and we go to church. Crowd is rocking with me, I feel great, work has been given. I thank the promoter, audience, venue, plug my online info, direct people to my table. After my set was the last artist, who was pretty good, inviting me on stage to rep on a record that I really liked. This show wasn't rapping in front of thousands opening up for a major label hometown hero like 3 years ago, but I'm equally appreciative to be able to come back home and rock for the city I love so much, and create new fans. People signed the email list, bought CD's & T-shirts, took pics, that's all I can ask for.
Donney Rose told me "That was a Master Class in Emceeing." #CultureOverEverything.
Venue: 4/5. Good set up for a show, Black owned, maybe I'll see if I can do something there soon.
Crowd Response: 4.5/5. They showed love. 'Cept for them one niggas.
Merch Sales: 3.5/5. Wasn't a large crowd, but I feel the people who shopped were converted to fans.
Bay Area Veteran emcee Locksmith invades Baton Rouge for the first time ever on his upcoming "Louder Than Words" Tour featuing J. Lately & Leon The God, with local support from Marcel P. Black, John Anthony, & The Ill Relatives. Live video mixing by Go DJ Automatik.
Fri, May 4, 2018, 9:00 PM – Sat, May 5, 2018, 2:00 AM
2018, I’m moving different. I chosen not to state chase, but instead knock
items off my bucket list, all while looking for new opportunities to take part
in. I was booked for a college gig in Pensacola February 17th, so I
was tryinna get either a Panama City, Fort Walton Beach, or Tallahassee show to
fill out that weekend. Last year I did a lot of one offs, this year, I wanna do
at least 2-3 shows a weekend instead. It helps save money and time.
that’s not what happened this weekend lol. I should the trees and nothing came
out that weekend. And the Pensacola show ended up getting canceled anyway. Alas,
my girl Fika from Tally linked me with some other folk, and this show in
Tallahassee did present itself, a Hip-Hop show case called Submersive Sounds
put on by local Hip-Hop artists and a Sociology teach at Florida State named
Dr. Lisa (she teaches a dope Hip-Hop course I plan to lecture at someday).
Mark Dub aka Extra Large Debarge couldn’t make it due to him spending the last
2 weekends on the road with me, I chose to catch this slab for dolo. I drop my
kids off at school, fun by the office to check in, and caught the slab by 9 am.
Before I hit the highway, I got what my Dad calls “keep awakes.” Scooped a bag
of Cheddar & Sour Cream Ruffles, sour candies, 2 Redbulls, a liter of dat Ozarka
ya heard me, & some Gatorade ya dig. I’m tryinna go as far as a I can
before noon when I do staffing the owner of my company, so there’s no time for
stopping. I pull up in Mobile right about 11:45 am, do my thing at 12 pm, got a
like bite from Arby’s and I’m back on the slab to Tallyho.
“Say Big Dog….”- Big Nigga Upstairs
I pull up to my hotel, get my keys, & the sister done knocked off about $10
of my room. Room was already cheap, so this was love. I grab all my stuff, go in
the room, eat my Steak & Shake, then hop in the bed for bout an hour before
I head towards the venue. Watching HGTV of course. Fast forward, I get up get
dressed, head to the car. I walk outside I smell some loud ass weed coming from
upstairs, and I hear, “Say Big Dog, what you getting into tonight?” Buddy looked
to be about my size dressed in all Black, and the way we rocked his fitted let
me know he was with the shits.
replied, “But go pull up on my homies, what you got up?”
Nigga was like, “Mane IDK what’s shakin, I ain’t from here.”
“Same. It’s sad because it ain’t no strip clubs out here…”
Nigga, “Mane if you lookin for dem hoes I gotcha my nigga.” Then 2 white women
walk out the room smoking cigarettes. Mane these niggas trappin girls out the
tell buddy I’m scraight and I gwan bout mi bidness. Pull up to the venue to see
my homie Fika riding a Moped in a dress. Lit AF. I park then go in & peep
the scene, it looks like a well kept storage unit with a checkered dance floor
and a make shift DJ booth. I go holla at the DJ, then go set up my merch. The crowd
is mostly college aged Black males & females, and older Black and White educators
(I’m assuming they’re Dr. Lisa’s colleagues). In 2016 I did a show in Tampa
with the main Hip-Hop crew in Tallahassee, Cap6, but I really ain’t recognize
they faces or know their names, so I just played it lowkey, manning my merch
act goes up, young guy from Miami. Next a young lady from St. Louis who strangely
chose to do a Neo Soul set at a rap show. She was dope so NDC. Next was a brother
who had a really good performance, & solid lyrical Panda raps. Dr. Lisa
told me to go up.
beauty of not going first is the opportunity to take notes on the crowd and see
what the other artists are doing well, what they’re neglecting, and what you
need to pull out the bag to go up. First thing I do when they call me is set
the mic stand up before I rap. I got into my acapella, and get some lite love.
Then it’s “Stare & Whisper,” with the call & response, which well
again. My “5 Things” got wild house, then I go into “Where I Stay,” which went
very well. Being that there were college professors in the room, as well as “woke”
college kids the Michelle Alexander reference at the end of the 2nd
verse got oohs & ah’s like a Daylyt punchline.
Next is def the highlight of the
night. I start “Hallelujah” & the mic goes out, I swap it out & run it
back from jump. They are with the “Fuck Donald Trump” actions in Tallahassee!!!
I kill the first verse, hit the FDT call & response again, then start the
next verse where the mic starts goin out AGAIN. So what do I do? I put the mic
on the stand and rap the verse to the top of my lungs, and boy was it lit. The
crowd was super impressed and hyped that I didn’t miss a beat and they rocked with
me even harder!!! After the verse someone tries to hand me a new working mic,
and I wave him off because yall bout to get this no mic work right now. Go back
into the last hook and the crowd is eating out my palms… A true Hip-Hop moment
that I gotta thank the Lawd for all these shows that gave me the experience to
keep the show going and not fumble.
was so high, and I didn’t wanna risk bringing it down or drain my own wave, I
decided to skip with “Cry Freedom” instead of doing “Freedom Music” or “#FreeBLKPPL”
(I need to either figure those songs out or take them out my live set, because thought
they’re a great listen, they don’t translate live well at all). I went full
small congregation Missionary Baptist deacon mode on em, and it proved to be
the best usage of my energy. Finish my set, then headed back to the merch table
where I had several great convo’s with both older heads and young boys alike.
Only the older heads bought stuff though, young college kids never have money.
No Zola for me!!!
from Cap 6 kills it, show is over, I break down and head home. I see Guthrie’s,
and I wanna check it out so order the box combo. For those who don’t know,
Guthrie’s is who they claim my dog Todd Graves stole the idea for Canes from,
and I call blasphemy. I pull up to my room, and I see Big Nigga still outside smokin
weed. I look behind me and I see two Black women who were both visibly fine AF
standing outside a car parked behind me, dressed in sweats & Uggs. The two
white women I saw smoking earlier go talk to them, and they all walk back
towards the hotel, right past my van.
want them to see what room I’m in, so I let them go ahead of me, then once they
were up the stairs, I waited till Big Nigga wasn’t looking and go to my room.
Before I shut the door I hear Big Nigga say:
Dog, wassup with that Guthrie’s tho…”
WTF? I went & waited for a second to see if anyone was gonna knock on my
door, once I thought it was chill, I took pics for the Gram, and ate. I’m in
the bed looking at my Facebook “On This Day” posts, I get an email from an 813
number that says, “Say bruh, what that Guthrie’s talkin’ bout?”
“They got me noid… But I ain’t paranoid.”- Silkk The Shocker
THE. HELL. IS. GOING. ON!?!?!?!?!?!?!? Why am I getting an EMAIL FROM A TAMPA CELL
PHONE!!!! I google the area code & see that it’s a Tampa number, and my
mind starts racing, “Did Big Nigga find my promo card that doesn’t have my phone
number, but does have my email on it, and is him asking me for Guthrie’s mean
they bout to run up in my room and rob me?”
remember that viral twitter story about Zola and the white girl trappin out the
hotel in Tampa, and the wild Florida niggas? That’s all I can think of. I get
fully dressed pack my bags, and now I’m ready for whatever. Thinking of calling
the police, wishing I had a gun. Then I decide to email the back, to see what
was really good…
So I do,
and it turns out it’s my boy A.J. from Tampa who plays with the Grid in New Orleans.
He saw my post on the Gram and decided to mess with me about it…
LOOK… He didn’t have my new number, so when he texted “Marcel P. Black” it went
to my maroonmusic @ gmail.com account. Crazy af right? Finally go to sleep, get
up, and head back to BR, laughing at how I was ready to go out in a blaze of
glory behind some chicken fingers & hard ass toast that’s not seeing Raising
Canes, any day of the week.
Venue: 4/5 (Wide open DIY space)
Crowd Response: 4.5/5
Merch: 3/5 (Wish I coulda sold more, but the people who did shop bought a min of 2 things)
Sound: 2/5 (No no monitors on floor for artists, gotta subtract for the mics going out too)