Monday, June 3, 2019

Marcel P. Black #RapRecap #19 ( 5.25.19 in Tulsa, Oklahoma)

THUGTOWN WHATTUP

Once again, my focus is on my anxiety as a facilitator, not a rapper. We check out of the hotel in OKC, get gas, a light bite, and head to Tulsa. My wife Jessyca & don't really agree on too many artists to listen to on long drives (I like underground ass backpack rap, and she likes Beyonce and Jazmine Sullivan), so we always watch reruns of either Paternity Court or Judge faith as we swang in the slab. The mess & foolishness of it all keeps us alert lol. We get to Tulsa to the hotel and see that I done came up on a lick with Priceline paying $65 on a 4 star hotel. Get to the room, take a nap. Upon waking, I call all my guys traveling from OKC from the night before as well as Paid In AmeriKKKa who are en route from at Atlanta only to find they are all in the Town checked in their rooms, relaxing.

 WE USED TO DO IT IN THE PARK...

For the last few years the city of Tulsa has done a Hip-Hop 918 concert in the park downtown. This event is an all ages free affair for the people, featuring local emcees as well as Hip-Hop legends. Jess and I parked and went to the park about an hour before our show to get some food. Upon arrival, we were able to catch Tulsa's own Hip-Hop legend and creator of World Culture Music Festival. Steph Simon, performing in front of a crowd of thousands. The show was hosted by none other than Big Daddy Kane, and had performances from Slick Rick, MC Lyte, & Roxanne Shante. 

(Big Daddy Kane)
(Roxanne Shante)

We were able to see Kane do "Smooth Operator" while we were waiting in line forever to order our food from a food truch, and man did all the older Black women cut up. Next he brought our Roxanne Shante, who did little to no rapping of her own songs. She mostly told the DJ to play all 70's & 80's hits and danced in way that only ya 55 y/o old auntie can dance. By the time we finally got our food and ate, it was time to head over to the venue to get set up for the night.

SPIN CYCLE

We finally get to the venue, I set my merch table up. This record store is really a record store with a nice li'l stage and speaker set up. Sole Lab sets up and gets to rocking immediately. If anyone knows me, you know I run a tight ass show. It's my stage that I was able to pick some of the talent for, and I am hosting and performing, but I wasn't given to the autonomy to run it how I normally do. I'm not complaining, it just is what it is. However, #CultureOverEverything as a concert series is well respected across the country because people know how serious I am about putting on high quality Hip-Hop events. But this stage is just one of many in a weekend full of stages, so I gotta go with the flow. I was not really given the info to communicate with all of the other artists who I didn't choose, so as the show is about to start I don't even know what the Tulsa people look like, so IDK if they are there or not. And all my guys are en route to the venue, like 20 mins before the show is supposed to start. 

My nerves are bad as fuck.

Next I see my homie Lashae pull up, and she introduces me to Janira, who has been assigned to help me manaage the stage. Clutch af. I have her round up all the Tulsa artists. This is where shit gets interesting.

GO WITCHA MOVE

The first artist is supposed to go up at 9:50pm. It's clear that sis is extremely popular in the city, but young and inexperienced as it pertains to shows. Sister girl doesn't have her music on a flash drive to give to Sole Lab, and she didn't know who the DJ was to email it to him. Mike T asks for the wifi so she can email it to him, and it doesn't work. She emails it from another account, and it works, but the wifi is so shotty it literally started downloading, and never downloaded. She asks mic to go to youtube and get her music, and he was like "nah." So she storms off and leaves. I'm not sure what's going on while all this is happening, so about 10:15pm I call her to the stage to perform, and she doesn't come. 

I TOTE STEEL FOR SITUATIONS LIKE THIS

So I launch in "#CultureOverEverything." IMO it was very sloppy, but I got the crowd to say the chant and stay in the room, so I guess it was aight. I was able to shake back with "Principles & Standards," with the crowd agreeing with me that "Real Emcees Dont Rap Over Vocals." Now I see the next act come in, and buddy is from Houston. He's actually rocking out pretty well, till he gets to one song where he raps over vocals.

-_-

Am I on Punk'd?

Is there really a rapper rapping ove vocals on MY #CULTUREOVEREVERYTHING STAGE!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Buttttttt, the show is poppin', and honestly, the dude can rap, and I just think he didn't have the proper show track. 

Still.

Next up is a a local R&B singer, who was actually pretty talented. He had alot of female fans in the crowd, one particular non-melanated female who looked like she was ready to yeah with the yeah post performance. Next thing I know HE STARTS SINGING OVER VOCALS.

Bruh.....

Whatever, the crowd is still packed, and it's a good set.

Next up is another young lady from Tulsa that told us that her set was gonna be different, and it was. She can really rap, she's a good performer, no rapping over vocals, but her music was really raunchy. In the era of City Girls, Meg Thee Stallion, and Cardi B, she's gonna WIN. she a crowd full of ladies twerking, chanting her sexually liberated lyrics, going nuts. Unfortunately this worked against us.

GOD IN THE BUILDING

If you know me, you know how I feel about Truth Universal. He is my rap uncle. My mentor, the first rapper to give me a shot when noone would. He's traveled the country, traveled the world, put New Orleans and by extension Louisiana underground/indie Hip-Hop on his back, and took us with him. When I couldn't get a show in BR, he'd book a show in BR and let me perform. Super important to my career, as I've met so many people because I was one of his pupils, and I've always tried to pay it forward. I was super excited to finally pay it back with this Oklahoma trip. The OKC trip was what it was, but I had a feeling that he would kill Tulsa based off the last show I had, and that this festival was such a big thing.

Mane. 

What had happened was, after the sister performed she took the WHOLE CROWD with her. Between that and the young lady who didn't get to perform allegedly slandering us and taking 50 people who she brought with us to another venue, my OG, the New Orleans God Emcee, got the lightest part of the night. 

I.

Felt.

Like. 

Shit.

Recently, someone told me I was the "New Truth Universal," and I can honestly say that was the best compliment I've gotten in a long time. Truth was visably annoyed, but still rocked his set how a pro is supposed to. After he finished, I apologizied to him, and he told me it wasn't my fault, that there was nothing I could do about it. This is what happens when you front load a show with popular locals who are just kinda there for their friends. Spinster didn't have a bar, so there's not a whole lot of things to keep people in bnilding if they don't know the artists. The local artists where young, not the kinda types who are intersted in finding new Hip-Hop, especially underground boom bap conscious raps from someone they never heard of before. 

I hate that the God caught the slim side of the show, but there was legit nothing I could do.

 (Paid In AmeriKKKA)

Next was Paid In AmeriKKKa, who had had been outside politickin' with folks before the show, so they was able to bring people back in to get a little crowd. They had the crowd buck to "Ain't Talkin' Bout Nothin'" single. 

ATL HOE!!!

(The Monastery)

If you've read my #RapRecaps, you know how I feel about The Monastery. They are my favorite group in this whole indie/underground circuit, stars in the making. The last #FadeTheFlowSundays they did in BR, Verse from Tulsa was there. He was so impressed he literally got on the Gram and told everyone to go see them. And they did not disappoint. Paco even knocked some damn speakers over while jumping off the damn stage lol. They didn't get the packed house effect either, but they put on a great set and gained fans.

WRAP IT UP, P.

The next part is tricky for me to write, because it involves a few friends. In the spirit of not being messy, I won't go there. But I will say during the last local act, a drunk dude was heckling the performer and asking for the microphone during his set, as he stood front in center. I felt my inner Ardmore nigga coming out, telling dude several times to chill, the last time with mad bass in my voice, damn near clapping out sylables. It wasn't till I stood up off the stool that he saw I was big AF tthat he shut his ass up. If he woulda kept up or reached for the mic while my guy was performing, he woulda got punched on in ther name of Hip-Hop.

Then, the perfomer stopped, slammed both mics down, and walked out the venue. 

Awkward AF. 

I quickly told Mike to run "Black God Fresh," because I was NOT gonna end my night like that. I did it, it went over decent, and ended with "Henry Clay," which prolly got me the best fan fare of the night. Thank GOD this show is over. My blood pressue was prolly through the roof lol.

UNBROKEN BREAD

Now the tornadao warning is in full effect and it's raining cats and dogs. Niggas ain't buy shit from me mane lol. While my wife broke down the merch table, I walk in the pouring rain bout half a mile to go get the van so wifey ain't gotta get wet. 

Because that's my nigga.

We settle up with Steph, chop light game, head to Phat Philly's for delicious cheese steaks, go to the hotel for sleep. For the most part, all my guys where good sports the whole weekend. It was cool that I got to bring my Louisiana friends and my Alabama & Georgia friends to my home state to get a peace of the Black Oklahoman culture, and they all enjoyed themselves despite not rapping in front of thousands. I feel blessed to be able to share resources and bring my friends with me, but honestly it maybe too early. I'm with all the smoke, as I'm all about the opportunity, but I don't wanna waste anyones time or money either.

Lesson learned.

*And lemme say this, I 10000% am appreciate of having my own stage, and Steph and I have already spoken about what we are gonna do next year. Steph is my guy, and is doing great things in the Tulsa community with and without the microphone. Don't think for one second that I'm tryinna diss him or WCMF, as it is a great event and I'm super pround of him being able to pull it off. I just wanted to hightlight my anxiety as a facilitator, tell you what was going through my mind and why. If you've ever put on a show, you know what I mean.*

RATINGS:

Venue: 4.5/5. No complaints on the venue. The store employee was super accomadating and extremely kind and patient as we asked her to do a million things throughout the night. I didn't catch the owners name, but he was super cool as well. I'm taking off .5 because it wasn't no alchohol or BYOB allowed. 

Crowd: 3/5. When it was lit it was lit. when it wasn't it wasn't. That's all I got.

Sound: 4/5. Crisp af.

Merch: 0/5. Tulsa know they downbad for not shoppin' with a real nigga for shit lol.

Next Show: 6/7/19 in Mobile, Alabama.





Marcel P. Black Interview in Kazi Magazine

EDITORIALS

Get To Know Marcel P. Black Louisiana Hip-Hop’s Journeyman

"Louisiana artist Marcel P. Black has been grinding on the scene for years, getting close to a decade, if I’m being honest. Marcel does almost everything needs himself, promotion, touring, even in finishing this interview, this man still has a Blogspot that gets updated. With multiple projects in his discography and a hunger to still get after his, Marcel will be here for a long time. Truthfully this introduction could go on forever, Marcel does work for his community, is a family man all while pursuing and succeeding as an artist. I met Marcel last year at Columbus’ 2×2 Festival, but now coming off his EP release ‘4tha Cltr’ I had a chance to sit down with the Louisiana star and discuss everything."

Marcel P. Black #RapRecap #18 (5/24/19 in Oklahoma City, OK)

HOMECOMING #2

I'm doing something different with this one. I'm writing more from the standpoint of a facilitator, less as an artist. Reason being is the weekend was a blur, and theres' one consistent link between it all, anxiety. I'm what old country folks call a "worry wart." I try my hardest to keep a consistent level of self care poppin', but even still I deal with depression & anxiety. I book shows out of town all of the time in which I'm the headliner. The turnouts range from slim to dope, but I'm an underground rapper, so I'm used to it. This weekend was a little different as I was bringing people from Louisiana, Alabama, and Georgia to come rock at these events in my home state of Oklahoma in which I was curating. My guy Steph from Tulsa felt so bad he snubbed me when didn't select me for his World Culture Music Festival 3 last year, he gave me my own #CultureOverEverything Stage at WCMF 4. 

At least that's the story I'm running with.

It's always scheduled Memorial Day weekend, which is perfect for me, because it's right after school is out, and every year my kids spend the whole summer with my parents in Ardmore. So it made sense for us to drive up because were already gonna be in the state anyways. To make it even more purposeful, I reached out to my guy L-Smooth for an OKC date, and he thru me in the mix with The Root where I gigged earlier this year the day before the Tulsa show in January. Part of curating my own stage for WCMF 4 allows me to select who I wanted on my stage to rock with artists from Tulsa. I chose Fade The Flow Sundays Alumni The Monastery from Birminghham, Paid In AmeriKKKA from Atlanta, and Truth Universal from New Orleans. I even brought my partner in Fade The Flow Sundays Sole Lab BR from Baton Rouge to be in the house DJ for both stages.

This is where my anxiety begins. Like I said, I've been in these underground rap streets long enough to know that I'm gonna deal with small crowds. I'm okay with that, but I'm super worried that my guys who I'm bringing from so far won't be. I swear, my people don't get to experience my highs, but it ALWAYS seems like they're there for my lows. On top of this, there's terrible weather brewing, with flash floods & tornado warnings the whole time we're supposed to be there. Sole Lab left BR @ 8am to get to the show in OKC the day of. Truth FLEW into Tulsa from NoLa. The Monastery had issues getting a rental, and didn't leave till damn near 12:30pm the day of the OKC show, and Birmingham is an 11 hour drive straight through. Paid could only make it up for the Tulsa show on Saturday, but even still their driving 13 hours through terrible weather to rock a stage I'm curating.

All this worrying give me stress, all these stressors gives me gout, along with eating wayyyyy to much red meat in my diet over the last few weeks. Blood pressure super high, so high it had my left foot on SWOLE. Wasn't nothing I was taking helping me, so I had to go to urgent care and get the shot in the butt, which is never fun. On top of that, one of most popular girls from graduating class is recruiting all the people from Ardmore that live in OKC to pull up. I also reached out to all my guys to pull up, so there's a level of anxiety of putting on a good show for my Ardmore people who don't know Marcel P. Black, only Bryan. 

On top of this, about 3 weeks into promoting the OKC show, The Root closes down, for good. L-Smooth is working hard as he can to find another venue, and bout 10 days before the show we relocate it to Unwired Records.

I know this is a lot already, but I just gotta put it all in it's proper context.

THE SHOW MUST GO ON

From BR to Ardmore, we got the mininal amount of rain. From Ardmore to OKC we get 0 rain, so I'm thinking the night is gonna be a good turnout if the weather holds up. My wife Jessyca and I check into the hotel, take a short nap, then head over to the venue, which I'm surprised to find out is a recording studio, not a record store. We're greated by Nathan, the owner of Unwired Records, and he's super friendly and accomadating. After I set my merch up Sole Lab comes in, shortly after Truth gets there, L-Smooth is there, and the 2 other opening acts. Maybe 5 more people come in, and then the got damn tornado warning is full effect. I'm talking POURING DOWN raining. 

Bad bad. All my friends and family in OKC pretty much tell me they ain't coming, and the mf's who didn't say they wasn't coming ain't come either. It's like 12 people in the room, and at least 8 ppl are performing. I'm fighting between being embarassed because I brought people all this way to rap in front of noone, worrying if they gonna say I'm a fluke, and worrying about The Monastery who I'm telling to stop and just get to Tulsa instead of tryinna make it to the show. Them niggas was determined to make it to the show though, and while I appreciate that, I hate that I put them in that position.

After we figured out that noone else is coming, the first two local acts got up, and did really great jobs opening. Next was my OG, the New Orleans God Emcee Truth Universal, and he put on a clinic in professionalism. He wasn't fazed one bit that he flew all the way up to rap in front of noone, instead put on a hellafied set, as sharp as ever. This definitely lifted my spirits.

LIGHT WORK

Ya'll know I'm super competitive right? My goal every single time I touch the stage is to murder everybody. But mane, between this low turn out due to the weather, and my young boys outchea literally driving through storms, I can't even hype myself up like I normally do. I start off with my intro, then go into "Bad Man." Decent call & response, as the small crowd of OKC emcees that were left weren't familiar with my music, and still wasn't sure how I was coming. Next I went backpack with "Principles & Standards," which really got the local rap guys into my set. As I roll into "Henry Clay," The Monastery walks in during the first hook, and I can relax a li'l bit and have some fun. This one goes over extremely well, till I damn near fell and bust my ass when the carpet got loose up under me. 

SHAKE BACK

Now I feel that second wind kick in. Not that I was tired, but it's like I had a new boost of energy ready at my disposal so I can give niggas work. "Hallelujah," "#FreeBLKPPL," & "Stare & Whisper" all went over very well, as the OKC natives were very entertained and intrigued how my Southern Oklahoma born country ass incorporates alot of South Louisiana slang & vernarcular in my music. After my set, I sell a few items at the merch table to the OKC rappers, and go back in and watch The Monastery and L-Smooth perform. 

I was soooo worried that all my guys were gonna be upset with me like this show was a full waste of time, by they weren't. They all told me thank you and went back to their rooms to rest up from a long day of traveling, preparing for another long day of traveling and performing. I break down my merch, say my good buys, hit Denny's with my wife, and go back to the room for sleep. Glad this day is finally over.


RATINGS:

Venue: 4/5. Bout a 50 cap room, good for small show. No real complaints.

Crowd: 4/5. I have no plex with the crowd. Only taking off points due to turn out.

Merch: 4/5. Same. Sold something to all the OKC rappers. Didn't have the opportunity to sell to many people due to turnout.

Sound: 4/5. No real complaints.

Next Show: 5/25/19 in Tulsa, Oklahoma





Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Marcel P. Black #RapRecap #17 (5/11/19 in Atlanta, Georgia)

A-TOWN STOMP...

For once, I have a show with no drama. I can come rap, make new fans, sell merch, get paid and go home. Mark was with me, and as always, he made the trip much easier. We left Baton Rouge the day before the show, crashing at his friends house in Lithonia. Wake up the day of the show and I have a long ass conversation with my manager, before we finally decide to get food. We go to a TGI Fridays, and though the service was kinda wack, the food was good af. After we pay our tab, we head back to the crib, change clothes, and head to the venue.

Pull Up

The venue was Gallery 992, a Black owned coffe shop/cafe that doubles as DIY space for artists to throw events. The event is called "Music & A Meal" and it's put on my big homie Quanstar, with the assistance of Evaready Raw & Mighty Mo Betta. All of these brothers are transplants from Compton, The Bronx, and Cleveland respectively, who moved to ATL for school and better occupational opportunities. They all are men in their 40's who still travel both domestic and abroad doing Hip-Hop music, still performing high energy sets like their are 20 years their junior. The event is catered to adults who still love Hip-Hop. People in their 40's & up who are married with kids, got full time careers and responsibilities, but never go to any of the Hip-Hop shows in ATL because it's a bunch of young punks in their 20's wildin' for respeck. Quan had an idea of making a night for those people who still love the music, but never really go out to shows because they've aged out the community. 

 LET THE SPIRIT MOVE YOU

Quan is also a chef & an all around jack of all trades, he so came up with the idea to have vegan pastries infused with alcohol. You can come see a dope Hip-Hop concert for grown folks and have all you can eat vegan pastries full of that yeah? Yes indeed. I'm sober and a diabetic, so I asked for the healthy cookies, and Quan obliged me by making me a full container of vegan/gluten free oatmeal raisin cookies. And mane where them MF's were delicious!!!

 TOO GROWN?

So I'm looking at this crowd, and most of them are early 40's and up, and there were alot of Black women who looked like they could be my mom's friends or my aunties. Like grown ass Black women. Me being a country boy, I feel unsure if they will respond to my "Fuck Donald Trump" chants, and quite frankly, I felt uncomfortable cursing in front of women I would naturally say yes and no ma'm too and hold doors for when we are entering or exiting establishments.

Because I was raised right.

I ask Quanstar will they respond, and he says, "Yeah, they gonna fuck with you fam."

DO WORK.

Once Quan reassures me I'll do fine, I remember that he knows exactly what I do, and that's why he brought me here. After Moe's set, DJ Coach K spins a few records, and Evaready introduces me. I go into my intro, and I get a lil' house on the "never pledged Kappa" line. When that happens I know the crowd will fwm, so it's lit. I start off with " Principles & Standards," and out the corner of my eye I see this brother taller and wider than me with his hands up goin' ham. The crowd is really rocking with me off rip, and it only intensifies when I hit em with "Henry Clay." A boom bap record that samples KRS One, and has chants from KRS and NWA really worked in front of this crowd that were prolly teenagners when these guys were poppin'. 


Next is "Hallelujah," the song I was uncomfortable with performing due to the "Fuck Donald Trump," chant, but when I prefaced the song and asked them could I do it, I got a resounding "YES!!!" One sister who looked like she could be the head of HR at a successful Black owned company even said, "Yeah, fuck that nigga."

Indeed.

So I go into "Hallelujah," and the very women who I thought I w boulde offended by my profane language had their middle fingers up saying fuck you to ya'll's POTUS. I start preaching at the end talking about the kids who are being raped, molested, and murdered after they've "detained" a.k.a. put in concentration camps, separated form their parents because they are trying to get asylum at the border. Because they were intelligent grown ups, they gave me Amens, and it felt great lol.



Now it's time for "#FreeBLKPPL," and once again, when that beat drops, all the brothers start noding and putting their hands in the air. The whole night the crowd has been receptive to all my call & responses and requests to put their hands up. After "#FreeBLKPPL," I kick my "quest to find religion" acapella, and ask the crowd to make prayer hands and bow their heads, and they oblige. I launch into "Stare & Whisper" and this DIY space filled with 40+ somethings full of alcoholic desserts turns into a church service. The song ends and I head to my merch table to slang something. I get to my table, and the first customer, a 40+ y/o Black woman, comes up and asks, "Where's the CD with that fuck Donald Trump on it?" I slang "Seven" to her. 

GOOD TIMES

Overall it was avery good show, with good people who do good business. I have no complaints, outside of that got damn Atlanta traffic. Shit. 

RATINGS:

Venue: 4/5. Dope. No real complaints.

Crowd: 4/5. They were older so I don't expect them to stand in front the stage all night, but come on mane. The did give me house on call & response and have their hands in the air everytime I asked tho.

Sound: 4.5/5. No complaints.

Merch: 3.5/5. Mane, my ppl in ATL ain't shop with me like talkin' bout.

Next show: 5/24/19 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma                                                  




Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Marcel P. Black #RapRecap #16 (4/27/19 in Charlottesville, Virginia)

BAG BACK...

Illadope and I wake up wild early so we can get my bag back. Thank God I was able to get shirts made in Roanoke and slang something, but this festival is the original reason for this whole trip. I am a co-headliner along with some underground Hip-Hop legends, and I'm being promoted as such. It's been 6 months since I've been to Charlottesville, and I made I huge impression. I strategically released the video to "Hallelujah" the Monday before I left for this show, because the video is contains footage from the bullshit Unite The Right Rally shot in Charlottesville, and was shot on location in Charlottesville by a videographer from Charlottesville. My guy Cullen a.k.a Fellow Man was the consumate host last time, and is a huge supportor of what I do. So it was imperative that I have merch, because I had a great feeling that people would shop with me.

We check out of our nice ass hotel, then catch 3 hours slab to Richmond where my bags were supposed to be after traveling God knows where with out me for the last 2.5 days. Mind you, we have to drive through Charlottesville to get to Richmond, as Richmond is a full hour and fifteen minutes past where the festival is located. I literally slept the whole way, till Illa wakes me up as we pull up in the terminal. I walk into terminal, and see my bag, and damn near break into a praise dance. The guy tells me the bag JUST got there, and that I have impeccable timing. 

I sign the papers, we head back to the hotel. We decided to just get a room in Richmond instead of Charlottesville since I fly out of Richmond the next day. The festival was slated to end at 8pm, so an 85 min ride back to the room wouldn't be so bad. 

GOOD VIBES FINALLY...

For once, everything is going right. We park, head over to the tent where the festival is taking place outside of a brewery. I see my OG Cesar Comanche, my road dawg Ghost Dog, and the great A.D. Carson, a Professor that teaches Hip-Hop at UVA. He was the guy who successfully presented his dissertation in form of a Hip-Hop mixtape. An all around bad brother. I run down to them the hell I've been through the last few days, and FINALLY set up my full merch display next to Cesar & Ghost's.

COME SHOP WITH ME

Mane, it's like people were waiting on me to set up my table. I made a quick $100 as soon as I set my table up. Alot of people remembered me from last time, some said they first heard of me from the video, from that wanted to see me live.  The "Real Emcees Dont Rap Over Vocals" tees were a hit! I only had limited amouts, and sold all but one asap at the festival. 

I WANNA ROCK RIGHT NOW!!!

My call time was 5:40pm, It's about 5:30pm, and the last act before me is finishing up. Illadope mans his position at the tables, and the host, my dog Remy St. Lacroix (a terrible dominoes player lol) announces a whole nother act. Both Illa and I look silly af getting all pumped up for a false start lol. Apparently someone had missed their performance spot earlier, so they went on before me, which actually worked out for me in the end because it gave me more time to hydrate, study the crowd, get my mental together. 

Finally, the act before me finishes, after rapping over entirely too many vocals, and Cullen starts to bring me up. He gives this epic announcement, people make noise, but noone moves to front. Illadope tells the crowd that we will not start the music until people crowd the front, and a few people move, but not many. Cullen is looking like, "Mane, we ain't got time for all that shit..." And I get it. They gotta be outta there by a certain time, after all this is on a Sunday evening, and this is an outdoor event. There were probally 250 outside, alot of people were sitting out side of the tent, but there werent' that many under it. I'm a veteran emcee who has the hunger of a rookie. I'll never stop needing to feel the need to earn my keep, so fuck it, I'm not gonna wait on them to move to the front, I'm going to make them move to the front.

IT'S THE MICROPHONE CHECKA...

I tell Illa to run the record, and hop immediately into "#CultureOverEverything." It's a rough ass start for 2 reasons, this is show #3 in 3 days, a night after inhaling wild tobacco smoke from Roanoke, so my voice is dry af. Also, Illa got the gotdamn BPM up high as it can go lol!!!! So I'm rapping this song wayyyyy faster than it should go, barely getting the bars off, at least that's how I felt. I've been working out hardbody to make sure I don't be getting winded, but a nigga ain't plan for this shit mane. 

Finally the hook comes, and I tell Illa to slow that bitch back down, and he does, and I finally find my groove. The crowd could tell too, because they no longer see me struggling to keep up, and kinda settle in once they figure out this fat Black ass nigga finna do this Hip-Hop shit. I get the crowd on my side with the "Culture Over Everything" chants, then cut the record to talk for a second so I can catch my damn breath. I begin to introduce "Principles & Standards," tell Illa to drop it, and he drops "Henry Clay" instead. Instead of correcting him, we play it off, and I rock the fuck out that bitch. Around this time, I see Wordsworth walking in the back of the crowd, and while people are talking to him, it seems I've peaked his interest, now I really gotta cut up. So I put more energy and animation into my voice, inclement hoarseness be damned, because I'll be damned if I don't rep in front of a legend.

The call & response aspects of the record go well with the hardcore ass boom bap ass beat, and now I've gained my wind back, finally finding my full groove, lowkey feeling myself. "Principles & Standards" comes on, and I'm batting a thousand. The crowd is filling up the front, heads are nodding, a few white women are dancing, and now they got they hands up when I direct them side to side. They really fucked with the "Real Emcees Dont Rap Over Vocals" chant, even the niggas before me who rapping over vocals said it. 

That's when you know you a dog.

SHOULD I, OR NAH?

In the group chat before the show, Cullen tells us to keep it PG-13. I ask him can I say "Fuck Donald Trump." Cullen knows what I do, that's why he brought me here. However, the whole night, Remy is telling people to watch their language. So now it's time for "Hallelujah," and I tell the crowd my dilemma. I ask Cullen again, from the stage, and he's out of fucks to give at this point, and gives me his blessing. For once, I wasn't apprehensive of saying it due to backlash from Deplorables, I was apprehensive because there were children out there. After all, it was an all ages show. As a father, I would love to take my kids to more rap shows, but I can't always be sure that the language will be appropriate so I don't. So we come to compromise, I will do a radio edit version of the record, sans the words "fuck" & "bitch." Instead of "Fuck Donald Trump" I said "Eff Donald Trump," and the crowd loved it. 

I still called Richard Spencer a "cracker" though. 

The crowd is with me full tilt, I'm really on my shit. All call & responses are loud af, and mad middle fingers are in the air. Next is "FreeBLKPPL" comes on, and when the beat drops, I see the brothers in the corner start grooving a bit. I run through it flawlessly, and end with "Cry Freedom." Mane, I soul'ed out with this one. I put all the anxiety, frustration, annoyances, inconconveniences, etc. into this last song, and I feel it really went well with the crowd. I left it all on stage. 

This was our first run of shows togther as Illadope being my official tour DJ, and though we had a lot of hiccups, I feel like we finally gelled as emcee & DJ by the end of the set. I hop off stage, and people flock to my merch table, and shop like a mf. I mean I sold ALOT of shirts, cd's and USB's, nearly double of what my performance fee was. Cullen Cash App's me my bread, and it's super lit.

AN APPROACHING LEGEND APROACHING A LEGEND

So it turns out that I end up sharing a merch table with Wordsworth. After my table slows down, I introduce myself, and he immediatley tells me my set was dope. I tell him that I've been a fan for 20 years, since before the Lyricist Lounge show aired on MTV, I got all the eMC albums, and I'm looking forward to "Champion Sounds." I love Hip-Hop so much, I still see guys like this through the lense of a 13 year old rap nerd who watches all things Hip-Hop on whatever station Viacom had playing rap music. Still that teenager who had subscriptions to Blaze, XXL, and the Source. Still that Okayplayer, Word Of South, All Hip-Hop, & SOHH.com guy at heart. I often have a hard time hiding my fanboyism when I meet rappers I admire, because I love Hip-Hop THAT MUCH, and I'm super greatful to be apart of the culture. 

So for him to tell me I had a dope set, meant sooooo much to me. But what he said next got me. When I told him I was a 20 fan, he told me, "After seeing you perform, I'm a fan now..."

*sheds #ThugTear...

Ya'll know what I been going through in 2019 as it pertains to self esteem and self worth as an emcee. I've been open about my insecurities as a rapper, as a businessman, my space in Hip-Hop culture period. Mr. Wordsworth doesn't know how much those words meant to me. We exhange contact info, he autograph's "Champion Sounds" for me (I got it damn near a month before it comes out, and that bih slap), I give him a USB of "The Black Experience." Of course I inquire about us working in the future, and we'll just see how that turns out.

I'll end it there.Thank you to Charlottesville, the good people at Rugged Arts, and the 9 Pillars Hip-Hop Festival for having me. Here's a few pics from the day...





RATINGS:

Venue: 5/5. Outside stage under a dope ass tent. 0 complaints.

Crowd: 5/5. Once Illadope & I got cookin', it was super lit. 

Sound: 5/5. Crisp af. 

Merch: 10/5. Top 3 merch sales days of all time for. I made alot of money. Thank you for shopping C'Ville.

Next Show: 5/11/19 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Marcel P. Black #RapRecap #15 (4/27/19 in Roanoake, Virginia)

TRYINNA GET THIS BAG


So if you've been reading, you know the North Carolina show was a disaster. Illadope and I waited around in North Carolina the next day as long as we could on the bags, but never gotta call from RDU. Finally I talked to someone and they said my bags were in freakin' Baltimore. Damn you Stringer Bell. I arranged to have them dropped off in Richmond the following day, so we can get them before the Charlottesville show. Which leaves me without merch. Again.

AN AFRICAN NIGGA NAMED PRECIOUS

Before I get into the "Search for Merch," lemme tell you how a mf tried to use my name, and THIS SHOW, to scam someone. 8 days before the show, the homie 9th Scientist from Little Rock texts me asking me do I know a nigga named Precious. A Nigerian nigga named Prescious, at that.

No, I don't know any Naija niggas named Precious, for the record.

9th tells me that Precious has a "management company," and offers his "services" in which you pay him $500, he will book you shows with a mininum of $2500. Then he sends 9th a flyer of a show that I'm playing with Poe Mack in Roanoke, kinda leading him to believe he booked the show. He told him he knows me from doing a show in Memphis.

Precious know he a Nigerian ass lie.



Precious round here tryinna use MY GOOD NAME to scam people who he didn't realize was my people. Apart of me is flattered that they think I'm worthy of being scam bait, I can't front. But fuck that. I have a sterling repuation in these indie/underground screets. So I tagged Prescious scamming ass on Facebook, and went live calling him out, only him out, on for him to block me. Ya'll know I love Mother Africa, my bro Joe is Nigerian, but this nigga must be kin to the Nigerians Jussie run with or something. I mean I hate that they gotta be Nigerian too, living up to that Nigerian scam artist stereotype, but shit mane. 

THE SEARCH FOR MERCH

Maybe Precious flim flam ass cursed this trip since I blasted him. Who knows? Anyones, back to the merch bag. So yeah, IDK when it's coming back in, and though Poe Mack got the hookup on the room (sans bed bugs) and I have a decent guarantee, I really can't afford to go another night with no merch. So like clockwork, Alfred calls me to check on the show, and I run everything down that happened in NC, as well as the bag situation. He suggests I make up a tour flyer, go to Kinkos and print them out to sell as autographed posters for $10. Not a bad idea. I tell Illadope, and he says we should go find a mall and see if they have a t-shirt printing stand and see if we can finessse something. I look up Fed Ex/Kinkos prices, and they were too expensive, so tees from the middle of the mall it is.

We go to one mall, and they don't have anything left there (this is the Cortana of Roanoke), let alone a tee printing place. So we ask a guy at a sports paraphanelia shop, and he sends us to the "good" mall. We finally get there and find the stand. Illadope asked me do I have cash, I say no, but I can throw him back via cash app. Luckily he has a slice (a $100 bill) on deck, and waits till the brother comes to the front. He tells the bald headed Black mane that we are on tour and our merch bag got lost, and we're tryinna get somethig for the night. He he says we're down to our last $100, and that we need to make something shake. He asks Moses Madome how many shirts we can get for $100 cash, and Oval Headenbacher stops to think for a second, waits for the two white ladies to leave, and says 10 for $100. 

Mind you, these tees are $15.99 a piece before taxes, so Heady Murphy is really giving us a deal. Illadope slides him the slizzle, and Tommy Strawn tells us that it'll take 2 hours to print, and that he'll give us a call when they're ready. We go get food at Buffalo Wild Wings in the mall, do some light shoe shopping, and finally Bald Revere calls us and tells us the shirts ready. Illadope designed the shirts on his laptop, it reads "Real Emcees Dont Rap Over Vocals."


FRESH BREWED

So, we get the tees, and head back to the hotel. Had a bout 2 hours to chill before it was time to head to the venue. We pull up ot the Coffee Pot right at 9pm. Alfred told me that they was kinda racist the last time he came, but I don't care. I've been thru so much bullshit this rip, I'm ready and willing to enage in fisticuffs is someone wants to fight. We go in, and see the homies Quanstar, Evaready Raw, and Might Moe Better, as well as Poe Mack. I'm running the stories of the last 2 days to Quanstar and guess who walks in....

THE CRAZY/SLIGHTLY RACIST WHITE WOMAN!!!!

WHAT IN THE SUPER DUPER FUCK!!! 

IS SHE A DAMN STALKER TOO!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

I try my hardest not to make eye contact with her, but I do on accident. She walks over and says hey, and I give her the coldest shoulder I can imagine. I don't have time for this right now.

STIR IT UIP

I order a burger, and mane was that bitch delicious. 

That ain't got shit to do with this, but I just felt that I should mention.

The show starts with Prop Joe going first, and he worked as hard as he could, but the crowd was not going. He was hopping off stage and standing on chairs and everything, but the crowd was either just standing on the side or sitting down in their seats. I'm like bruhhhh. This finna be rough.

Next is Quan, Raw, and Moe. They are seasoned performers, who will perform like they are in front of a packed stadium regardless of the crowd. Quan always performs barefoot, and always gives 1000%. I'm really impressed because he was in a terrible car accident in January, and has been nursing himself back to health, going to physical therapy and all, and was still hopping his shoeless ass around like nothing was wrong. gotta respeck that. They finally broke the crowd, but they had to work.

I WANT/DON'T WAN'T ALL THE SMOKE

This venue is an old fashioned road house. The regular crowd is mostly rough & tumble redneck bikers, cowboys, and all other types of white men who love a good bar room brawl, as well as the women who love them. And Virginia hasn't caught up to the rest of the country as it pertains to smoking inside of venues, so them mf's was puffin' all the tobacco in the venue, including by the stage. I asked Poe should I do "Hallelujah," and he said it may be a problem, but he was down to ride if a deplorable wanted plex. Still I'm debating should I do it or not. The inside by the stage had several Black people, it was the bar I was worried about. They look like the type of white folks that barely tolerate niggas. Illadope plays dead prez as he brings me to see how people will react, and the room was indifferent.

*Kanye (before he sold us out) shrug...

I start off with my acapella, and got light love. Then I hit em with "Bad Man," and it took a second for them to warm up. They really didn't know what to expect. Half way thru the song, a group of people in the front all seem to light up cigs at the same damn time. Then Poe Mack walks in front the stage with a lit Black N Mild. I get a good gulf of that cancerous air, and feel my throat burning. Remember this is the first gotdamn song, so I know I gotta nip this shit in the bud asap.

Before I begin "Black God Fresh," I tell the crowd I am not accustomed to the smoke in the venue, and asked them could they refrain from blowing the smoke towards the stage. They were cool about it. The song begins, and the crowd got into it pretty quick, to my surprise. I inform the crowd we're about to go into the "backpack rap" portion of the show, then go into "Principles & Standards," which goes over just a tad above decent. All of the rappers in the room like it, the casual fans were indifferent. 

I feel my voice going out because of the smoke, so I take a longer sip of water before "Henry Clay," because I'ma need all the voice I can for the Charlottesville show the next day. I make a conscious effort to dial back my voice a bit, choosing to over exaggerate my movements to sell the the songs, and it worked. "Henry Clay" goes very well, to the point where I look at Illadope and ask, "Should I do it?"

He nods yeah, and I tell the story of the song, honest with them about my reservations. I also tell them I'm with THIS type of smoke if there's an issue. I do my courtesy ask can I say "Fuck Donald Trump," to a resounding yes, surprisingly. Mane I go into it, and it goes off like gang busters. I'm finally moving on all cylinders, so "#FreeBLKPPL" was easy. I end on "Stare & Whisper," going all the way to church, and the crowd went with me. I go to my table, and this white guy with a bikers denim vest meets me at the table to buy 2 shirts to tell me how he likes how I "spoke the fucking truth," and to "never worry about offending these fucking fascist motherfuckers."

Duly noted. 

ILLADOPE VS. CRAZY/SLIGHTLY RASCIT WHITE WOMEN

I sell enough shirts to cover what I spent making them immediately. There's more rappers for the night, but that's not interesting. What is interesting is how the Crazy/Slightly Racist White Woman is now apparently a stalker. 

While we're sitting by my merch table, she asks him to come to her table and talk to him. He tells her with a blank face, "No." 

He comes out the bathroom, she asks to come talk to her, he says, "No."

She walks up to the DJ booth WHILE HE'S SPINNING and asks him to talk to her. he says, "No." 

Those are just the times I saw with my own eyes. Before we leave, she comes to our table, and says, "It was nice to meet you" to Illadope, and "It's nice to see you again," to me.

Get Out!!!

Bu bu but wait it gets worse!!! After I break down my merch table, settle up with Poe Mack, and dap Quan & crew up, we head towards the exit only to see this pregnant white lady behind the bar who had been drinking and smoking cigs all night saying "nigga" like Trinidad James on "All Gold Everything." Me & Illadope look at each other like, "Is this real life?" 

Hop in the rental, stop by the store for water, head back to the hotel for rest. We gotta get up earlier than normal so we can get my bags in Richmond (a 3 hour ride) by 12:45pm, and be back in Charlotesville by 3:30pm (an hour away from Richmond). We made it out alive, and no, Precious' ass was not there.

RATINGS:

Venue: 3.5/5. The performance area was pretty decent, the venue staff pretty nice. Taking off points for the smoke and the white lady saying "nigga" with reckless abandon.

Crowd: 3.5/5. They rocked with me, but I couldn't really get them to put their hands up, to stand up, or to come to the stage. They appreciated what I did, as I do feel I converted them towards the end, but they were a li'l more chill that I prefer.

Sound: 4/5. No real complaints. 

Merch: 4/5. I sold enough shirts to make what I spend back, so I'm happy.

Next show: 4/28/19 in Charlottesville, Virginia.