A Marcel P. Black Travel Blog
Date: Friday January 12th, 2018
City: Jackson, MS
Venue: Hal & Mal’s (Red Room)
Show: 1 – City:1 – State: 1
Happy New Year ya’ll? First off shout to my man Thrilla from Defmatic.com for housing the #15StatesOrBust Tour Blog last year. For some reason, I’m not really sure why, but we didn’t finish what we started, probably because we’re bother insanely busy with both our personal & professional lives. No hard feelings at all, but in true only child/indie rapper fashion, I don’t like waiting for others to do for me what I can do forself.
So welcome to marcelpblack.com, this is the “#FromBatonRougeToJerusalem Travel Blog” (it’s a Jay Electronica reference, #FreePalistine), a space where I write about the life of an indie/underground/non-traditional conscious Hip-Hop artist.
And oh yeah, I DID COMPLETE 15 STATES!!! Maxed out on 17 to be exact. Hooray Black!!!
“I need a new nigga for this black cloud to follow
‘Cause while it's over me it's too dark to see tomorrow”- Nas
Bruhhhh…. I been goin’ thru the scruggle mane. Long story short, I musta been trash in ’17, cuz Santa gave me the flu for Christmas. I stayed at my parents’ house and missed all the Xmas activities while home in Oklahoma, feeling terrible. Once I get back to BR I realize my water heater busted and had consequentially flooded my dining room, and all three bedrooms. In fact, I’ve been staying at my wife’s coworker’s (read my wife’s Baton Rouge mama) house since we got back. I actually write this blog from her living room, as I STILL have not been able to move back in my crib yet.
2018 & I been beefin’, & I was looking to blow off wild steam in my second rap home, JAfrica, JUSA, bka Jackson, MS for their 3 annual Jackson Indie Music Week Festival, which I’ve been a part of since it’s inception. If anybody knows me, they know JXN hold a special place in my heart, for it’s the first city on the road I went to and built a buzz in on my own. Since 2011, I’ve been going to JXN about 5-7 times a year to perform, record, shoot videos, podcast interviews, go to concerts, and got to strip clubs (more on this later). I have so many friends out there and I pull up so often, that folk don’t even be surprised to see me now. I’m an honorary Ju.
I bring my right hand/Director of Function Mark Dubb with me, so you know it’s about to be lit because he’s just lit period. We pull up in JXN about 5:30 PM & decide go straight to the venue where soundcheck is at 6:30 pm. At 6 pm, we’re the first people there, so in true Oklahoma Sooner fashion, I take this opportunity to find the prime spot to set up my merch table. The other rappers fall in later, including James Crow, Alfred Banks, & Coke Bumaye. DJ Sean Mac, fellow alum of my Alma Mater Souther University, comes in we do soundcheck. Ya’ll know I hate sound checking, I’m very superstitious behind, it, because I’m afraid some rappers’ gonna hear what I’m doing and try to use it against me. Paranoid, but hey, stranger things have happened. But I go ahead and do it for the culture. Finish soundchecking, hang around for a bit, then my bro 5th Child hops in the van with Mark & I as we go to his crib, where we always stay, to change clothes.
“You can catch the bus if you run, but oh no, the game don’t wait”- Nate Dogg
As I pull back up to the venue at 8:30 pm, I get a call from all asking me where I was. He tells me James Crow is done and I go up next. Apparently I missed the memo when set times change, I thought I was to go on at 9:05 pm, but apparently it was 9:05 pm. Aight bet, 8:35 it is. Donyale asks do I want an introduction, I say yes, and them the instrumental to “BR7MC” plays. So much for an introduction I guess lol. I go up there, and get a pretty decent response. I see a few of my rapper friends, some #FadeTheFlowAlumni who’ve know I’m that guy in BR, but have only seen me in a facilitator role, and other folk that I’ve gotten to know in JXN pretty well. Kick an acapella, then go into “Stare & Whisper,” which always goes over well in Black ass cities I call “Soul Cities” like Jackson. Places where people enjoy stories about the struggle, and tryinna get up out that bih. Then I do my “5 things” segue way into “Where I Stay,” and they vibing with me. Jackson is THE Dirty South, so a Pimp C sample over some southern ass production is always gonna get their attention.
Now we get to “Seven.” Though JXN is my second home, I wasn’t able to able to route any dates thru JAfrica last fall after “Seven” dropped, so this is the first time I’m performing these records here. I start with “Hallelujah,” which employs my infamous “Fuck Donald Trump” hook, which is always a crap shoot, but it semi-worked. For a mostly Black crowd who is always pretty woke they weren’t scared, but did seem hesitant to say #FDT. When I finished the song, I asked did I scare any white people, and they were like, “No, we’re right here bro!!!.” Thanks D’Wight Mane.
Next I rock “#FreeBLKPPL,” & kinda lost the crowd. That song is so heavy, and it doesn’t sound like anything out right now, so I gotta find a better place to put the song in my setlist, or just take it out all together. It really slows the night down for me, and makes me over rap to get the crowd back the next song. Mind you this is the first time I’ve performed since 12/16/17 in Asheville, NC, I’ve been battling flu, sinus infections, colds etc. I was coughing all the way up to JXN, worried would I even be able to get a bar off when was rhyming or not. And because I sweat a lot, I cramp on stage.
Sho’nuff, last song “Freedom Music” is on deck, I feel the cramps in my side begin pinching my lungs, and the phlegm in my throat wants perform too. The sister that sings the hook on the project is named Victoria Cross, and is actually the new bride of the house DJ Sean Mac. I was hoping she would pull up and sing with me, but she had mommy duties to tend to, so it’s just me DJ Side Cramps & MC Fila Phlegm on this rip. I slur a couple words on the first verse, but get thru it and the hook. I cut the beat & kick the second verse acapella, because I knew I wasn’t gonna get thru it unscathed, because Fila Phlegm was dying to make a cameo. I ask Donny can I do one more so I can leave on a strong note, she said yes. My muscle memory kicks in, and I somewhat redeem myself with “Cry Freedom.”
I actually feel I had a good set, but the crowd was only like 67% into the show. Like they did my call & responses, they put their hands up, but they put they did the call & responses kinda unenthusiastically, and ain’t extend they arms fully when I told them to put they fists up. Chizzle later told me that that was more of them being burned out due to hearing live music for a smooth 5 days, with the crowd often going to 3-5 venues a night. Oh, ok.
The other side of being a traveling emcee is the extracurriculars we engage in when we pull up in your city. Everyone knows I like to do three things: Eat local, sneaker shop, & go to strip clubs. I go so many friends in JXN & I come up there so much, that I feel mad comfortable parlaying in the city. Don’t get it twisted, it’s still “JACK-Town,” but I speak Ju fluently, I know the ledge.
“If you tip, tippin, you’z a lame & that’s that”- Li’l Bow Wow
Mark & I leave the venue looking for an ATM downtown. After having trouble finding one, we decide to head towards the venue hoping to find an ATM along the way, and there is. Mind you, it’s payday, I’ve been having a rough go at it as of late, we in my fav city with my #1 road dawg, and I’ve had my best strip club memories in JXN previously. Nigga it’s lit.
Mane, picture why the MF ATM machine ATE MY DEBIT CARD!!!
After trying to get my shit out the machine with some tweezers, I start laughing to keep from crying. This some’oll BULLSHIT. Fuck it. We go to KOD JXN anways. We go in, it’s a nice spot. We was apprehensive about going in so early, because that’s when you food to these young lades attack you and try go get they nights off to a good start. We for once I wish we was food. We sat in a STRIP CLUB FOR AN HOUR AND SAW 0 STRIPPERS… The waitress, who was quite fine, said that since they close at 6, ppl normally don’t pull till around 2 AM. It’s nearly 1 AM and we’d been there since 11:45 PM. So we bounced. Got some IHOP, went to 5th’s house & laid it down. Thanks a lot Obama….
Venue Rating: 4/5
Crowd Response: 3.5/5
Merch Sales: 4/5
Next Show: January 19th, San Antonio, TX @ The Limelight