Friday, February 2, 2018

Marcel P. Black Travel Blog #3

A Marcel P. Black Travel Blog
Date: Saturday January 26th, 2018
City: Tallahassee, Florida
Venue: 621 Gallery (Annex)
Show: 3 – City: 3 – State: 3

            In 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.

            Well 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).

            Since 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

            So 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.

            I replied, “But go pull up on my homies, what you got up?”

            Big Nigga was like, “Mane IDK what’s shakin, I ain’t from here.”

            Me, “Same. It’s sad because it ain’t no strip clubs out here…”

            Big 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 Baymont… Lawd.

            I 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 table.

First 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.

The 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.

The energy 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!!!

Buddy 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.

I don’t 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:

“Say Big Dog, wassup with that Guthrie’s tho…”

I’m like 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

WHAT. IN. 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?”

Ya’ll 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…

MAAAAANNNNNNNNNNEEEEEEEE LOOK… He didn’t have my new number, so when he texted “Marcel P. Black” it went to my maroonmusic @ 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)

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Marcel P. Black Travel Blog #2

A Marcel P. Black Travel Blog

Date: Saturday January 20th, 2018
City: Houston, Texas
Venue: The Secret Group
Show: 2 – City: 2 – State: 2

            Mane hol’ up… The last time I did a show in Houston was May of 2017. I did my “Hip-Hop Is Alive” concert there and booked all Houston acts that I either went to college with, or made friends with in my years of doing shows in Houston. One of them being Kyle Hubbard, an incredible emcee, and really good guy. He’s been tryinna bring me to Houston for a long time, the time was finally right, and he made it happen.

            Originally, I was supposed to do San Antonio too, but I got the call to come begin the process of moving back into my apartment that day, so I opted to cancel the San Antonio show so I can move back in. Though I hate cancelling, the show wasn’t gonna pay as much as I normally get aaaaannnndddd it was an 8 ½ hour trip. My wife wanted to go because her sister who we haven’t seen in like 7 yrs was lives there, and even though I had my main mane Mark Dub riding with me, it just ain’t really make sense to not adult and move back in to do that show. Bad timing, hopefully they don’t think I’m a flake and they’ll book a real nigga again.

            Update: We’re moved back in!!!

            However I didn’t cancel the Houston show. HTX is only 4 ½ hours away, a pretty easy slab. We pick up Part Man/Part Thug and head to Houston, pull up at my wife’s soror’s crib in Katy, a big ase suburb of Houston. We’re kinda late, so I hurry up & change then head on back into the city, an hour drive from where we are.

Avoid TF Out That Lava…

            Though I was a special guest, I was really there to open for my man Casey aka Full Metal for the release of his stellar LP “Avoid The Lava.” This dude can really rap, as well as Kyle and my guy Virgil Wolfe. DJ Discipline is on the tables spinnin’ real ass Hip-Hop, I realize I can’t play with these boys tonight. While I’m at the table, Mark tells me my boy David aka Dirty of Dirty & Nasty along with his wife Dara. D tells me that since that he had to come because he didn’t wanna fail the #PullUPChallange, which I found hilarious with all the respect in the world. Long story short, I had a lot of people who say they fool with me tough or wanna work with me not pull up when I came to they city last year. I told folk this year, if you don’t pull up when I’m in town, we ain’t got nothing to talk about. Well D accepted the challenge & pulled up, so we gonna build. 

            Virgil goes up first, and rhymes his ass off. Good energy, good productions, really good raps. Next up is Kyle, who is the scenes local hero, and he’s going for it too. I’m like shit, I can’t come outchea and get washed like that. Another note, my guy D-Risha is supposed to come, and I haven’t seen him in like 3 years, and I know he wants me to put on a dope show, so I can’t afford to even have a mediocre tonight.

            Kyle finishes and D-Risha comes in. You can tell this nigga ain’t been out in a minute since fatherhood/family life has him working hard af to provide the wonderful life for his daughter and fiancĂ©. He was lit af, and I mad at him one bit. I start off with “BR7MC,” and Risha is screaming “talk yo shit Black” at the top of his lungs, in the front of the stage, and it’s giving me all the like. Then I hit em with an acapella, going straight into “Stare & Whisper” adding a li’l crowd participation to it, which I normally don’t do, but it’s working tonight.

            Next is my 5 things, and into “Where I Stay,” which has a Pimp C sample on the hook, so I was hoping it would go well, and it did. More really good call & response. None better than “Hallelujah” though, a song in which I have a room of roughly 60 mostly white Texans screaming “Fuck Donald Trump” at the top of their lungs. Mark told me one guy was looking mad uncomfortable, but he ain’t wanna fight, so NDC.

            I hit em with “FreeBLKPPL” next, one of my all time favorite songs that I still haven’t figured out how to perform yet. I manage through it and before I’m bout to “Freedom Music,” they tell me I only have time for one my song. I chose “Cry Freedom” for 2 reasons:

1.      It has a Journey sample and crowd is mostly all white.
2.      On “Freedom Music” I profess the Black Woman is God, but there’s no Black women in the room (#Wypipo wins again… smh).

Lemme Find Out You Racist Against Jesus & God
“Cry Freedom” goes over well, another mostly white crowd in the South I converted with these Black ase raps. I then go to my table and sell tf out some merch. One the way to the table, a white guy stops me and says, “I’m a Christian too, I didn’t understand anything else you were saying because of our different experiences, but I support rappers who are Christians.” I tell him I believe Jesus was Black and that God is a Black woman. He looks puzzled, I dap him and tell him to come to the table, he never shows up. Lemme find out you racist against Jesus & God lol…

“After the show It’s the After Party…”- Jay Z
After Casey kills it I sell more cd’s & shirts, then head over to the big side of The Secret Group for their “90’s Dance Party” which didn’t play all 90’s music, but they played nothing but dance hits from all genres, and it was lit. Mostly Mexicans and White folks, but mane they knew every song that played, and we cut up.

3 Dope things me & Mark witnessed:

1.      A small Black dude dressed like Ini Kamoze whom we called the “Hot Stepper” who came in for dolo literally vibed with every type of MF in the club including Black’s, Whites, Gays, Latinos, Asians… That nigga was intersectional af.

2.      A tall Asian lady tryinna make her booty clap to some ignorant rap song. She failed miserably, but what she lacked in booty she made up with in heart.

3.      I had no idea Daft Punk’s “One More Time” is White People’s GOAT club banger. That bih came on and White folks lost they mind. Which led me on a journey to figure out what touches White peoples’ souls… Stay tuned for my findings.

At the end of the night we had a great time, got some fire Whataburger, and headed on back Sunday afternoon. Another successful show in the books, def felt like I shook that monkey off my back with this show.

Venue: 4.5/5 (Small, but perfect for an underground Hip-Hop show)
Crowd Response: 4/5
Sound: 4/5
Merch Sales: 4/5