5.5 years ago, Locksmith and I are on the same stage at A3C. I was so drunk after my set, I barely remember meeting him, I didn't see him perform. 2 years ago, he comes to New Orleans on tour, Justin Ivey, Mark Dub (Part Mane/Part Thug), and I pull up on him. I'm sober, we reconnect. That November, he texts me and says that he wants to come to BR the next time on tour, and his guy will hit me up, enter J. Lately.
Jay is booking the tour, extremley easy to work with and an extremely nice guy. Also, the tour has a young cat I'd rocked with before, Leon the God, from New Orleans, but we met in Pensacola. I end up booking the tour for 2 stops, in Baton Rouge, as well as Mobile, Alabama. Both shows were great shows, neither were packed out crowds, but I busted my ass as a promoter. So much as to both Jay and Leon told the lady who produced the tour, Miss Brianna, that I did good business, that I'm a hard worker, and that I also whip ass on the microphone. She and I built a relationship, so when she said she had a couple of shows in the Bay she wanted to come out to, it was a no brainer. I went to perform in the Cali for the first time last summer, Oakland to be exact, and was very well recieved, damn skippy I'm gonna take this opportunity.
COLD AF, HIGH AS HELL...
When I get on the plane in NoLa, it's 75 degrees. I have a layover in Denver, and it's snowing like a mf, 11 degrees, eff all that. Finally we get to San Francisco, and it's like 45 degrees. Cali hard down cappin on that warm sunny weather all year around. They shut down schools for temperatures below 40 in South Louisana, I'm not with this at all. So we go to her mom's house, and as soon as I come it, I smell the gas. And I ain't talkin' bout flatulence or petro either. I knew weed was legal in Cali, but this shit was LEGAL LEGAL. After we had a rap family dinner, several edible cookies, gummies, sugar with THC, and other baked goods were passed out, and I don't do drugs, and I had to keep reminding people that I don't partake. Like constantly. Noone could remember I kept saying no, because THC lol.
Fast forward, we head to the venue in Santa Cruz, literally on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. I'm a country nigga, so I love to see shit like that. Finally we pull up to the venue, seems pretty dope. I set my merch up, and as I'm settin up, to heavy set Hispanic brothers came to introduced themselves. One guy kinda stood in the cut and didn't say the much, while I think I got banged on by the other guy who told us he just got out of doing an 8 year stretch in Pelican Bay for acts of Thuggery. He told us he loved Boosie and that's all he listen to in the pen when I told him I came there from Baton Rouge, and he told us that this city is for the Nortenos, and that it's all love and respect, but just know where we were, and that it would behoove us not to get it fucked up. I was confused, becuase I've been banged on several times, but never this politely. He then tells up that he wanted to go "find some hoes," no misogyny, but if I'm home from a 8.5 year joce, I'm tryinna see where they at too. I go ask the homie AlterEgo what happened, and he breaks down Hispanic gangs for me. Aight.
My #1 objective was to impress Brianna, and give everybody this work. As you know, I've been in the gym hard and eating healthy, to the point I've lost right about 40 lbs since September. I want this, but now it's time to show & prove. My #2 objective was to impress the brothers with Clear Soul Forces, because guys are dope af, and I want them to think I am too.
I go up second. No acapella, straight in to "Bad Man." The homie before me kinda did that laid back Currensy style flow, so I came with all this down south, urgent, country ass, baptist church miltant energy, and everyone was taken aback. from there I go into "Black God Fresh," and all my call & responses went really well. I knew CSF are boom bap guys, I hit em with "Henry Clay," to show I'm layered. From there I tell my story of how Lafayette played me last year, and go into "Hallelujah." Folk in the bay don't fuck with Trump, so I fuck with them. Then I end by going back to the swamps church services, and hit em with all the southern soul revolutionary gospel rap they can handle with "Stare & Whisper." That song always works, because it's a sped up soul sample like the old Kanye when he was dating Alexis and Donda (God bless the dead) was still alive, but it's still country rap tunes, and the stories I tell are very real and jarring if you're not a southerner and having to deal with these white folks like we do. I have a pretty good set, not clean as I wanted too, but I gave work, so NDC.
I get off the stage to mad daps. One guy tells me he's from Louisana, moved to Cali after Katrina, and was homeless for years untill he started a glass blowing business where he makes custom fancy ass glass pipes to smoke dope from. Buddy shake his life back to the point of being able to cop a crib in the mountains where he traps pipes out of his crib and makes a solid living. He does all this talking for 20 mins, and don't buy shit.
He was a nice guy tho. The rest of the night goes on, and Clear Soul Forces rock, and damn was I impressed. I had heard of them in passing but never know how dope they were. I'm a fan fan. Me and their manager get to running it, and let's just say we friends now.
*Stevie J hand rub...
Shows over, and the kind thug Mexican gangbanger comes back and is mad he missed the show. He politely set trips on us again, all while saying he respects us. And then dips. We head back to San Fran, so we can begin part 2 of this story.
Venue: 4/5. Perfect spot for an underground Hip-Hop show. Really friendly and accomating staff. I'd def peform again.
Crowd: 3.75/5. No cap, it was a 300 cap room, with maybe 60 ppl. The ppl who were there enjoyed the show, just woulda been better with more people
Merch Sales: 4/5. Did pretty good moving product off the table. Coulda sold more but the glass pipe guy kept talking, and he was lowkey annoying so people didn't want to come over.
Sound: 3/5. No monitors for playback, so I felt I had to yell to be heard. The bartender was running back and forth from the bar to the soundbooth, and I kinda got the short end of the stick, but everyone said they can hear me find, so again, NDC.
"Bad Man" (from "Black Collar")
"Black God Fresh" (Unreleased)
"Henry Clay" (from "Black Soul")
"Hallelujah" (from "Seven")
"Stare & Whisper" (from "Cry Freedom")
2/7/19 in San Francisco, CA