HOME IS WHERE THE HATRED IS....?
I could be totally wrong, and I hope I am.
But this time, I didn't feel that way. If you read the last blog, I really took that to heart, and walked into the venue for load in feeling like the baddest MF in the city.
EVERYTHING I DO IS "4THA CLTR"
If you've been paying attention, you know that me & M Slago's "4Tha CLTR" EP dropped, 3.22.19. This particular show is lowkey a half EP release party... Kinda? Got new "4Tha CLTR" tees on the table, along with "The Black Experience" USB drives, which contain all 11 of my projects, 5 videos, two singles. I believe in doing at least one show at home on my tours, gotta give the ppl who do support MPB on a genuine level the opportunity to support. Though I plan to be more present in the scene I created, I still don't do a lot of shows in BR, so when I do, I gotta make em count.
AND THEN THERE WAS 3...
The homie Rec Riddles from Jersey canceled on me at the last minute, so now our 4 man show is a 3 man show. I pull up to the venue and see Dolla Black (no relation), and we greet each other like old friends do. I've known Dolla since 2011 when he was in Dem Boyz, still at Tougaloo, before he was a husband and a father. We hit it off back then, and have become very close ever since. We set up our merch, and talk about fatherhood, mental health, employment, and all other things Black men who are husbands and fathers talk about nowadays. Sole Lab BR sets up and the vibe is hella cool. I run to Burger King and get something to eat (don't worry, I had the points for it), and upon return lowkey fuss at the guy who booked the show, articulating my frustrations with the lack of promotion for the show from the venue, ESPECIALLY if we splitting the door 50/50. He tells me, "I've been busy," which kinda pisses me off, but it is what it is. I'll save that discussion for later.
Doors are now open, and people are slowly trickling in. Joe Scott, 2X #FadeTheFlowSundays Alumni, and one of my fave young artists in the city, is hosting tonight, and now he pulls up. Ya'll know I'm a stickler for shows starting on time, and this one will be no different.
LET'S START THE SHOW...
First up is another 2x #FadeTheFlowSundays Saze. TK first did #FTFS when the event was in it's infancy in 2016 and he killed it. So much he was invited back to our All-Star show on our first #FTFS Anniversary in June 2017, he killed that MF too. Since then he's done shows in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Birmingham, Alabama, Jackson, Mississippi, and a few other places. Some I sent him to, some he made this own connects. Extremely talented. What I like about him is his soul. Saze is from North Baton Rouge, and you can hear all of the pain and struggle in his raps. It's somewhere between turn up and tragedy, Swisher Sweet's full of that loud and soul searching. He opens up the show with songs that range from lit to love to lyricism. Someone said he had "Uzi Vert hooks with with Hip-Hop ass verses." He kills his set, the show energy is great.
Next up is Dolla Black. Dolla has the voice I feel I should have being 6'4 400lbs. I always beat myself up for not having a deep voice, and I always wanna rob Dolla for his. Dolla said that this was his first road show of the year, and I'm so happy he decided to do it with us. He runs through his catalouge, and even pulls out a few of my old favorites (I'm mad he didn't do "All Day" though). Ya'll know how Jackson rappers do when they come to Baton Rouge, they always kill shit. Dolla did no different.
NO GAMES BEING PLAYED
As I get ready to go on stage, there are people tryinna buy stuff, meanwhile I'm tryinna get in the zone to rap. On cue, Mike plays "Kill Jill," my favorite ring entrance music. Joe Scott introduces me, we go straight into the "4Tha CLTR Intro" from the EP, which Buckshot from the legendary Black Moon is ranting about how the industry has made it wack to represent Hip-Hop culture. The skit is over, and I rock the song "#CultureOverEverything" for the first time. It's not as clean as I like it, but it goes over well. The homie John Teller knows the words it seems lol. The event is called "CultureOverEverything," so it only makes sense I start with this song.
Next is the lead single to the newly released EP, "Principles & Standards." Ya'll remember how I fucked it up in Pensacola? Nah... I hit that bih this time lol. John Teller is still saying the words loud af, and it has me hype mane. I end the record with a "real emcees don't rap over vocals" chant, the crowd laughs, and says the chant with me. One thing that's funny about this song, is that people are saying me doing this boom bap record is one of my best songs ever, like this is new to me. I came in the game doing boom bap and Baton Rouge motherfuckers would told me it would never work, because nobody wants that shit. Now I do it and it's the greatest thing since sliced bread lol?
So because I'm petty, I hit them with "Henry Clay" which dropped in 2011, to show them that I've BEEN on this Hip-Hop/boom bap shit since the door, and ya'll just been sleep. Mind you, my wind and energy is A-1, so I'm in my bag like a MF. Bout 8 bars into the song, the damn beat goes out, and I keep rapping like that shit was still there. Mind you, the first verse of "Henry Clay" is 24 bars, so I kicked the rest of the verse, did the KRS "Sound of The Police" call & response, then back to the 2nd verse, all with no beat. I get into the second verse, and Sole Lab tried to scratch the beat in, and while I'm still rapping I turn around and wave to him to stop, bc I'm cooking and he prolly won't be able to catch me where I'm at on the songs. I finish the second verse and do the NWA "Fuck The Police" chant, and the crowd is all in.
At this point the crowd, especially the rappers in the crowd see I really really do this shit. A rookie woulda stopped and asked to start over. A vet continues rocking, and actually takes this opportunity to rock out even harder. Now I'm feeling myself.
Next is "Hallelujah," and you know how that goes. A light moshpit starts to the "Fuck Donald Trump" call and response chorus, and it's lit af. Then I roll into "#FreeBLKPPL," which goes over really well, and I end by calling KP Soul up to the stage for "Cry Freedom." I pour my whole soul out, and we go all the way to church. The crowd is so into it, I'm so into it, I don't feel like stopping rapping. I literally said "Mane I don't feel like stopping." The crowd was like, "Keep going!!!"
S/o @ Planet Fitness mane. I've been on stage damn near 30 mins and I'm nowhere near tired.
I go to the flash drive and tell Mike to pull up "Live My Love" and "BR7MC." The younger people in the crowd weren't around for "Black Collar," so they don't know "Live My Love" or that it was once premiered by Chuck D on his radio show years ago, but they know/hate/love "BR7MC." I was feeling myself, and wanted to end talking shit. That was me legit overcoming whatever insecurities or anxiety I have about rapping at home and reminding every BR rapper in that room that I'm they're OG and I get's fucking busy.
When I finish, they STILL want me to keep going, someone says encore... I was in my bag fareal mane. I have to go back to my flash drive AGAIN to get Sole Lab the music. A great problem to have.
I ask the crowd what do they want me to do, Joe, who is working the camera, says "Do '1Luv' mane..." I do the record, and these young guys REALLY don't know this song, bc it came out in 2010, but I rip that bih. "1Luv" was my orignal closing anthem in which I took ppl to church, and the hook alone will get you in ur feels. It's arguably top 5 favorite songs I've ever created.
Show is over, I preach about the importance of us sticking together as a Hip-Hop community, and that I'm looking to see who is gonna step up and take this torch when I pass it. Great show. Sell merch, pack up, go home.
Venue: 3.5/5. The place is perfect for an intimate underground Hip-Hop show. My complaints are the lack of promotion on the venues end, and the door people just let anyone in who says they are on the list. It's like they are scared to make them pay, and that prolly took a solid $100 out the back end of the show. Never again.
Crowd: 5/5. Crowd wasn't as big as my last BR show, but no matter becaue they wanted 2 encores. Made me feel special lol.
Merch Sales: 4/5. No CD's sold, but sold wild tees and USB flash drives. No complaints.
Sound: 3/5. They mostly do punk rock and hardcore metal shows there, so they speakers are kinda crazy. I had a few people tell me the sound wasn't that good, but it didn't stop me from killing shit, so NDC.
3/27/19 in New York City, New York