9/10/2019 0 Comments
In celebration of West Coast's hip-hop scene, Red Bull collaborated with LA rapper Buddy for his first headlining show Holla At Ya Boy at the Hollywood Fonda.
Hip-Hop is shifting for the better as new voices are finally getting the recognition that they deserve. With this shift, a new form of rap has been brewing. The combination of rap storytelling, gospel and artistry have pushed forward a new category of hip-hop and its leading cast of rappers such as Buddy, Smino, Saba and many more. Though still growing, Buddy's career has caught a lot of attention recently. From early collaborations with music's finest to even a star-standing spot on J.Cole's collaboration album Revenge of the Dreamers 3, 2019 is the year for Buddy. To celebrate his success and his birthday, Buddy partnered with Red Bull to throw his first headlining show "Holla At Ya Boy". This show explored the growing career of Buddy and showcased the talents of him and his friends. All of the artists also decided that proceeds for the show would go back to Buddy's hometown Compton.
Simmie Sims III (Buddy) comes from a religious background, and his father was the church's preacher and choir director. This musical upbringing influenced him to be a part of his school's plays and musicals. His interest in musicals was not the standard Compton-boy upbringing but, this artsy influence allowed Buddy to be recognized for his talents at an early age. The singer-rapper caught the ear of Pharrell and at the age of 15, Buddy was signed to Pharrell's hip-hop collective I am OTHER. After working with The Neptunes, he went onto collaborate with several artists such as Nipsey Hussle, Chance the Rapper, A$AP Rocky and more.
The Fonda Theatre is one of our favorite locations due to the larger stage and smaller crowd setting. It is nearly impossible to not see the stage from any location within the room. Crowds of people gathered outside for the inexpensive show which promised amazing acts Buddy and a couple of friends. As the sold out crowd made their way into the venue, a line of people went toward the bar to order Red Bull infused styled beverages (all named by Buddy of course). There was a small photo opp at the beginning of the venue. Fans made their way inside the Fonda theatre and were greeted by Dj Ceddy Ced.
After a couple of tunes from Ced, The first artist on stage was Oakland rapper Guapdad 400. The artist took advantage of his stand-alone set performing singles from his growing discography.
Lucky for fans the wait for the next artist wasn't too far away. Suddenly, the man of the hour Buddy appeared on the stage to perform an energetic 90-minute set. Buddy showcased music from critically acclaimed releases Harlan and Alondra and Idle Time. These hits included "Type of S**T," "Real Life Sh*t," and more. As the show went on Buddy decided to go for an unusual itinerary by bringing out artists one by one during songs the artist were specifically on. He brought out Kent James, Inglewood SIR, and Boogie to perform his fave songs from their respective albums. As the night got later, more of Buddy's friends appeared on stage to perform their new wave of music. Buddy brought the energy from nine until midnight and the crowd loved every minute of it. Our highlight of the night, however, would be the Dreamville portion of the concert. Reuniting after the amazing summer drop of Revenge of the Dreamers 3, the artists featured on the album made their way to the event. Buddy, Guapdad 400, Bas, and Smino performed hits such as "1993" and "Wells Fargo".
What these artists continuously bring to the stage, once again proves that this generation of rap should not be taken lightly. By blending gospel, rap, and soul -artists like Buddy are changing the pace of the music industry. We for one are excited to finally see something different and appreciate the amount of recognition these artists are receiving.
Various festivals for the summer seemed to have been clouded by controversy and loss! One of the huge ones was the Sweden assault arrest of rapper A$AP Rocky. Video evidence almost ruined the Harlem rapper's young career, weeks after being announced as the headliner of Real Street Fest. Just a week before the festival Rocky officially got the clear sentence to return to the United States and face trial the following week. Though Rocky's life was on the line based off of this decision, so was the fate of this first time festival. As soon as Rocky's release was announced, ticket prices rose for the Real Street Fest. The second-day crowd camped at the North stage prepping for Rocky's return. Rocky put on an amazing set that left and everlasting statement on the new California contending festival. Performing his usual mosh pit sets from tapes "Testing" and "Long Live A$AP", Rocky was a great closing for the weekend. Joining him on stage was close friend Tyler the Creator, fellow A$AP members A$AP Ferg and A$AP Twelvy.
Big Sean is an amazing rapper and performer that unfortunately gets caught in the underrated scene. After being wrapped in an almost four-month long entanglement of relationship problem, fans questioned what Big Sean was going to bring to the stage. The Detroit rapper performed past hits "IDFWU", "Moves", and more. During the crowded performance, Big Sean noticed on two occasions that a couple of fans needed medical attention. He managed to used his platform to halt the show and request direct medical services for the injured fans. Though the mishap took about 15 minutes away from his performance, he managed to close the show out the best way possible with new hit song "Single" and fan favorite song "Blessings".
This female rapper's rise to fame has been an amazing real life Cinderella story. Her rise however, often has fans questioning the talents of Cardi B. Anaheim fans were finally able to believe the hype as she performed as the second headliner of the Real Street Fest. Cardi B indeed stole the show from the big boys this evening as she connected with the female crowd members performing hits from "Invasion of Privacy". With a great sense of humor, energetic background dancers, and back-to-back hits Cardi B's set was both enjoyable and memorable.
Since his release, Meek Mill has been having an amazing year! From almost becoming the laughing stock of hip-hop to being a now activist for prison reform, Meek Mill is transforming his career as a memorable figure in rap. The Philly rapper was unfortunately about ten minutes late to his set but, after his performance all was forgiven. Meek performed songs from his past with amazing background visuals. Some of these songs include: "House Party" and "Litty". He also performed hits from his latest release "Championships". Meek's most memorable song was his closing performance of "Dreams and Nightmares" which left the crowd's voiceless for the following morning.
Meghan Thee Stallion
Another female rapper on the list that stole the show was Megan Thee Stallion. Her success story is currently in the making as she just recently has been becoming a household name of female rap. Stallion's summer has been incredibly busy with her entry in this year's XXL freshman list and successful album release. Though her name is on the tip of everyone's tongues this "Hot Girl Summer" was still booked as a secondary act of the evening. In doing so she had only about 20 minutes to perform for the Anaheim crowd. She performed songs from "Fever" including "Realer" and "Cash Sh*t". She also reintroduced fans to her first studio album release "Tina Montana". This Houston rapper proved to be a steady rapper all while dancing and utilizing her titanium knees throughout the whole performance.
Trippie Redd utilized his large fan base to steal the show at Real Street Fest! The electric-wave sound cloud rapper was booked on a largely based list of trap based rappers . This, however, became his strength. Loyal Trippie Redd fans showed up and showed out for the raging teenager. Redd performed hits from debut album "Life's A Trip" and from breakout mixtape "A Love Letter to You". Redd is surprisingly talented and has amaging energy that is untouched on stage. Did we also forget to mention how amazing his live voice is!
Last but not least is the legendary performance of 2 Chainz, the only performer throughout the two-day fest to perform with a live band. The Atlanta rapper was for sure the veteran of the line up , but proved to be a topping act. Atlanta's own revealed his strong category of hits including collabs with Drake and Arianna Grande. The rapper managed to turn the festival in the late '00s party by keeping the energy thriving throughout the whole night.
Snoop Dogg's inaugural summer festival was left with an unignored absence this year as fans couldn't help but to acknowledge the late great Nipsey Hussle. On March 11th, Instagram released the heavy hitting hip-hop line up including acts such as Snoop Dogg, YG, and The Game. It was also announced that Hussle would be one of the top acts as well. Unfortunately , twenty-days later Hussle was shot and killed in front of his clothing shop in Crenshaw. This left a noticeable hole in the Los Angeles based line up. How could the other acts recover as several of the artists were extremely close to the Crenshaw Crusader? Sticking to what Hussle knew best, the marathon indeed continued. On July 27-28, Once Upon A Time in the LBC threw a huge west coast party in memory of Hussle. Here are our top artists who stole the show at OUAT in the LBC.
Summertime in the LBC was the original installation brought together by Goldenvoive and Snoop Dogg. So ultimately, who else is the best person to start off this list. The Long Beach hip-hop legend through the city on his back nearly twenty-years ago and has been carrying it ever since. From boomboxes to flat-screen TVs, Snoop Dogg has since become a staple of pop culture. With his influence, he built a structure for artists to reconnect with their fans of all ages. Snoop closed off both festivals in high spirits. He performed classic hits such as "Nuthin' but a G Thang". "The Next Episode", and "Gin and Juice". Snoop also stuck to his roots performing Doggystyle with a mic in the left hand and a blunt in the right.
Veterans & New Artists
One thing the festival excelled at was blending both upcoming and veteran artists. The grand stages at the festival connected with audience members from all walks of life. Old School versus new school, Black versus Hispanic, and many more. All of the artists capitalized on this opportunity. The Queen Mary stage enjoyed music from the early 90s courtesy of Kieth Sweat, Bone Thugs N-Harmony, and Warrem G. They also saw classic performances from the Mary Jane Girls, Lisa Lisa, the Dramatics and Zapp. Eventually the stage transitioned to the early 00s with Lil Rob, Baby Bash, Too Short, and Jon B. Los Angeles rapper The Game decided to represent both eras of music by performing music from The Documentary and newer projects that he's been working on to date. Newer artists who took the stage this year was OT Genesis and Blueface.
As a stand alone performance, RnB artist Ginuwine made waves this weekend. Ginuwine is sadly one of those artist that never got the respect that they deserved. He came out in all white with two powerful background singers, taking audience members back to the times of great rhythm and blues performances. One thing that was incredible to hear is that his voice is still there! He performed classics "Difference", "Anxious", and event "Tripping". During his set you can feel the love in the crowd as couples slowed dance to the soulful spirit of the artist. He even proved that he still had it on the dance floor while performing "Pony", Surprisingly these are just the few of the many songs that Ginuwine performed during his 45 minute long set.
Very seldom we are able to acknowledge that we have an artist bucket list- a list of artists we are dying to see, Eventually we'll make an article of our list ,but that's a whole other story. This festival we were able to cross off someone on our list and that was DMX. The man, the myth, the enigma, DMX is one of our favorite artist, so seeing him live made history. The energy that this man continually brings on stage is unheard of from a rap artist. Coming out in a long white tee and Timberlands, DMX certainly brought the east coast to west side festival. The Dog's raspy voice never broke grasp of the crowd with hits like "X Gonna Give it to Ya", "Where the Hood At" and "Get It on the Floor". DMX performed hits that we forgot was ever his, proving that this artist has a closet full of great music. No he did not perform "Rudolph, the Red Nose Reindeer", though the crowd did request it. He brought out his energy in the fan section by walking up and down the aisles. Closing the performance, DMX prayed for the crowd and for the remembrance of Nipsey Hussle and all of the fallen soldiers of music.
With Nipsey Hussle's death being the forefront of this year's festival, all eyes were on YG. Despite their gang affiliations, these two men were one in the same. Two boys from South Los Angeles, who used music as a way to escape their circumstances. With this similarity, they became super close in sharing ideas, music, and projects. It was obvious that Hussle's death hit the Bompton rapper pretty hard. YG is a man of wonder who believes in putting other younger rappers on to game before others catch their hype. Before his set, he brought out friend and fellow rapper RJ to perform a couple of hits from Ommio. He also brought out Oakland artist Kamiyah. Mind you both artists (RJ and Kamiyah) had their own sets earlier throughout the day, but YG thought it was only right to push the artists before his set as he drew in the larger crowd. After YG finally took the stage to perform his usual top hits "BPT", "I Wanna Party", and many more. The young artist of course recognized Hussle by performing two of their collabs. The LBC crowd was mixed with both Black and Brown, so it was only right for YG to do his latest hit celebrating Latino culture, "Go Loko'. In this performance he brought out a mariachi band, while still sticking to his Westcoast two step. Though we have seen YG several times, this was one of his most memorable performances to date. It is beyond amazing to see how this man has grown as a street local rapper to a international artist all while continue to be himself.
*Photos Courtesy of Goldenvoice
Commemorating their latest album's critical success, Freddie Gibbs and Madlib performed for a full house at the NOVO.
Due to the popularity of hip hop, inexpensive concerts are constantly set up to give audience members a chance to observe their favorite performers. However, with this growth, there still are a few times when people are not able to see their favorite artists perform live (sorry MF Doom fans). With this grief, music lovers could only dream of the moment where these events are made possible. This day, I experienced one of those dreams. On July 12th, underground rapper Freddie Gibbs returned to Los Angeles in the best way possible, with producer/DJ Madlib. This duo personified and cemented their legendary status with an amazing performance of their recently dropped album. Bandana.
Before we discuss the men as an odd yet satisfying duo, it's best to discuss the two as their separate entities.
A definite transition from the Jackson 5, Freddie Gibbs is the new face of music for Gary, Indiana. Not much is known or documented about Gibbs' hometown upbringing, though it's safe to say that there is a street culture in Gary, that is both unnoticed and undisclosed. The anti-establishment that is pressed on his hometown, inspired the rapper's lyrics to tell his story of growing up in a very hidden yet dangerous city, From pursuing a career in football, to getting kicked out an attending boot camp; Gibbs' perception switched. "Why trust a system, that is ultimately placed to allow black men to lose", he thought. The once educated student-athlete turned to street knowledge of hustling and selling crack. Though an awful transition, it allowed him to tell factual stories within his growing rap career.
Finding more ties into the music industry the rapper decided to come to Los Angeles. Lucky for him, the scene of LA rap is welcoming to out of state rappers. With his comfortable confident attitude and real-life street cred, Gibbs fitted right into the city. His first deal with Interscope Records fell off with the ever-changing management program of the music industry. His first critically acclaimed internet release was 2009's The Miseducation of Freddie Gibbs, a combination of all of Gibbs' unreleased studio material. From 2010-2013, Gibbs continued releasing mixtapes and signing to various labels including Young Jeezy, which is safe to say that the deal did not go too well. By his tenth release Baby Face Killa, Gibbs caught the attention of other artists including collaborations with SpaceGhostPurp, Jay Rock, Currensy, Dom Kennedy and more.
At a random party in LA, Gibbs ran into lowkey legend, Madlib. Full disclosure if you're unfamiliar with Madlib, please get to know this man. From Oxnard, the disc jockey sampled music as far back as the age of 11. Mastering in understanding the artistry of music. he gained recognition in the hip hop community. His talents drifted genres including hip hop, jazz and electronic. Over the years, with several pseudonyms; Madlib/Quasimoto remixed tracks and gained a large fan base. In 2003, he returned to hip hop with notable collaborations with J Dilla (Jaylib) and MF DOOM (Madvillain). These collaborations capitalized his career with the top albums of all time in hip hop. This resume, allowed Gibbs to take an immediate interest in the producer. Conversations then turned into actions as the duo released 2014's Piñata. Five-years later the success of the album inspired to duo to return for 2019's collaboration Bandana.
So far, Bandana has been well received and even noted as one of the top albums of 2019. For their debut collaboration, Madlib shined as a producer. However; for Bandana, Gibbs shined as a grimy street soldier/lyricist. Recently, both men have been enjoying the success of the album with loud and proud interviews, and even a new tour. The Bandana tour is set to stop all over America and even touch base in parts of Europe. Lucky for us, we were able to catch the show at Los Angeles' Novo, which unfortunately always attracts a unique crowd. Known for hosting underground performers at a fair price, the venue is the perfect place for hip hop heads to unite. Kicking off the night was Soulection co-founder, DJ Joe Kay. Kay performed several blends from past producers like Kanye West, DJ Premier, and J Dilla. The at-capacity crowd enjoyed the nostalgic tunes but, eventually grew restless waiting for the closing acts.
Luckily for the audience members, Madlib shortly arrived onto stage. The legendary DJ/producer spun for a few showcasing the many hits from his iconic discography. Just as the audience members began riding the wave that is Madlib, Gibbs appeared on stage looking as ready as ever. The rapper emerged from backstage with Los Angelos accepting him with open arms. Gibbs' level of rap finally transcended onto stage for the full-house crowd. Swift yet threatening, his voice echoed throughout the NOVO. His skills on the mic snapped in a way that was unexpected for both new and old base Gibbs' fans. Connecting to the crowd Gibbs began his set performing Bandana hits "Crime Pays", "Fake Names" and "Flat Tummy Tea". Understanding the power of his voice and the crowd's reactions, Gibbs decided to repeat his first sets. Something unusual yet, brilliant for a small staged concert. After taking in the new album- Gibbs and Madlib reached back into their first collab album to perform hits like 'Shame" and "Get High". Gibbs' charismatic energy and humor was enjoyable to see from a man who has been through so much. With this joy, he even allowed introvert Madlib to come out of his shell in the sake of artistic energy.
The rapid-rhymer hopped onto the minimal beat and reminded everyone about his placement as one of the top rappers in the game. Without a doubt the duo performed an amazing show by connecting with the crowd and displaying the late 2000's form of good hip-hop music. Could Bandana be the best album of the year? I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Pink Sweat$ talks on His Rising Career and What Almost Stopped it All at the Pabst Sound Society Fearless Experience.
On November 8, 2018, I came across R&B singer-songwriter David Bowden's (aka Pink Sweat$) music. The West Philly artist released his first EP titled , Volume 1 in 2018. Listening to songs like "Call Me", "Cocaine", and "Honesty" drew me to the young artist's Instagram account. I was impressed with his content, yet disappointed with the low amount of coverage he was receiving. A young black artist, who's not singing about random topics deserved an audience. In order of spreading this young man's talents, I decided to post the EP on my Insta-story. To my surprise Pink Sweat$ himself reached out to me with thanks and appreciation. From that day on I knew this man was special.
Almost a year later I had the opportunity of meeting the artist face to face for an event hosted by Pabst Sound Society. This interview and intimate experience gave fans including me a closer look into his rising career. Sweat$ talked to fans and the interviewer about becoming fearless and taking on your dreams.
Humble, Honest and Heroic- We would like to introduce you to the artist known as Pink Sweat$.
Meet Pink Sweat$ by Pabst Sound Society
INT: What was your first experience in music? How far did you work into your music?
PS: I was a drummer in church. I never knew I was good at singing but, I was afraid to sing in church. When I first started, I wasn’t comfortable. I started to write songs that meant something. I wanted people to think, to touch people's minds and make them think just a little. Not just make music to play in the club.
INT: You're not really like any other artist we have seen yet. Especially being from Philly, how was growing up there and how did that dynamic shape you?
PS: Growing up in the hood, and liking different things than other people encouraged me to love being different. “I never talk about sex in an explicit way; that’s intentional. I never degrade women; that’s intentional. I don’t have a [fancy] haircut. I wear pink. That’s not typical for the history of R&B.”
INT: What did you notice in the music industry as a new artist?
PS: When I hear most new R&B music, it sounds like Chris Brown from three years ago. While he's in 2033 right now, people are trying to sound like his past. You can be inspired without jacking someone's style. You got to be comfortable in you
INT: Not too many people are aware with what actually pushed you to face your careers, which was your experience with achalasia. Can you explain what that disease is and what it was like going through with it?
PS: I noticed that I started getting skinnier and looking drained. I went to the hospital and was diagnosed with achalasia, a rare esophageal condition. Mostly older folks get it at the age of 60 but, somehow I got it. Lucky me! I couldn't swallow and even keep down a sip of water.
INT: How did you recover from this?
PS: I was depressed for a short period. What snapped me out of it was the reality that things started to work. Also talking with Dante, my brother, for hours really helped. It was like therapy. With the thought of me losing my face it ironically gave me the courage to pursue this singing career for real. For a year I also told myself that I am a genius. Even when I wasn't doing s
INT: What are your fears? How do you conquer those fears?
PS: Falling in love and losing my teeth are the two things I am afraid of. I have nightmares about both all the time. I realized that you will become a better songwriter once your heart is broke. My heart was broken and then I started creating amazing music. Hopefully, someone would listen to this and understand or connect with how I felt.
INT: What do you want to bring into this world with the creation of your music?
PS: Everything you do creates a new experience, which allows you to share something new to your audience. Life is not about one thing. It’s about balance. It's about struggling to pursue great things and juggling the not so great things. I am here to add to the pile. People only consume one thing. I am here to create balance and show people dreams can happen.
INT: What is your advice on taking risks and facing your fears?
PS: Don’t be tiptoeing and afraid to break the glass. You have to live. If you fail its a lesson. Get back up and try it again.
For over a decade, legendary hip hop magazine, XXL has been nominating several candidates into a class known as the Freshman list. This list is dedicated to showcase the hottest up and coming rappers in the game. Alumni on this list includes J.Cole, Nipsey Hussle and many, many more. This annual list is always both exciting and controversial. Some of the selections are met with several fake hip hop critics bidding their taste as higher as the hand-selectors of the list. But, you can't please everyone/ This year's list makes no difference. Here is our take on the 2019 XXL Freshman List.
Pros of the List
Unlike any of its predecessors, this year's Freshman list has a large ranking of up and coming male and female artists. We are excited to see hip hop's new leading ladies on the list. Megan the Stallion, Rico Nasty, and Tierra Whack represent various styles of hip hop including that 90's sex appeal Trina or Lil Kim inspired sound, that Gothic soundcloud wave of rap, and unprecedented lyrical genius sound . We are also excited to see a couple of break out artists such as DaBaby, YBN Cordae, and Roddy Rich. Yes we're even happy with Blueface!
We first want to say that majority of these choices are not us saying we think these artists do not deserve to be on the list. However, we do feel that these selected artist need a little bit of an edge to add them to this prestigious list.
Gunna- Now we are absolutely not upset with this addition to the list. Gunna has had an impressive last two years with back to back hits and collaborations. The only reason this choice is questionable is because where there is Gunna, there is Lil Baby. Both artists came up around the same time and their similar styles brought us classics such as "Drip Too Hard" and "Close Friends". We are excited to see Gunna on this list but it just seems weird that his fellow artist and friend did not make the cut.
Lil Mosey & Comethazine- We were introduced to both artists thanks to the wave of young Soundcloud rappers. Building an underground fan base is definitely what got these two artists to the top. Unfortunately, did they make this list a little too soon. Now, both of these young artists are extremely talented but, we feel they have way more to offer. Neither have a signature song that a standard lover of music can point out. After build a stronger career and commercial fan base we feel the two would've be a great addition for up and coming years.
YK Osiris- Another young artist who is indeed talented. With his viral hit "Worth It" this is a great example of a growing hip hop star. However, he is still so young and new. With a little bit more wiggle room, the artist can develop a little more beyond a You Tube and Instagrammable artist.
Great Additions for 2019's List
YNW Melly (pre murder charge)
6/21/2019 0 Comments
Westside Boogie returned to Los Angeles for a Sold Out Concert at Hollywood's The Roxy with openers KB Devaughn Bobby Sessions and R I L E Y.
Since the late 90's there has been a pothole in the Westcoast rap game waiting to be filled. We were luckily gifted with Los Angeles based rising legends such as Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, and even YG. Now a new artist is rising straight outta Compton, and his name is Boogie. Returning to Los Angeles, Boogie took the stage for his debut headlining tour "Everything for Sale" at Sunset's The Roxy. Joining him on the tour was KB Devaugn, Bobby Sessions, and R I L E Y. The tour introduced us to the new era of Los Angeles hip hop; blending storytelling, Gfunk and more into their energetic sets.
Boogie came to our attention in 2017 when he signed with Eminem's Shady Records. This partnership created several opportunities for the Compton rapper including a feature on Eminem's album and the 2017 BET Hip Hop Award's Detroit based cypher. Longtime fans were introduced to Boogie from his 2014 release, Thirst 48. A tale that showcased the young rapper's blending of his Gospel background, yet still a struggling youth surrounded by LA's gang culture. Ironically he was introduced to both lifestyles at once, which many young Black males are in the area. A friend from church glued Boogie's ties to the Westside Piru Bloods. This built lifelong friendships that increased Boogie's storytelling skills and growing audience. Music was only a hobby, that Boogie took away from his background in the church. With the birth of his son in 2009,
Boogie finally decided to take his music more seriously. Encouragement from friends and networking, allowed Boogie to get back into the studio. Thirst 48 1 & 2 and The Reach highlighted the rapper's raw talent and unprecedented lyricism. His Jahil Beat's produced single "Oh My" reached viral success and cultivated his skills as a game player in hip hop. From Interscope to Shady Records, Boogie's speedy path to success continued with his 2019 studio album release Everything for Sale. Pitchfork acknowledged the Compton rapper's debut as " smart, technically dazzling, and thoroughly sullen".
Maximizing the album's outreach, Boogie announced his first headlining tour in February. The Everything For Sale tour was set to make stops throughout North America and Canada. A couple of California stops on the tour included Santa Ana, San Francisco ,and San Diego. Lucky for us we made a stop at West Hollywood to experience the enigma of the new era in Los Angeles rap in person.
Boogie's past Instagram posts included parody videos of typical salesman commercials. From broke down cars to church service miracles, Boogie's Everything for Sale CD can cure everything and anything. Sticking to his theme of ironic self-promotion, Boogie matched the tour's marketing plan with his album's. With an old school Craigslist-designed website, fans could expect this level of sarcastic energy and witty humor from the Compton rapper's tour.
Knowing Los Angeles based concerts, we decided to catch the concert a little bit later than the scheduled. However, in doing so we missed out on the performance from R I L E Y. We caught the show right on time to check out Dallas-born Def Jam rapper Bobby Sessions. The Roxy hosted an intimate performance perfect for attendees to get an up and personal show from their favorite artists. Sessions capitalized on this by utilizing his melodic waves and amazing stage presence. The young artist recently gained fame for his music performance from the movie The Hate You Give. He performed songs from his 2018 debut album RVLTN.
Next to the stage was Inglewood native, KB Devaugn. This rapper is a longtime friend and mentee of Boogie. This was our first introduction to the young rapper and lets just say we are impress. He has that West coast soothing and lyrical flow that only Los Angeles natives can attempt. He performed hits from his mix tape 4 Me, Not U.
Finally after a couple of minutes Boogie was finally brought out onto the stage.
Boogie entered the stage with a huge chip on his shoulder. This was to be the first time young rapper was returning to Los Angeles as a headliner. After all these years grinding, it was finally to see his work on the grand stage of Los Angeles. The LA crowd was more than ready to see their hometown hero. He performed several tracks from the tour-based album including "Silent Ride", "Skydive", and "Self Destruction", With these tracks, the audience sung every lyric word from word bringing a smile to the young artists' face. One fan was such a Boogie fanatic, that he had the opportunity to perform one of the songs with the artists on stage. The rapper also revisited several of his old tapes introducing fans to pre-Shady Records Boogie. Joining the rapper with his performances were TDE's Reason, DaniLeigh and 6lack. The last number of the rapper's hype performance was his stand out hit with his mentor Eminem, "Rainy Day". Although Slim Shady was not there, Boogie proved he did not need the extra star power to put on an amazing show.
By Indigo Stop & UpRoxx Contributors
Igor by Tyler the Creator
ZUU by Denzel Curry
When I Get Home by Solange
Arizona baby by Kevin Abstract
Anger Management by Rico Nasty
Ventura by Anderson. Paak
Fever by Megan Thee Stallion
Everything's for Sale by Boogie
Little Simz by Grey Area
Still Summer in the Projects by 03 Greedo
Sli'Merre by Young Nudy & Pi'erre Bourne
Rapper and Singer Smino took a pit stop from Coachella to perform for a sold out crowd at Hollywood's
Fonda Theatre with openers Earthgang and Phoelix.
Though halfway complete, 2019 is proving to be the year of rising new artists. With the Coachella Music and Arts Festival going back to their indie inclusive routes, Black artists like Rico Nasty, Anders0n Paak and SiR were able to elevate their fan base. One artist with a cult following that rose during festival season was St. Louis' own Smino. After hitting the stage during the two weekend extravaganza, Smino took over California with a couple of performances in Santa Ana, San Diego and Los Angeles. Joining him onto the Hoopti Tour was Atlanta's group Earthgang and up and coming artist Phoelix. The three acts performed amazing sets reminiscent of the great performer's before them all without losing their modern-day wave.
Following Smino's career is becoming one of our favorite past times. We were introduced to the young artist via Instagram back in 2017. He had just released his critically acclaimed debut studio album, blkswn. On first sound, the St. Louis native's musical style took us a little off guard, but in the best way possible. Very seldom an artist is able to display all of their amazing talents on their first album and it works so well. Smino does that with blkswn, titling himself as both a rapper and singer. With top charting singles "Blkswn" and "Anita", the album proved to be a successful introduction. The genius behind Smino is his unique voice and flow. Having the gift of a gospel-based voice, a thesaurus-wide vocabulary, and a slight southern accent; Smino's flow is something we've never heard before in the rap community.
Born to a family of musicians, Christopher Smith (Smino) has been preparing to take the stage since he was seven-years-old. His talents brought him to open for other acts such as T-Pain and SZA. In November 2018, he dropped his second album Noir. The sophomore production surpassed fans' expectations for the artist. Once again, utilizing his smart lyricism with funk and jazz-inspired beats made Noir a pinnacle moment in Smino's growing career. The neo-soul based hip hop inspired album included many hits like "Z4L", "Klink", and "L.M.F". After the success of the album, Smino announced his second tour.
The Hoopti Tour is currently set up for 33 shows including stops in the United States, England, and Canada. He also announced fellow openers Earthgang and Phoelix. Phoelix is a Chicago based artist who has been linked with fellow artist Noname. The Jack-of-all-trades is an amazing singer, rapper, musician, and producer, with tracks on both Smino's and Noname's albums. The energetic and eclectic duo, Earthgang, has had the spotlight on them since joining J. Cole's Dreamville project. The Atlanta group also has ties to Smino with several collaboration tracks on the way, making them the perfect addition to the tour.
Artistry and storytelling was the driving theme of the Los Angeles' Hoopti Tour. Marketing tactics playing with Noir's theme of Black luxury, beauty, and reality; inspired Smino to create a commercial of him and his crew searching for a Hoopti for the upcoming tour. Fast-forward to an April night in Hollywood where a sold-out crowd was more than excited to see the fresh talent presented on the Fonda Theater's stage. The three acts were almost too perfect of a deal together displaying a new non-mumbling and non-conforming music style. Seeing these three artists at the beginning of their career gave us a comfortable and secure feeling about the future of hip-hop.
Chicago triple threat Phoelix kicked off the night on an old school keyboard set. His voice was both alluring and hypnotizing, so much that it was hard to believe that this was the young artist's first tour ever. He performed a few of his tracks from his 2017 and 2018 albums Tempo and GSPL. A favorite from the night was a performance of his 2018 single "Drip". Drip was created with Phoelix's expression of sexual frustration. An awkward muse yes, but hearing this song live made us Shazam this hit immediately. Just when the audience got used to the singer's voice, he then showed the crowd the multi-instrumental side to him. With already a strong track record as a producer for NoName, Saba, and Smino; we guarantee that you'll be seeing more of Phoelix.
Next on the stage was Dreamville's dynamic duo Earthgang. Earthgang consists of the flamboyant but vocal Johnny Venus and the lyrically talented Doctor Dut. The hip hop duo brought Atlanta to Los Angeles by allowing the usually boujie Hollywood-based crowd to get a little loose during their performance. Fun and energetic, the two rappers performed a couple hits from their trilogy album release Rags, Robots, and Royalty. Eclectic and eccentric, the duo's chemistry was similar to fellow ATL alumni Outkast. The crowd danced and danced till they couldn't any more thanks to Earthgang. Highlights from the act include a performance of the unreleased, yet viral song "Up" (which was featured on COLORS' music platform) and a dance party with the crowd.
As the crowd was settling and preparing for the main act of the evening, the Fonda curtains rose dramatically with Usher playing softly in the background. The crowd was confused, yet excited for what was to come. Unlike any other modern-day concert we've been to, the Hoopti Tour decided to showcase a comedy act in the middle of the show.
After a 15 minute comedy set, the curtain rose again to introduce female singer Schenay Mosley. She showed off her vocal range by dropping a few oohs and ahs, then Smino graciously appeared from behind the curtains with his live band. Rocking a sky blue fur coat, baggy pants and cornrows , Smino took the audience with him back to the early 2000s. One thing that drew us immediately to Smino was his amazing voice. Let's just say that his live voice is just as, if not more impressive than his recorded copies. Long-standing Smino fans were in for a treat as the rapper took the crowd on a 30-song journey of his young career.
He performed hits like Blkswn's "Anita", "Hoopti", "ZFL" , "Fenty Sex" , "Pizano" and "We Got the Biscuits". The crowd sung along to the underrated rapper's melodic hits and jazz based beats. One special member of the crowd was Smino's father, who was visiting California for the first time ever. Capturing the look in the St. Louis rappers eye when he would catch his proud father recording his performance, was something so beautiful and enchanting. Especially after looking back at the young rapper's history in music. His father was a piano player, his mother was a singer and his grandfather was the original bass guitarist for Muddy Waters. The careers of his relatives were put on the hold to preserve their family, but who knew that structural sacrifice is exactly what it took to get their family name and talent in the spotlight.
However, the brilliance behind Smino is that he simply does not crave the spotlight but for sure deserves it. Both conscious yet content, he uses his music to tackle hard hitting subjects while still knowing what our generational youth is interested in. In between sets of his performance he thanked the crowd for their support but, took some well-deserved time to acknowledge his Black fans within the crowd. He brought young African American fans together in the best way possible, by Swag Surfing of course! He even continued the night with a rendition of Young Joc's "Its Going Down". The young crowd followed through and retracted the same amount of energy that Smino was giving them during his performance. Just as the night was coming to an end Smino announced his last song of the night. The crowd was excited for they knew what was to come. He performed another hit from Noir called "Merlo"t. Though the song is a fan favorite, the crowd was a little disappointed with the closing choice. As Smino and his band members closed house, the crowd chanted one powerful word repeatedly, "Klink, klink, klink". The band members took notice as the drummer set back down with the lead guitarist joining him with a smile. The dj and backup singer both returned to their stations as Smino returned on stage with a big bang. Finally, the crowd got exactly what they wanted as the dj began to play the beginning of Noir standout his "Klink". The crowd went wild, is simply an understatement for how lit the closing performance was.
The three performers killed the Hoopti Tour leaving fans with nostalgic feels and future hopes for the new artists. Everyone is now aware and understanding of why these three artists are listed as the Ones to Watch in 2019/To give you a little preview of what these artists' performances are like, we've made a brief playlist of the Hoopti Tour essentials.