What’s up hip hop heads? I hope everyone had a great weekend and is doing well on this brisk Tuesday afternoon. Make sure you bundle up tonight, it’s getting frigid with this ice storm – we’re talking Gucci & Jeezy so icey levels here. BRR!!
Alright I’m done with the corny jokes.
Now then, our latest and greatest show review is being brought to you by none other than the DMV’s finest, Wale. Last night, Folarin’s #SimplyNothingTour touched down in the Queen City of Charlotte, NC to a nearly sold out show at the The Fillmore on Seaboard Ave. If you haven’t had a chance to see a show at this venue, I highly recommend it. It holds about 1,500 people in it so you definitely get a more intimate type feel to whoever you wind up seeing here. Aside from that, it has a great speaker system and there really isn’t a bad seat in the house.
Prior to Ralph performing, a number of performers blessed the stage with their presence to raise the energy level in the room. First up was local rapper, Senior. This will mark the 3rd or 4th time I’ve had a chance to see Senior open up for different acts and it’s evident that he is progressing nicely as an artist and is really gaining a knack for an enthusiastic stage presence. Accompanied by NevaMind & DJ Mydnite, Senior laid down a few solid tracks that started to get the heads bobbin in the crowd, including a personal favorite of mine: The Art of War. If you have a minute to spare, check out his music and throw him a like or two. I’m sure he would appreciate any feedback (#SupportLocalMusic).
Next up was Bizzy Crook. To be completely honest, I didn’t have a clue who he was prior to the show -but I will say, he delivered a very solid albeit short set list and is definitely on my radar now. As I’m typing this I’m already planning to look into his music and see what projects are available for purchase/download. If you have any recommendations, please don’t hesitate to throw them at me.
Following Bizzy was someone not billed on the showcard, another DMV artist that pleasantly surprised us all: Fat Trel. The excitement level in the room was rising at this point and showed no signs of slowing down. Seriously, once he did “Respect With The Teck” it was ON. I was in full on gorilla mode at this point and I blame that Lex Luger beat alone. It knocks so hard. After Trel did his set, yet another act hit the stage.
Audio Push, consisting of Oktane and Price came out repping their HS87 label (founded by Hit-Boy) and did a number of songs, including “Theme Song” and “T.U.”. This duo’s energy level was through the roof. It was about impossible to not be going up and down at this point, and just when you thought things couldn’t get any more hype, out came Wale.
I won’t make any bones about it. He tore the roof off the Fillmore. I think this was my 4th time seeing Wale and I have to say this was hands down his best performance. Not only did he play everything I wanted to hear, the way in which he did it was awesome. It was literally a party on stage. He went through classics as well as a few new joints from his latest mixtape, Festivus. The set list went:
1. Chain Music
2. Deep End
3. Pretty Girls
5. Slight Work
6. Friendship Heights
8. Girls on Drugs
9. Lotus Flower Bomb
12. The Break Up Song
13. Body Like a Benz
14. One Eye Kitty w/ Fat Trel
15. In My Bag w/ Fat Trel
17. Rack City (Remix)
21. Quick Fast w/ Audio Push
22. No Hands
Wale has definitely mastered the art of stage presence and showmanship. The way he got the crowd involved just made you want to join him on stage. He rapped, he danced, he made you laugh – what more could you ask for? And to add to that, when he did “No Hands” Wale went to the middle of the crowd and let us sing the hook acapella to close down the night. We were definitely feelin some type of way.
All in all, it was a great performance by someone I consider to be vastly underappreciated in the industry. People probably think of him as arguably the 2nd or 3rd best artist on his own label (M-M-M-M-M-M-aybach Music) let alone the rap game. While I do think that some of the content of his music has changed (as well as the sound) from his early works to his MMG signing days, he has continued to put just as much work and effort into his music throughout that entire period and the final product that we get to experience is a gift, making us, well, the Gifted. And on top of that, the way he and the other artists performed together on stage really gave the show that extra umph to push it over the top.
I mean point blank, the show was lit:
And don’t forget The Album About Nothing drops 3/31!