The Diplomats: Dipset Forever Reunion Tour

Last night, I had the opportunity to take a trip down memory lane with my wife, Amanda and our good friend, Nick.

The Diplomats have had their ups and downs throughout the years, however they somewhat recently squashed their own beef within the group, and as a result, a reunion tour was announced. Cam’Ron, Juelz Santana, Jim Jones and Freekey Zekey would be hitting the road together for a group tour.

Tour Poster

When I initially heard about the tour coming to Charlotte, I was interested, until I saw the ticket prices. These guys have made some great music throughout the years, but as more of a casual fan instead of a diehard Dipset guy, I wasn’t quite ready to part with roughly $50 for a ticket.

However, Groupon stepped in and cut that price in half. $25?? We’re in there!

There’s one thing I’ve noticed in the last 8 or so years of going to shows. Artists that are younger and on the come up typically have a younger age group of followers, which makes perfect sense. This group of concert goers likes to get wild (Again, this is most but not all). What I’m referring to is pushing and shoving to get as close to the stage as possible, mosh pits, getting way too drunk, etc. For the record, I’m not knocking it, I’ve been there myself. You just have to be prepared to encounter that before going to a show where you think that environment will be taking place. Artists that are more established and have been around for a while attract a different kind of audience. Both groups of concert goers enjoy hip-hop/rap, but the dynamic within the crowd is very different. This older crowd isn’t really too worried about getting as close as possible to the stage, they like to have a few drinks and kind of chill. It’s honestly a very laid back atmosphere. And fortunately, that’s what the crowd was like for this show. I digress.

We three amigos went to VBGB for a few brews before the show and I have to say that NoDa Brewing’s “Good Will Hopping” was quite nice. After those, we walked over to the Fillmore after doors had already opened. There was no wait, we just walked right in. There was plenty of space between groups of people despite the place being packed. Our trio got a prime location in the middle of the crowd and waited for The Diplomats to take the stage.

Unfortunately, we would only be getting 3 of the 4 scheduled performers. It appears that there was some kind of dispute between the promoter for this show and Juelz Santana, who made it very clear that he would not be in Charlotte, NC on twitter for this show.

Juelz :/

Going into the show, I was under the impression that the order of artists taking the stage would go Freekey > Jim Jones > Juelz > Cam’Ron. With this latest twist, I wasn’t so sure what would happen.

And when it was finally time, Freekey, Jim and Cam all came out together, which was definitely unexpected, but a nice surprise. They brought an army of affiliates with them to the stage and those 3 all took turns rapping fan favorites together. It was just a really fun show. The highlights for me were “Hey Ma” by Cam, “Oh Boy” by Cam and last but not least, “We Fly High” by Jim Jones.

I have to confess that in 2007, “We Fly High” was my ringtone on my silver, Motorola Razr. I can still hear it ringing in the dorms of Owen Hall at NC State. Good times.

Remember these things??

And to this day, I will still refer to “We Fly High” as a banger. Take a look – you know you know the words.

All in all, these guys put on a really enjoyable performance and it was fun getting to hear some of rap’s most notable songs of my generation’s youth. This tour just got underway so these guys will be touring for the next few months throughout America. Check your local area for Groupons and see if you can take advantage of a discounted ticket, because it will definitely be worth it.

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Big Boi – The Daddy Fat Saxxx Tour

Last night I had the opportunity to see a living legend perform. Big Boi, half of the famed rap duo Outkast, has been touring the United States since September of 2017, and the third leg of his tour finally made its way to Charlotte, NC at local venue The Underground.

Third Leg Tour Dates

I donned my ATLiens tee that had been collecting dust in the closet for the last 10 years and made my way to the venue.

I got there about 10-15 minutes after doors opened up and located a prime spot in the crowd, very close to the front of the stage, dead center.

Front & Center

The first act to grace the stage was Renegade El Rey. He came with his own DJ, DJ Bishop Don. The two of them carried a lot of energy together, particularly DJ Bishop Don. That man was TURNT. Together they put down a set list of maybe 6-7 songs, including “Youngin” and “Yeah Yeah”. It wasn’t a bad performance at all. Renegade’s debut album My Way Out was released earlier this year, so if you enjoy those singles, you may want to give his album a spin. This was a video taken of his performance of his verse on Big Boi’s song “Made Man”.

The next act was KP The Great. I was under the impression that this act would be a rapper. Instead, it was a DJ. But this wasn’t just any DJ. This was Kawan Prather (hence KP) and the audience came to learn that KP was responsible for launching Ghet-O-Vision records and signing artists like T.I. and Youngbloodz. He even won a Grammy for producing John Legend’s “Green Light”. But back to the show. KP put together a really strong DJ set that brought a lot of energy into the crowd, playing Atlanta classics like “Move” by Ludacris, “Knuck If You Buck” by Crime Mob, and “Attenchun!” by Bone Crusher as well as current hits.

During his set, KP brought out Atlanta artist (there seems to be a theme here) ScottyATL. ScottyATL was only out for a handful of songs, but performed his newest release “Ratchet” (which seems to be destined for club play) as well as Cloud IX.

After their set ended and all the correct equipment was put into place, DJ Cutmaster Swiff gave the city of Charlotte a warm welcome to the Daddy Fat Saxxx Tour from the raised DJ booth and brought out none other than Dungeon Family’s own, Big Boi, to the tune of Da Next Day off of Boomiverse. Fellow Dungeon Family member Sleepy Brown was with Big Boi as well, and after the initial song (which involved a fair amount of talking from Big Rube), the two really piped it up by playing “ATLiens”.

I don’t know if I’m technically considered and “old head” yet, but there’s just something about those old school Outkast songs that new age hip-hop doesn’t really touch, which sounds like something an old head might say. I personally feel that the infusion of funk into a lot of those Outkast hits just makes them so enjoyable. And what’s better than hearing 1 Outkast hit? How about hearing 7 Outkast hits? That’s the beauty of a Big Boi concert. Not only do you get to hear the hits from his own solo discography, but you get to hear the classics that Outkast made, that we grew up on. Full disclosure, I can still see the look on my mom’s face when my brother brought home the Stankonia CD. The look of the art inside the CD case did NOT go over well in our household for my parents. I digress.

After ATLiens, Big Boi and Sleepy went through quite the set list, which can be found here.
Some personal favorites of mine were “Shutterbugg”, “Rosa Parks”, “Kryptonite” and “So Fresh, So Clean”.

However, the highlight of the night was yet to come. Following “Kryptonite”, Big Boi ended his set and left the stage. A few people started leaving the crowd, but I wasn’t quite ready to call it yet. A chant of “One more song” began, and took like wild fire with the remaining audience members. We were heard. Big Boi and Sleepy came back out to put down one more performance – UGK’s “International Player’s Anthem” – one of my favorite hip-hop/rap songs of all time. It’s truly a timeless classic. RIP Pimp C.

Then the show really was over, and I made my way for the doors. Big Boi put on a helluva performance and it was something I was really glad to have seen. It’s definitely one to cross off the bucket list. His tour is coming to an end very shortly, so you likely won’t have a chance to catch him soon. But if you ever have the chance to do so in the future, do yourself a favor and make it happen. Here are a few of the better photos I got during the show as well:

Big Boi

Sleepy Brown

Dungeon Family