#CLreFRESH presents: DJ Dummy, DJ Mustard & Fabolous

This past week I was on the interwebs going from site to site looking for upcoming shows in the Charlotte area. I wasn’t having much success, and ultimately found that nothing was really happening within the next month, so I gave up the search and went to IG to peruse through some photos. Lo and behold, I stumble across the IG page of Fabolous, who posted the following picture 15 minutes earlier:

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Jackpot.

I immediately followed the link in the photo caption and found that this event was being sponsored by Coors Light and was 21+ only. Not only that, it was FREE. I hit up a couple of guys to see if they wanted to go and just like that the wheels were in motion. Fast forward 2 days to the night of the show and we were waiting in line at the Fillmore. It wasn’t all gravy though, it was raining and because this was a free event, the line was ridiculous. (Sidebar: In hindsight, I definitely should’ve seen that coming). Nevertheless, after a solid 45-55 minute wait in the weather, our squad finally got to the doors. Upon our arrival, we were greeted by some Coors Light reps who gave us vouchers for 2 FREE beers.

Free Beer??

Free Beer??

We gladly accepted and made our way inside. I was under the impression that we wouldn’t have a spot very close to the front because of the line but thankfully, I was wrong. I later found out that Coors Light had set up stations in the back of the Fillmore where they were serving FREE Lobster Mac & Cheese, sliders, etc. which would explain why we could stroll right up to the front of the crowd. Hey, no complaints here. We did manage a Squad shot before the show really got underway:

SQUAD

SQUAD

No Limit Larry from local hip-hop radio station Power98 was our host for the evening and he kicked things off with a little DJ battle where each would take turns playing popular songs to get the crowd moving around a lil bit – nothing crazy, but a solid appetizer for our musical palettes. Next up was DJ Dummy. Fun fact: This is actually J. Cole’s official tour DJ. Dummy got a little more crowd involvement going and continued the trend of playing popular hip-hop songs while also sprinkling in a few throwbacks. After his set, No Limit Larry came back out and let us know he had a surprise guest for us, and without further hesitation brought out hip-hop veteran Pastor Troy!

Pastor Troy

Pastor Troy

Smoke shot out of some cannons and snow flakes starting falling from the sky as Troy came out rocking what looked like a WWF championship belt and rapping “No Mo Play in GA”. Old heads immediately recoginzed the track and started going bar for bar with the Pastor. The new cats more or less just vibed along with it. After Troy was finished, No Limit Larry came back out to the stage and introduced somebody who we all knew: DJ Mustard.

DJ Mustard

DJ Mustard

Mustard has a very recognizable, albeit simplistic sound and at this point, everybody knows who produced the song before anyone starts rapping/singing – Mustard on the beat ho!

Mustard went through all of the popular songs that he’s produced, including “My N*gga”, “Who Do You Love”, “I’m Different”, “Post To Be”, and the list goes on and on. He then transitioned into doing what Dummy and the previous DJ’s all did by playing top 40ish type hip-hop songs.

After Mustard was done, we all thought that Fab would be next. This would mark another time in the night where I would be wrong, but I didn’t care because at that point NC LEGEND Petey Pablo came out to “Raise Up”! I flat out lost it and started spitting with him. I actually had Petey’s CD, ” Diary of a Sinner: 1st Entry” that featured this song when I was in about 8th grade and I remember just keeping that song on repeat over and over. After the song Petey came down to the front of the crowd and dapped of few people up, myself included! It was honestly the highlight of the evening for me.

PeteyPablo!

Petey Pablo!

Finally, after a lot of excitement and surprise guest appearances, it was time for Fabolous.

Fabolous

Fabolous

He came out rocking a Hornets Larry Johnson jersey with matching Larry Johnson Converse Aero Jam sneaks to the tune of “Lituation” as lights were flashing everywhere, snow was falling from the sky and smoke was blasting the front row of the crowd in the face. It was pretty intense, but we loved it.

Fab went through a Niiiiiiiice setlist that included songs from his recently released “Young OG Project”, classic throwbacks and songs from his Soul Tapes.

1. Lituation
2. We Good
3. Ball Drop
4. She Wildin
5. Can’t Deny It
6. Young’n
7. Superwoman verse (Lil Mo cover)
8. So Into You
9. Can’t Let You Go
10. You Make Me Better
11. Breathe
12. Cuffin Season

13. Foreigners
14. Thim Slick
15. For The Love
16. B.I.T.E.
17. Really Tho
18. You Don’t Know About It
19. Got That Work
20. Rack City remix verse (Tyga cover)
21. Racked Up Shawty verse (Meek Mill cover)
22. Say Aah verse (Trey Songz cover)
23. Throw It In the Bag
24. Throw In In the Bag remix
25. You Be Killin Em

All in all, it was an awesome night with a number of great performances. It’s not very often that free concerts come around, so be on the lookout for this concert series as they go to a few more cities across the nation. Just search for #CLreFRESH on Instagram and Twitter to find out where they’ll be at next. Here are some additional shots we got if they might help sway you on whether you would like to go or not:

Loso

Loso

Dijon

Dijon

J. Cole: The Forest Hills Drive Tour

FHD Tour Poster

FHD Tour Poster

Last night I had the opportunity to witness my favorite artist, J. Cole, put on one of the most entertaining and heartfelt performances that I’ve ever seen or experienced. Because he is my favorite artist, I am a bit biased, so I’ll try to keep things as objective as possible. I just can’t make any promises. For those that don’t know, J. Cole has been headlining the Forest Hills Drive Tour across the nation to support his latest album of the same name. The tour was composed of 3 Acts:

Act 1: Hometown – Cole and his crew of Dreamville artists (Cozz, Omen and Bas) played smaller venues throughout the country.

Act 1

Act 1

Act 2: The Journey – Cole’s second leg of the tour went abroad and featured Jhené Aiko and Pusha T.

Act 2

Act 2

Act 3: Hollywood – The final leg of Cole’s tour came back to the US and now went to much larger venues than Act 1. This leg of the tour picked up Jeremih, YG and Big Sean as supporting acts.

Act 3

Act 3

Last night’s show was part of Act 3, which is drawing to a close and will rightfully be wrapping up August 29th in Cole’s hometown of Fayetteville, NC.

The show began around 6:30pm with Cole’s crew of Dreamville artists: Cozz, Omen and Bas. I was still tailgating in the parking lot when these guys started to perform so I did miss their set. However, I was able to get to the show in time to catch the next act: YG!

Bompton’s own came out while the crowd was still filing in but held down a respectable mini set that was about 8-10 songs deep. The majority of his songs all stemmed from his 2014 Grammy snubbed album, My Krazy Life. However, he did sprinkle in a few throwbacks/crowd pleasers such as “Toot It & Boot It”. I was pleasantly surprised when YG performed his newest single from his upcoming sophomore album, “Twist My Fingaz”. It’s got a sound that instantly makes you think of Snoop Dogg or Dr. Dre in the early 90’s, gold 88 spoke Dayton rims and low-riders cruising the block in the California sunshine. Seriously, YG couldn’t be more west coast if he tried.

YG

YG

Next up was Jeremih. I have some Jeremih songs here and there on my iPod, but the majority of the songs I have feature him on the hooks. Jeremih got us all together in his Delorean and cranked it to 87 because he took us all the way back to 2009 with his smash hit “Birthday Sex”. This wasn’t the only trick Jeremih had up his sleeves though. Natalie La Rose made a surprise guest appearance and they performed their joint hit “Somebody” that’s taking over pop radio. And the crown jewel of his set for me was his DJ Mustard produced hit, “Don’t Tell ‘Em” which he performed last, with a little help from YG who came back to the stage to do his verse.

After Jeremih’s set ended, an intermission began. The stage hands got to work putting up a new set for the next performer, Big Sean. We used this time to hit the restrooms, get a quick bite to eat, and of course refill the beverages which seemed to be disappearing at an alarming rate. Weird.

After all of that and a little bit of milling around, the fans were shown the new set which featured the front of a liquor store, aptly named “Paradise Liquor”. At that moment, the horns began on the Mike Will produced banger, “Paradise”. Big Sean immediately ripped into his first verse and the spotlights started going crazy. The energy level skyrocketed. He performed his second verse on the song as well and I have to say, it’s straight FIRE.

Sean went through a multitude of songs from various projects. Some were from Dark Sky Paradise, some were from Finally Famous: The Album, some were from GOOD Music’s Cruel Summer and some were from Hall of Fame. Honestly, Big Sean put down one hell of a performance. The crowed was into it and you could see him feeding off of the energy. Not every song played was necessarily a banger or wildly popular radio hit though. Sean took a moment to get personal with the fans when he played “One Man Can Change the World” during which the fans held up lighters/cell phones to illuminate the sky. It was a pretty cool moment. To be quite honest, I wasn’t expecting somebody as big as Big Sean to be an opener. He’s probably not too far off from having tours of his own at venues like these, so adding him to the lineup was absolutely a gift to the fans. I wasn’t able to get great photos of Sean Don, but I did nab some off of his IG account:

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And of course the obligatory video of “IDFWU”.

After another set change, the time had come for Carolina’s finest. The intro on FHD started playing and J. Cole came out to an uproar of applause. From that point on, Cole went song by song through his entire album. THE WHOLE ALBUM (except “Note to Self”). Things went wayyyy up went he played “A Tale of Two Citiez”.

Another moment that really got the crowd’s attention was during “Fire Squad” where Cole rearranged a few of the lyrics. In the song, his line is:

“This year I’ll prolly go to the awards dappered down
Watch Iggy win a Grammy as I try to crack a smile”

Vs. what he actually said:

“Watch Iggy lose a Grammy as a n*gga crack a smile”

See if you can catch it:

After this, Cole switched things up and detoured from FHD to some throwbacks which got a huge response from the crowd and sparked a sing-a-long to “Lights Please” and the hook of “Nobody’s Perfect”. After those songs it was back to business, and he continued to perform the remainder of the album. It wasn’t just a show for Cole though. He didn’t just go from one song to the next to the next and say thanks for coming out at the end. He took the time to share personal stories with the fans between songs that really gave you a glimpse of who he is as a person, which in turn makes you appreciate his music that much more. I think one of the songs I appreciate the most is “Love Yourz”, which truly has a special meaning for anyone going through hard times. It’s inspiring and makes you realize how blessed you are to have the people currently in your life, in your life. Cole ended his set with that song and since it was dark outside, it was to the illumination of cellphones and lighters once again.

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Cole said his goodbyes and proceeded to exit the stage. He might have fooled me if this was the first time I had seen him perform. Jermaine is a sucker for an encore performance, especially when 20,000 people are all chanting his name. He came back out and played 5 more songs for us, including another appearance from Jeremih when they did their song “Planes”. Cole ended the night with “Crooked Smile” and “Power Trip”, both of which are classics in my book.

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Thinking back on it all, I truly think this may have been the best performance I’ve seen from him. His ability to go back and forth with the fans has gotten better which each tour and there’s no down time or awkward pauses during the show – it’s completely fluid. You’re standing on your feet with your hands raised above your head singing and rapping along to all the songs and before you know it, an hour and a half has gone by – in the blink of an eye. I think that speaks volumes about his stagemanship and the way that he has mastered his craft. Those abilities combined with the way that he addresses the fans through his stories between songs really makes you feel connected with him and gives you a feeling of being comfortable with him – like he’s a friend of yours that you haven’t seen in a while and you’re just happy to see each other and start catching up – it’s all good vibes and positive energy with Cole.

On a more personal note, it still blows my mind to think back on the journey that he’s made with his career. 3-4 years ago I can still remember going to see him perform for the first time at the Fillmore in Charlotte – a venue that sells out at 2,000 people. His first studio album dropped 2 weeks prior to the show, so he was playing music from that as well as his Friday Night Lights mixtape. There were even a few gems from the Warm Up tossed in the show. Fast forward a few years and he’s performing material from his sophomore album in venues like UNCC’s Halton Arena that holds somewhere around 7,000 people for concerts. One year later brings us to last night’s show, and now Cole is performing at a venue that holds 20,000 people. I heard two weeks ago that Cole even sold out Madison Square Garden – 30,000 fans. It’s pretty incredible to sit back and reflect on it all: the music, the growth, the maturity and the message. He truly is one of a kind.

On the off chance that there are any haters out there still reading this who might say Cole is boring, his music will put you to sleep, etc: go to a show. I guarantee your opinion will change.

Lastly, for those curious, I do have the entire Forest Hills Drive Tour Setlist:

YG

1. BPT
2. Just Wanna Party
3. Do It To Ya
4. Bicken Back Bein Bool
5. B*tches Ain’t Shit
6. Twist My Fingaz
7. My N*gga
8. Who Do You Love?

Jeremih

1. Down On Me
2. Imma Star
3. “Somebody” w/ Natalie La Rose
4. Hook from MMG/Wale’s “That Way”
5. Hook from MMG’s “Body Like a Benz”
6. Hook from DJ Khaled’s “Hold You Down”
7. Birthday Sex
8. Don’t Tell Em w/ YG

Big Sean

1. Paradise
2. All Your Fault
3. Verse from Good Music’s “Clique”
4. Ass (Dance)
5. Play No Games
6. My Last
7. Beware
8. I Know
9. Verse from Good Music’s “Mercy”
10. Verse from Good Music’s “Don’t Like”
11. One Man Can Change the World
12. Blessings
13. Stay Down
14. Marvin & Chardonnay
15. Verse from Drake’s “All Me”

J. Cole

1. FHD Intro
2. January 28th
3. Wet Dreamz
4. 03 Adolescence
5. Tale of 2 Citiez
6. Fire Squad
7. St. Tropez
8. Lights Please
9. In the Morning
10. Nobody’s Perfect
11. GOMD
12. No Role Modelz
13. Hello
14. Apparently
15. Love Yourz

Encore

16. Can’t Get Enough
17. Planes w/ Jeremih
18. Workout
19. Crooked Smile
20. Power Trip

@YG – The #MyKrazyLife Tour touches down in Charlotte!

This past Monday night, Bompton’s own @YG headlined his own tour in Charlotte, NC which was named for his debut album that dropped a few weeks ago, My Krazy Life.

My Krazy Life Tour Poster

My Krazy Life Tour Poster

This marked the 3rd time I’ve seen YG perform, but only the first time where he was able to put down an entire set as the headlining artist. The show was going on at my personal favorite venue in Charlotte, the @FillmoreNC. I got there at about 6:45pm when doors opened at 7pm and I was literally the FIRST person in line. I felt like the Xbox achievement status should’ve popped up on my phone screen. Not only that, but I got to chop it up with my man @Senior who was set to open for YG. If you check out the last post regarding the Juicy J show, you’ll notice I showed some support for Senior. This didn’t go unnoticed. Before he left to go inside he told me he would get me a beer. I was like yea, aight. Didn’t think much of it. We’ll come back to that.

Once the doors opened, I went in and grabbed a 24oz. cold one and found a nice spot against the front row railing where I managed to bump into a new friend of mine, @Drizzy_Dre1990, who had come all the way from NC A&T (What up Aggies!) to see his favorite rapper, YG Fo Hunnid. After a few pleasantries and a lot of general hip-hop discussion, it looked like the show was set to begin.

The first act to warm up the crowd was @iamDJLP, who also happened to perform at the Juicy J show – my bad for not including you on that post! At first the crowd was a little quiet – not a ton of people were there yet and people were probably more on the sober side. A few tweets were exchanged between he and myself that cracked me up and as this was going on, the room was filling up and the drinks were starting to flow. By the end of his set, the crowd was ready to go. I know Mustard had dibs on the A$AP Ferg joint, but next time that’s all you!

Next up was Charlotte’s finest, @Senior, accompanied by @NevaMind910 @TPClikeYAK @ArturoGreene90 @alexxKgray and the rest of the Hornets N.E.S.S. I’m pretty sure I spotted @ElevatorJay back there as well. Simply put, these guys hold it down for the Queen City and I encourage anyone reading this blog to check them out. Senior performed his single “Slow Motion” and a number of other songs with @NevaMind910 to keep promoting the #PaperboiWorld movement and put on for Charlotte. Much respect gentlemen.

@Senior

@Senior

@DJMustard was the next on the scene. If you don’t know who he is, C’MON SON! If you listen to virtually any hip-hop/rap station you’re bound to hear at least 3-5 singles that he’s produced. This guy has been with YG from the get go, so it’s only right that he would be DJ’ing YG’s first headlining tour. Mustard came out and started pumping out the jams and you could feel the energy level rising. His last song was K. Camp’s “Cut Her Off (Remix)” which the crowd ate up. Mustard threw out some “Mustard On Tha Beat” towels and tees which started a frenzy as well.

Mustard on tha beat hoe!!

Mustard on tha beat hoe!!

Right before YG was set to come out, I felt a bump on my shoulder. Senior found me and handed over an ice cold brew while saying “I’m a man of my word”. I was like wow, you’re awesome. I hope the knuckleheads at Amos’ Southend get things straightened out for Saturday night when @ScHoolBoyQ comes to town because it will be my turn to return the favor my friend.

Finally, It was time. The stage prop, which was previously covered, was now showing a cut out of a house. A house from Bompton. It had graffiti of “Bompton” and “Spruce St” all over it. Smoke started coming out from underneath the front door which soon covered the entire stage, and that’s when we heard it. YG’s momma yelling the Intro to his album, and all of a sudden, BPT!!! YG came out of the front door and the crowd went nuts. Check it Out:

After this, YG went on to do “I Just Wanna Party” from his debut album and then transitioned into a little something unexpected. Dr. Dre’s “The Next Episode” came on the speaker system and YG essentially was a hype man for the audience, until he decided to show off a little footwork for our viewing pleasure. This had me cracking up. Please notice the heel clicker at the end too.

After this YG went on to do literally EVERY song from the album except for “When I Was Gone” and the Deluxe Edition tracks. Everything else, was done. And instead of just doing them all in order, YG mixed it up by throwing in some of his previous material including “Up”, “Toot It & Boot It” “I’ma Thug”, and “You Broke”. I was in the middle of turnin up but managed to catch two of my favorites:

And last but not least…and you knew it would end this way…

Another turnt night in the books. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting some new people and listening to some great music and am already looking forward to this Saturday when @ScHoolBoyQ comes to @AmosSouthend with @isaiahrashad @vincestaples and hopefully my boy @Senior to keep it 100 yet again.

RIP RIP RIP RIP RIP We Just Killed the Club!!

RIP

Young Jeezy’s latest single produced by DJ Mustard, has been remixed and now features one of the hottest MC’s in the game – Kendrick Lamar. Also on the remix are YG and Chris Brown.

YG has been working extensively with the Snowman since he was featured on Jeezy’s mixtape #ItsThaWorld on “Just Got Word”. In turn, YG featured Jeezy on his mixtape Just Re’d Up 2 on the track “We Playin” produced by Cardo. Jeezy will now be the executive producer on YG’s debut album Welcome to Bompton.

The last verse by Breezy has been the subject of discussion on Hip-Hop forums around the web for his shots at Drake. He raps “Dearly departed, I bought a plane I departed / And if you started from the bottom, go on and come out the closet”. There is clearly still tension between the two since the bar fight incident that does not appear to be ending anytime soon.

“RIP (Remix)”