Big K.R.I.T. & Ty Dolla $ign

Following their respective releases of 4Eva Is a Mighty Long Time and Beach House 3, both Big K.R.I.T. and Ty Dolla $ign announced supporting tours that would span across the continental United States, each with more than 25 tour dates.

Heavy Is The Crown Tour

Don’t Judge Me Tour

There just so happened to be 4 tour dates in which both artists would be playing at the same venue at the same time. Conveniently, 2 of those 4 tour dates were in North Carolina. One in Raleigh, and one in Asheville. It had been a few years since I last visited The Orange Peel in Asheville, but it felt like I was due for a trip. I hit up one of my boys (what up Wes!) and we both agreed to make the trip and planned out the logistics.

Fast forward past our road trip, and we were in Asheville on Tuesday, March 27th. We started the day off in the late afternoon by brewery hopping around the city. We started at Wicked Weed, which conveniently backs right up to the Orange Peel. We were enjoying our first beer when K.R.I.T. and Ty$ both began to run through their sound checks inside, which were easily heard from where Wes and I were at. I got hype just hearing that.

We made a few more stops at Burial Beer Company, the Green Man Brewery, and finally came to White Duck Taco for dinner – all awesome spots. At this point, we were completely fueled up and ready to go, so we headed on over to the Orange Peel. It didn’t even take long to get through the line and security, despite the show selling out. The crowd had for the most part already assembled itself around the front of the stage, but the vantage points were great from pretty much anywhere inside. We checked our coats, got some beers, and made our way back.

The Orange Peel

Big KRIT & Ty Dolla $ign

The first act to come out was Childish Major. I recognized the name from his production – notably UOENO and 4YEO – however, I wasn’t aware that he began a career now as a rapper. As far as openers go, he did a pretty decent job. His most recent project Woo$ah features DRAM, 6lack, SZA and Isaiah Rashad, and is worth checking out. I wasn’t familiar with his solo work so I kind of just tried to take it all in. The set was fairly short though, so I’ll be going back to check his material again.

Next up, GOOD Music signee CyHi The Prynce. I started following CyHi back in college, especially after the release of Royal Flush 2. I loved that tape. The puns and clever wordplay really got me into his music, and since that point I’ve kept tabs on CyHi as the years have gone by. He’s put out a number of mixtapes since that point, and most of them have been pretty well received by critics and fans alike. His rumored debut album seemed like it would never drop, however this past year, it finally did. No Dope on Sundays gave CyHi his first major release, although in my own personal opinion, it wasn’t his best work. That said, his set was pretty solid. The majority of it was new material from his recent album, although he did go back and play some of the mixtape cuts from some of the old heads like myself, including “Cold as Ice” and “Far Removed”. It was really nice to finally see CyHi showcase his talents as a wordsmith.

CyHi The Prynce

Next up, KRIZZLE. I’ve been a long time supporter of Big K.R.I.T.’s music. His soulful melodies and country fried bars are like chicken soup for mah heart, mah soul. His mixtapes are undoubtedly all fire. They’re honestly so good. I’d probably have to lean KRIT Wuz Here as my favorite, but it’s not an easy choice. He hasn’t quite tasted as much of the commercial success that some of his peers have, but I don’t think that means his music isn’t as good by a long shot. In fact, I think the opposite. The majority of KRIT’s material is better than that of his peers. And as far as I’m concerned, 4Eva Is A Mighty Long Time is a dark horse contender for 2017 AOTY. KRIT came out to “Big Bank” and the place went nuts. I remember initially hearing it when I first got the album and I got the same vibes as I did when I first heard “Country Sh*t”. KRIT didn’t stop there, and went on to perform a lot of his newer material, including – “Subenstein” and “1999”, some of his older material – “Just Touched Down” and “Mt. Olympus” – and then closed things down with some of his slower, more meaningful songs “Mixed Messages”, “Drinking Sessions” and “Justin Scott”. You could feel the emotion in his voice on those ending songs. His delivery was spot on (per usual) and he did not disappoint.

Big KRIT

Big KRIT

Following an intermission, Ty Dolla $ign was the final act. KRIT and Ty$ both make drastically different sounding types of music although they’re both underneath the hip-hop/rap umbrella – both great in their own right. The scheduling of KRIT before Ty$ was definitely a good move though. KRIT has a few upbeat songs in his catalogue, although not too many that you might consider “bangers”. A lot of his music has meaning, touches on social injustice, focuses on his storytelling ability, etc. whereas Dolla $ign has a lot more music you can turn up to. And that’s exactly what we all do when he came onto the stage right out of the gate to “Don’t Judge Me”, the Mike Will Made It produced track with features from Future and Swae Lee. That song goeeees. Ty kept the crowd going as he played hit after hit, including “Paranoid”, “Or Nah”, “Irie”, “Droptop In the Rain”, “Lil Favorite”, and “Blasé”. Towards the end of the night, it appeared that Ty would be closing his set out with a solo guitar performance of “Horses In the Stable”. He finished, said goodnight, and walked off to the side of the stage as Post Malone’s “Psycho” was playing, on which Ty$ is featured. A good bit of the crowd cleared out, and I actually don’t blame them because this was a lengthy concert, but that allowed Wes and I to get right to the front of the stage. Ty$ rapped his verse on “Psycho” then came back out and told us about a new song, “Pineapple” that would be dropping in a few days. (At the time of this post, the song has dropped and is available everywhere and features Gucci Mane & Quavo). It was a nice preview of what was to come though and a great way to send us off with a bonus cut.

If you have the availability to see either of these guys before they begin to conclude their tours, you should definitely do yourself a solid and go check them out.

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The #PurpleReign Tour: Charlotte Edition

Happy Friday everyone. I’m enjoying a lovely rum & coke at the moment and I hope that your evening is going just as swimmingly. To be completely honest, I’m aware that it’s been almost a month since this concert took place. Part of me feels almost guilty for not posting sooner, but a larger part of me doesn’t want to feel obligated to make these posts. Let’s be serious, there probably aren’t but a few dedicated readers anyways – hey Amanda – so from here on out things will be a bit different. I’m going to post reviews after seeing a show for sure, but I’m not going to try to pander to any audience or try to make some kind of clickbait title for views. The days of going to ~20 rap shows a year are behind me. So from here on out, I’m keeping it real. [This would be the ideal time for a Chappelle show clip about when keeping it real goes wrong btw].

Alright, I’m off the soap box, let’s get to the damn thang.

Here we go. 2015 was owned by Future. There’s no doubt about it. The man dropped two critically acclaimed mixtapes in 56 Nights and
Beast Mode, and then followed them up with an unprecedented 3, yes THREE, number 1 albums in DS2, What A Time To Be Alive w/ Drake, and EVOL (not to mention the Purple Reign tape itself). For those counting at home, that is 5 projects in a single calendar year. Some people can’t put out 5 projects in a career – looking at you Dr. Dre.

Needless to say, the hype was really real for the Purple Reign Tour, and rightfully so.

Purple Reign Tour

Purple Reign Tour

A few months back I got a notification from my LiveNation app letting me know that tickets would be going on sale. I was all over it. Yes, I have seen Future perform before, but at that time he was nowhere near as popular as he is today.

Fast forward a few months. April 7, 2015. Showtime is 8pm at The Fillmore, one of my favorite venues. I’m rolling solo, which at this point I’m used to doing. Live music is just worth it in my opinion. Anyways, I showed up about 20 minutes before doors opened and the line was at least 200-250 yards long. Unreal. It didn’t phase me much though, because I had previously purchased a handy dandy “fast pass” from the venue for $10 which essentially provides a separate admission line that gets in before the mile long general admission line. I was tempted to buy a “Meet & Greet” package ticket, but $250 is a little too steep for me, no matter how much I like Future.

So inside the venue we go. The show actually didn’t take long to get started, which was nice. Lil Donald was the first act out. I won’t front at all, I’ve never heard of Lil Donald before that night. I learned he was signed to Freebandz though, so he’s got that going for him. He did a few songs and the crowd was cool with him.

The next performer I was very familiar with, Ty Dolla $ign. Most people got familiar with Ty following the success of his hit single, “Paranoid”. I will humble brag and say that I was a fan a little before that, mainly because of his affiliation with YG, who I love. I think everyone is familiar with the song “Toot It & Boot It” though, which is where Ty really got his start, even if nobody really knew who he was back then.

Ty came out looking super casual and put together the following setlist:

1. Familiar
2. Dead Presidents
3. Violent
4. Irie
5. Only Right w/ TeeCee4800
6. Toot It & Boot It
7. You & Your Friends
8. Play No Games
9. Sitting Pretty
10. Or Nah
11. Paranoid
12. Saved
13. Blasé

Ty held it down, especially for an opener. I would almost venture to call him a co-headliner. I skipped seeing Ty about a year ago at Amos’ Southend in Charlotte, so it really was a treat to see Ty AND Future in the same night.

Dolla $ign!

Dolla $ign!

After Ty’s set, house music filtered back through the speakers at a reasonable level and general conversation filled the venue. After some time, the stage was set for Fewtcha. The lights dimmed, and the backdrop of 3 split screens began to show a steady sea of purple waves. Anticipation was rising, and ultimately, our boy came out to grace the stage. After at least 2 hours since most of us entered the venue, we were ready to turn up. At first, there was a faint sound of music playing. It gradually got louder, and ultimately you heard the beginning of “Thought It Was a Drought” playing. Future ran through a brief introduction to the crowd, but the crowd could have cared less. We went word for word over the intro to the song until the beat dropped at which point all hell broke loose, in a good way of course.

Future put down a set list that was pretty amazing. It consisted of:

1. Thought it was a Drought

2. Move That Dope
3. Same Damn Time
4. Karate Chop
5. Monster
6. My Savages
7. Peacoat
8. Lay Up
9. Where Ya At
10. I Serve the Base
11. Blood on the Money
12. Stick Talk
13. Freak Hoe
14. Blow a Bag
15. Rotation
16. Slave Master

At this point, we had gone through a number of hits, and Future needed a break to get some water/hydrate/hit the gas, etc. Whatever he was doing, we had ourselves a guest MC enter the stage to keep us entertained, DJ Esco, who was donning a fitting #2 Charlotte Hornets Larry Johnson jersey.

DJ Esco

DJ Esco

Esco played a number of current radio hits for 10-15 minutes and ultimately gave the mic back up to Future, who continued to light things up, and he started the 2nd portion of the show with a bang, by bringing Ty back out of stage to perform Blasé, together. It was lit. Ty even leapt from the stage into the welcoming arms of fans, who lost it.

17. Blasé w/ Ty Dolla $ign
18. Real Sisters
19. The Percocet & Stripper Joint
20. Trap N*ggas
21. F*ck Up Some Commas
22. Diamonds Dancing
23. Jersey
24. I’m The Plug
25. Jumpan

26. March Madness
27. All Right
28. Wicked
29. Perkys Calling
30. Purple Reign

Fewtcha!

Fewtcha!

And with that final performance, Future bid us adieu and left the stage. The venue’s lights came back on, and people started filtering out into the brisk night air. What they didn’t know, was that Future wasn’t done. After a few minutes, he came back out on stage and gave an encore performance consisting of:

31. Low Life
32. Honest
33. Chosen One
34. Love Me

It was a solid hour and a half performance, and Future certainly delivered. He put down a great performance and earned every cent that he made that evening. My only criticism would be that he didn’t play my personal favorite, “Gone to the Moon”. I get it though. With his current buzz, most of his fans these days don’t even know that song because it’s so old. Fortunately, I can say I’m lucky enough to have seen it performed before, so there was no real damage done.

All in all, it was a great show, and I’m really glad that I made the effort to go see Future perform. I won’t say I’ve been a day one Future fan, but as a fan of at least 3 years or so, it is really cool to see him rising up in the hip-hop community and know that you were supporting him back when he was relatively unknown. My humble brag is now done. Point is, if you haven’t seen him and he’s coming to a city near you, get some tickets and make it happen. You won’t regret it.

Mac Miller – The G00D:AM Tour

Fresh off the release of his third studio album, GOOD:AM, Mac Miller announced that he would be launching a US tour to promote his new LP. Thankfully, one of the stops listed was in Charlotte, NC.

GOOD:AM - Album Cover

GOOD:AM – Album Cover

GOOD:AM US Tour Dates

I’ve only seen Mac once before, when he was hardly known in the mainstream hip-hop audience. 4 years ago, he opened for Wiz Khalifa on the Green Carpet Tour at the Red Oak Amphitheatre in Raleigh, NC. I was only a year removed from college at the time and still made frequent visits back to my old stomping grounds, so this concert was just an excuse to get back to Raleighwood to have a good time with some friends.

Flash forward 4 years, and Mac’s stardom has grown exponentially. His 4th mixtape, KIDS, really got him into the spotlight back in 2010 and since then he’s released mixtape upon mixtape along with 2 critically acclaimed albums, not including his newest release, GOOD:AM.

As many people are well aware, Mac is a Pittsburgh, PA native. He went to the same highschool as Wiz Khalifa (Taylor Allderdice HS) and later got a record deal with Rostrum Records, who Wiz was also signed with. Initially, I think a number of listeners felt that he was riding Wiz’s coat tails to a degree, but he has more than proven any doubters wrong since that time. Mac has truly carved out a role for himself in the hip-hop world and continues to impress with his clever punchlines and melodic flows.

Now then, on to the show. I arrived on site about 30 minutes before doors even opened and the line to get in was already 150-200 people deep. I knew it wold be a packed house, but had no idea that it would be this packed. Instead of waiting it out in the general admission line, I called an audible at the box office and opted to get a fast pass. This $10 magical coupon gets you in a separate line to get in, before anyone else. It proved to be $10 well spent. A few of my friends met me there at about that same time, and the waiting game began until doors opened.

Once the doors did open, we made a beeline to the center of the audience. Your standard house music and milling around went on for a bit while the crowd continued filing in. Eventually, a DJ came to the stage and announced the first opener was coming to the stage: Choo Jackson. I’ve never heard of Choo Jackson prior to this show, but the guy had some serious energy. The crowd was so ready to turn up, the moment the first song started people were instantly jumping up and down. Choo played a few songs and eventually gave way to Michael Christmas – another guy I have never heard of. Like Choo, Christmas was very energetic and crowd-friendly. He did a great job getting the crowd to interact with him and had a natural stage presence. The final opener was a duo named Earth Gang – yet another act I hadn’t heard of. (This trend just let me know I need to get out from under a rock and listen to some more up and comers). Like the previous acts, this group had the crowd bouncing and did a great job setting the stage for Mac. All 3 acts really did a great job entertaining the crowd and I think they each have the potential to achieve great things in this industry with the work ethic that they displayed this past Tuesday night.

And speaking of Mac, his time had finally descended upon us. The stage was set, the lights dimmed, and the song “Loud” began to play over the speakers. Have a look:

The crowd went APE – to the point of some pushing/shoving and even some lighthearted moshing for the boys up front. I had severely underestimated the kind of show that Mac would be putting on. I did not expect that kind of energy. At. All. Mac continued on with a set list that spanned almost every one of his better known projects. There were songs from KIDS, Blue Slide Park, Best Day Ever, Faces, WMWTSO, and obviously GOOD:AM.

Here’s the set list:

1. Loud
2. Watching Movies
3. Bird Call
4. Insomniak
5. Doors
6. Brand New

7. 100 Grandkids
8. Red Dot Music
9. Nikes On My Feet – A personal favorite of mine. This song is a classic.

10. In The Bag
11. Rush Hour
12. Weekend
13. Clubhouse
14. Donald Trump
15. Diablo
16. Break The Law
17. Objects in the Mirror
18. ROS
19. Onaroll
20. Lucky Ass B*tch
21. When In Rome

Encore:

22. Frick Park Market
23. Cut the Check
24. Best Day Ever

It took Mac roughly an hour and a half to perform all of these songs, and he put everything he had into each one of them. The energy in the room was undeniable, and I left the venue with a solid sweat going. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many stops left on this leg of the tour, so if Mac is coming to your city and you have a chance to go, do it. I underestimated Mac. Learn from my mistake and don’t do the same thing.

Mac Miller

Mac Miller

Until next time!

PS – Future and Ty Dolla $ign are coming to Charlotte together in March! LETS GET IT!! #FutureHive.

PSS – Shoutout to the The Fillmore Charlotte for always bringing great artists through the city. Thank you.

Upcoming Hip-Hop shows in the Queen City

Rise & Grind my fellow hip-hop heads. Hope you’re all enjoying this 3 day holiday weekend. On my day off, I thought I would post a few of the notable upcoming shows in the Charlotte area y’all might want to check out.

Sunday, 9/7/2014

AugustAlsinaFillmoreNCHero

August Alsina makes a stop at the Fillmore on his Testimony Tour.
Opening for him is R&B singer Teyanna Taylor.
Doors 7pm, show 8pm.
Tickets: $31.58

Monday, 9/22/2014

Ab Soul these days tour

TDE labelmate Ab-Soul is promoting his recently dropped album “These Days” by holding the These Days Tour which comes to the Fillmore on 9/22/14.
Doors 7pm, show 8pm
Tickets: $31.58, Meet & Greet $118.24

Tuesday, 9/30/2014

Lil Dicky Professional Rapper Tour

Lil Dicky is on his first tour and makes a stop at the Neighborhood Theatre w/ DJ Omega.
Doors 7:30pm, Show 8:30pm
Tickets: General Admission: $18.54. Meet & Greet: $56.65. Backstage VIP Package: $103.00

Thursday, 10/2/2014

PA_POSTER_LAYERED_PRINT

Big K.R.I.T. just announced his Pay Attention Tour a few weeks ago. Amos’ Southend will host the first show of the tour. Two-9 acts as the supporting act of this tour.
Doors: 8pm, show 9pm
Tickets: General admission $24.89, Meet & Greet $55 Soldout

Wednesday, 10/15/2014

Ty$ In Too Deep Tour

Rising sensation Ty Dolla $ign recently dropped his Sign Language mixtape and this 40 city tour was subsequently announced to promote it.
Amos Southend. Doors 7pm, show 8pm.
Tickets: $26.37

Friday, 10/30/2014 – Halloween Night

Deniro Farrar Bowdown Tour

Charlotte’s own Deniro Farrar and Denzel Curry host the BowDown Tour at The Neighborhood Theatre.
Doors 8pm, show 9pm
Tickets: $18.54

I’m pretty sure I’ll be at most of these shows, hope to see you there.