Date: Saturday April 22nd, 2017 City: Miami, Florida
Show #: 16 States Completed: 9
Next Show: May 6th @ Spanish Moon in Baton Rouge, LA
The Friday before the show, my right hand man slash ”Director of Function” Mark Dub, drops me off at the airport in NoLa to head to the 305. I get to the gate on time, only for them to say that the flight has been delayed at least an hour do to “mechanical issues.” Now if anyone knows me, they know I can be very impatient, but this is airplane & I ain’t quite yet ready to go up a yonder. The only issue is I was supposed to switch planes in ATL where I had a 38 min layover, so the likelihood of me catching my connecting flight was slim to none. Well, it was none. We pull up in ATL bout 10 mins too late to make it to Miami Friday night, so Delta put us up in a nice Quality Inn in ATL. That bih was quality af too. Not cutty at all. Sad thing is I could not get my luggage, so I’m in ATL on a Friday night, and I can’t eem much call my guys in ATL to get me so we can go get turnt bc I ain’t have no gear to step out in. Biggie Smalls ain’t get murdered for me to be outchea all sloppy in these screets. So I opted to be responsible and try to get some rest, bc my shuttle to get back to the airport left the hotel at 5 AM, for a flight that leaves at 7:30 am. Ya’ll know how big the Atlanta airport is, so I wasn’t taking no chances.
Get on the plane fine, we pull up in Miami. Get my bags, and my mane Protégé picks me up from the airport, meeting me at the baggage claim. As soon I step outside I see wild palm trees… Now Louisiana has palm trees, not like Miami tho. Like palm trees everywhere. I bet there’s more palm trees than mf’s got palms on they hands in Miami. It was a beautiful sunny day, e’thing was scraight. Pull up to the Air BNB in a neighborhood looking like it’s straight out of GTA Vice City. Went to the room, laid it all the way down. Napped to pieces. Woke up hungry af!!! Didn’t know where I was in the city, so I didn’t wanna wander too far away. Ordered a Cuban steak sandwhich and some chicken wings. The sandwhich was lit, the wings effed clean over my stomach.
Fast forward, I call a Lyft driver. Buddy’s name was Jesus. Jesus was interesting, he spoke little English, but said he likes trap rap, even though he can’t understand anything they’re saying. I tell him I’m in town to rap, and his eyes light up. He said his favorite rapper was Future and his favorite song was “Cut It” by OT Genesis. He asked me was I tryinna party after my show, making a sniffing motion, implying that he had the coke for the low. Told him I was scraight. Then buddy said, in broken English, “You like Latin girls? Let me find you Latin girl to keep your belly warm.” My replay… “Nigga say what? Nah thug, I’m scraight, I’m happily married Papi.”
Keep my belly warm? Got damn lol. Niggas be cutting up in Miami huh? How the Lyft driver try to sell me blow and get me a Latin hooker to keep my “belly warm?” Mane these fools lit af in Miami!!!
So we pull up to the venue, and it’s a church. I’m like nah we at the right spot. I call Protégé, who booked me, he said yeah, it’s at a room in the back of this church. Nooooo ha? He then tells me that the pastor is a Hip-Hop head and he started this event as a ministry to keep kids off the streets and spread his message through Hip-Hop. I asked him was it a clean show, and he said know, say whatever TF you want.
So I go up into the room, and it’s soooooooo Hip-Hop. They have one room for breaking/dancing, and the other for emcees. The emcee room was decorated with dope graffiti/tags/writing, pictures, like real culture. They had a big screen in the back where the kids where playing Soul Caliber, and the DJ was mixing unedited Panda rap with Miami style dance/EDM/House Music. Interesting.
The crowd is mostly Spanish guys, I’m assuming Cuban, and man are these guys serious about Hip-Hop. The host asks me do I freestyle, I said, “Only when I’m drunk.” He laughs and tells me they don’t sell alcohol, but I still gotta freestyle, I’m like “whatever.” Sho nuff, they start a cypher before the show starts, and mane can these dudes rap. I’m tryinna call his bluff, but buddy really did call me out to freestyle!!! Anybody who knows me knows that that maybe my only weak link as it pertains to emceeing. Not because I can’t, but because I don’t really like to so therefore I don’t. And mane did I stink it up!!! I started off 4 bars of a written, then tried to go off the top, bc this dark skinned nigga was looking disappointed that I wasn’t freeing. And my off the top was trash. I fell off, tried to bring it back, but just ended up passing the mic, praying I redeem myself during my set.
Now it’s time me to go up. I hit em with my go to acapella. The crowd skeptical AF. By the time I finish it, they noddin they heads like “Ok big nigga, lemme see what else you got.” I go into “By Any Means,” it’s well received, good call & response action. I do my “5 things about myself” segway, and they start clapping by point 4. Now I see they open. Hit em with where I stay, and they were lowkey taken aback. Most of the crowd were boom bap guys, so they were surprised to hear my content over this country rap tunes beat with both Farrakhan and Pimp C vocal samples. 2 songs left on my set, and now it’s time to go to church. How fitting. So I hit em with “Stare & Whisper,” and they loved it. My soulful approach was different for them, and they embraced it. By the time “Cry Freedom” came on, we was having a revival. Finished my set, to a nice house approval, granted it was a small space, and a small crowd. This was my first time performing in 4 weeks, and there was just a lil bit rust, but I shook it off early in my set. Most of the artists after me where kids, some rapping for the first time. They really shoulda let me go last, as I made it really tough for them to follow. They all were good mc’s, with really good production tho.
One thing I found dope was, half way through the sets, the pastor came out, read a scripture, and gave like a 3 minute talk, which I thought was really dope. He was a Black man in his mid 30’s who loved the culture, and I appreciate how tolerable he was to people who expressed their beliefs or lack thereof, and even allowed all the artists to perform uncensored, enabling us to speak freely and tell our truths. The night ended with me judging a beat battle. I didn’t sell much merch at all, but I enjoyed myself. The event is a Hip-Hop community event similar to what we have in #FadeTheFlowSundays here in BR. It was beautiful and I was honored to be a part of it.
This is my first time blogging my shows, and this is getting kinda long, so I’ll end it here. Just know that it won’t be this long of a read every time.
Venue Rating: 4/5
Crowd Response: 4/5
Merch Sales: 1/5
Baton Rouge veteran emcee Marcel P. Black has already received high praise from some of the most well respected names in Hip-Hop. Most recently Marcel was featured on XXL.com’s list “12 Baton Rouge Rappers You Should Know,” also highlighted on HipHopDX.com’s “Up Next By DX” feature. Marcel regularly tours the Southeast, Gulf Coast, and Southwest, appearing at Atlanta’s A3C Festival, as well as other festivals in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, & Tennessee.