Saving Souls in Pensacola
Now if you remember, there was a lil’ “controversy” with this show because of the name of the event. Not gonna go back into it for 2 reasons:
1. Me & Buddy talked & squashed it.
2. I talked about it at length in the last one.
One thing I will say is, though he & I squared it away; some of his fam were pretty riled up. And rightfully so, if I had done what I was accused of doing. So I didn’t know if he told his folk to chill or not, I just knew they were mad at one point. Truly didn’t know what to expect when I got there.
My wife & I pulled up to the hotel with about 3 hours till show time. We relax, change clothes, get food, and head over to the venue. I’ve played this venue before, and last time I made a pretty big splash. A lot of people from PCola follow me on Facebook, and interact with me fairly regularly. When I pull up to the venue, after circling the block looking for a parking spot like 5 times, it’s all love when see the whole crew outside talking and smoking cancer sticks.
Anxiety level went down like a mf.
I see a lot of familiar faces, all friendly, and I’m happy.
First act up is a heavy set white guy who kicked mad speed raps with NO VOCALS. It was his first live performance, and though he had some hiccups, I was happy he didn’t rap over his vocals. He has potential. Probably did one too many songs though. You don’t need to do more than 3 songs your first set, buddy did like 10.
After the heavy set speed rapper was Atreu, who was “interesting” to say the least; then Johnny Panic came with the anarchist emo raps, & then Da Strangers. Da Strangers are a collective of artists from the MidWest and SouthEast who all came together in Florida. I didn’t know what to expect but they were a pleasant surprise due to their high energy speed raps, good content, and their soulful singer adding a special touch to their music. Next was Leon The God from NoLa, who like my bro Alfred Banks rocks the scarf over the mic, is dark skinned with long dreads. My wife & I jokingly called him Albert Banks. He did his thing though.
Next was C Shreve the Professor from Boone, North Carolina. Buddy is legit a college professor at Appalachian State, and still finds the time to tour his ass off. I had hit him up previously bout doing some things in NC, but he ain’t know who I was so he sent me back to the hood lol. I knew he was gonna be on the bill, so I wanted to make a good impression. Well he impressed me, with a veteran emcee skillset and presence that spanned several different types of production and styles.
With all that happened before with the guy who put the show together, I wanted to give him work. Not in no disrespectful way, I just wanted to go extra hard and knock him on his ass with this Hip-Hop. He first met me when I was in my “Trap Hop” days, and I’m not sure how he felt about my music, because he’s not a trap guy at all. But, like so many of us underground guys, we link up based on how we vibe out, and how we move. Though we bump heads sometimes, we overall have good vibes and we def are about what & what as it pertains to moving (he’s actually a little ahead of me). Homie is the type of guy who puts you in a box and doesn’t a really [fuck with] thing he hasn’t seen, or at least I feel like he did that with me. So I decided to fuck his head up with some boom bap shit, because I know he’s a boom bap head.
I start off with “PPL 1st” rapping loud and angry as hell, and the crowd was like “WTF?” The downside of headlining a show (I didn’t know I was the headliner) is going last sometimes. It’s past 12 am and people are all rapped out by now. But I brought mf’s back in, and now it’s lit. I hit em with “Henry Clay,” and though it wasn’t the smoothest rendition, the crowd ate it up.
Afterwards I broke down the story of Henry Clay, my great, great grandfather who escaped slavery in North Texas, swam across the Red River, and started a new life in Oklahoma, where I’m from. I transition that record to “Where I Stay,” a song about mass incarceration, the new slavery. The young brothers from Da Strangers are eating it up. I hit em with my spiritual acapella, then go in to “Stare & Whisper.” By this time, it’s pure church. “Cry Freedom,” was my alter call, and Lawd when I say I literally had people in tears. I won some souls in Pensacola ya’ll.
Got mad daps in from the crowd, and did very well at the merch table. Me & my guy embraced the way two grown men should, and he later told me he teared up like 3 times during my set. I told him that set was for him, he told me he was honored. I can’t wait to go back to Pensacola when new joint drops.
Venue Rating: 4.5/5 (Perfect place for a underground rap show. Took off points for having no stairs to the stage, and no Hennessy.)
Crowd Response: 4.5/5
Merch Sales: 4/5
Next Show: July 9th, 2017 @ BlackStar Books & Cafe’, New Orleans, Louisiana