The plan was to pick my wife up from work at 3 PM & make it to Dallas (a 6 hr drive) with enough time to check in the hotel, change, get food, and be to the venue for 11 PM. My set time was 11:30 PM.
Shit don’t always go as planned.
The night before I ain’t go to bed till 4 AM, when I knew my Black ass had to be up to leave at 6:30 in the morn to get my wife to work on time. Needless to say I couldn’t wake up so my wife drove her car. I didn’t get up Thursday morning till 9:30, as I had an appointment with my first client for 10 AM (I’m a mental health counselor). My next appointment was at 11:30am on LSU’s campus, then my last was at 1 PM in Gonzales, La, a 30 mins trip east. By the time I saw my last appointment (and stopped by the Polo store to get fitted for the show & wedding I attended in Oklahoma the same weekend), I ain’t get back to the crib till bout 2:30 PM. Now I gotta do laundry, enter case notes, and finish packing. And I totally forgot about getting my registration, plates, & inspection sticker for Candy, my new candy red rap dad mini-van.
My wife pulls up at 3:30PM, like “nigga why you still in yo draws?” I’m like “mane my clothes in the dryer, and I gotta do these notes. Be a gangsta and handle that car biz for a real nigga…”
That’s how I really talk to my Queen. She really a G. She ran them errands too.
Fast forward, we ain’t leave Baton Rouge till 5:15 PM, and ran smack dab into traffic. By the time we got on highway 49 the speed limit done jumped up to 75 from 55.
Nigga it’s lit.
About an hour out from Dallas, I saw that we wouldn’t get to our telly till 11:18, my set time is 11:30. I read the email from the promoter, and it said if you miss the set time you have to go at the ass end of the night.
Fuck all that.
So I decide to go straight to the venue, and now that I’m riding shotgun, I decide my big ass bout to change while wifey is driving. For those questioning why we bought the rap dad van, imagine my 6’3, 400 LB ass changing a full outfit in the front seat while the car is going 85 MPH on the interstate. That’s why.
I literally pull up at the venue at 11:25, while my man Silas & my OG Kamikaze is performing. I get there in just enough time to change shoes, put my merch down, and get a cup of water. Crisis aborted. My wife drops me off and parks the car, as her sorority sister pulls up at the same time. Lit.
Now some of ya’ll may heard of Silas. He’s an dope emcee who plays trumpet and went viral in 2015 by turning the theme song to “Gullah Gullah Island” into a Black empowerment Panda rap song. Kamikaze is formally of Crooked Lettaz, a Mississippi duo with him and David Banner that put out a major label in the late 90’s. Kaz is one of the best emcees and performers I know, and this nigga is Silas’ manager and HYPEMAN!!! These niggas jump and bounce and rap and play trumpet and dab and sing and all that shit, and they put on a great show. Being that I’ve worked with this promoter in Dallas for 6 yrs, I got the perfect spot of being right in the middle of the bill, but he didn’t know that I would prolly NOT wanna go after them niggas, because they are the definition of a hard act to follow.
But I ain’t no bitch tho, so I wasn’t gonna complain.
Furthermore, something weird happened as I walked in on the end of their set. Niggas in the crowd wasn’t as lit, as I’ve seen them slay crowds before. I think mostly because the crowd was a lot of rappers, and sometimes rappers like to front on other rappers, especially really good ones that are better than them. When I saw that the crowd was kinda being stiff, I was like “Shit, I may have a chance.”
So after they finish, I go up. I do my go to acapella to see if they effin with me, and I saw ppl who were talking stop and kinda turn around and pay attention.
Victory. Now that people are coming back in and listening, I hit em with “By Any Means,” as song with a Marvin Gaye sample and a soulful hook. I do crowd participation on the hook, and the audience got into it towards the end of the record.
Next I do my 5 things segue, got applause at point #4 (like I always do), the one in which I talk about being a proud father & husband. Now I go into “Where I Stay,” which is peak country rap tunes sounding track. Annnddddd… I’m in Texas, and it has a Pimp C sample “From One Day Your’re Here….” The crowd is locked in. I see the heads in the room nodding their head, and while I’m not a punchline rapper, I see them saying ooh & ahh to my content, an amazing feat for a conscious rapper. I see my JAfrican homies 7 Thirty & Kamikaze vibing tough to my music. Can’t act like a light weight get winded, because I haven’t performed since Houston, but I’ll be damned if I get caught out of breath in front of them niggas.
Next I ask can I take em to church, they say yeah. I kick this written I wrote back in 2004, which is lowkey one of the best verses I’ve ever written, that’s why I still remember it. It deals with religion, so it’s a perfect lead into “Stare & Whisper.” Now it’s time for Revered Black to preach, and that I did. Funny thing about it, on this song where I refer to racists as ”Rednecks.” “devils,” & “crackers,” decry white supremacist symbols such as the confederate flags, a white woman in some yoga pants and a tank top came to the front of the stage and started dancing. Shawty was kinda fine too. All the Black people in the front vibing with my Black ass raps were kinda puzzled why this thin white woman was vibing so hard to my music.
Anyways, now we down to the last record, “Cry Freedom.” I’m sweating profusely (remember Houston?), but I’m like fuck it. All my Mississippi homies are looking on, I’ve successfully converted a crowd to my conscious gangster raps in which I rap about Yeshua bin Yosef as well as Crips & Bloods, I gotta put it all on the table. And that’s what I did. Ended the set with my soul on the line, and got pretty good applause from the crowd.
Now I go to try to set up my merch table so hopefully I can slang something. Well I didn’t. These niggas ain’t wanna shop with a nigga for shit mane… Regardless of how well I did. But I’ve been traveling so long, I understand that this too is part of the game. Kinda what happens when you rap for a lot of rappers and their supporters. Did a light amount of networking, sold a few things, and called it a night. Got Denny’s with my wife and her soror, and decided to say eff that hotel, drove straight to my parents house in Oklahoma. Because I’m a thug.
Venue Rating: 3.5/5 (No stage, maybe not the best place for a Hip-Hop show, but a cool place for drinks and dinner)
Crowd Response: 4/5
Merch Sales: 1/5
Next Show: June 23rd, @ Zo’s Corna, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
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.