#TheMastersTour feat Freestyle Fellowship, A-Team and Haiku D’etat @ Crown & Harp

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This was one of those tours that you can’t pass up, however, a few promoters did. After a few months of negotiations, another solid month or two of promotion, the night finally arrived!  I always like to take advantage of the fact we have three thriving cities in this Metroplex, each with some dope hip hop acts.  So, I booked two artists from Dallas (Year of the Ox and Flotation), two from Denton (Muenster and Wild Bill), two from Fort Worth (Romio No E and Spewcataclism) and a local headliner that reps all of DFW (Grey Matter). The line up isn’t complete without a DJ and this night I had Tape Mastah Steph. The local line up itself was stellar and worth the $15 door fee (in my opinion).The day Freestyle Fellowship started the tour, I was informed by a promoter in Austin that PEACE and DJ Kiilu would NOT be on the tour, but Abstract Rude would take their place. Can’t say that disappointed me at all!!  Abstract is definitely a favorite of mine and a few people I know in DFW. It was going to be a fantastic show.

Night of I scooped my homegirl, Corie, and we headed to meet the guys at the hotel.  I’ve been putting artists up at Value Inn on the East Side of Dallas, and this day it was kind of packed with rough looking guests…but the rooms are nice and reasonably priced with free wifi and breakfast. I kind of rushed the guys to eat and do soundcheck because we had a date with EZ Eddie D on KNON between 8 and 10.  So rushed, in fact, that I jumped in their van without noticing we were missing someone- Aceyalone. Oops. We left him at Crown & Harp while Self Jupiter and Myka 9 did the interview.  

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By the time we got back to Crown & Harp around 10:15 or so, the place was FILLING UP!  Spewcataclism had already hit the stage and Flotation was up. I didn’t get to see the local acts very much because a few artists were pushing lateness *ahem* and I was helping the host, Spaceship Ohayes, stall and figure out where they were.  So needless to say, I was running around like a crazy lady most of the night.  

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I noticed that Blaze Won was in the building, so during one of those “Stall” times, I had him and Romio No E do the #SweatChallenge.  If you don’t know what it is, look it up because it’s some funny stuff. Basically, you record yourself singing a Keith Sweat song and hashtag it. Tape dropped the beat to “Make it Last Forever” and Spaceship Ohayes, Romio No E, and Blaze Won serenaded the crowd. I wasn’t the only one into it, there were people all up at the front singing and dancing. Easily one of my favorite moments that night.  You have to check out the video either on Blaze Won’s page or mine. While you’re at it, complete the #SweatChallenge and tag Blaze in it!!  

All night I saw so many familiar faces that usually don’t make it out to Dallas,  and that was a plus! Not to mention, A TON of faces I didn’t know!! That’s how you know a show was properly promoted (Shout out to my team!!!)

Freestyle Fellowship took the stage and Crown & Harp was PACKED.  People were standing on the booths just to be able to see over the sea of heads. I took a spot near the back of the stage in the corner, not trying to fight the masses to get a front row seat. The energy these cats have even just introducing each other was through the roof. Aceyalone doubled as MC and DJ (he had a Pioneer Controller) and didn’t miss a step! Self Jupiter did an a Capella piece that gave me goosebumps. Myka 9 jumped around stage, really getting into the performance and Abstract Rude was the cherry on top. These guys are legends and their performance just proves that. They functioned as a cohesive unit, and you can tell its been a well oiled machine for many years, maybe a couple of decades :) The energy in Crown & Harp could have probably powered a small city.

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Afterwards, we went back to the hotel. This is where the “rough” side of the hotel came in handy because we stayed out on the balcony until 5 or so in the morning without a complaint one. 

When it comes to groups with this amount of fame, or this LENGTH of fame, you never know how they’ll interact with you and the audience.  Crown & Harp is a pretty intimate venue with no green room so the whole night the crew was mingling. Muenster even contacted Ptero Dacto from Project Blowed to do a set with him and Jose made a point to ask when’s the last time Dallas has seen so many of the Project Blowed artists under one roof.  Answer- never. Self Jupiter’s sister resides in Dallas and she brought a few friends out with her as well. There was a sense of family in the air all night,  and everyone was having a good time.  The guys of Freestyle Fellowship are some really cool cats, down to Earth, humble and just soaked up all the love Dallas had to give. They REALLY felt that crowd! As a promoter/talent buyer, these are the shows that give you a deep sense of satisfaction. The audience got to see their favorite hip hop act, some even the Hip Hop group that helped them fall in love with the culture, and Freestyle Fellowship/A-Team/Haiku D’etat got to connect with their fans on an intimate level. As Keith Sweat says “Make it last FOREVERRRRRR!”

Another shout out to everyone involved on this show. You really did Dallas proud!! I’m steadily working on a Project Blowed Tour so ya’ll watch out.  Bigger venue next time is a MUST!!!! image

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Check out Right Round Productions for more video as well as Def 1’s Youtube channel. 

#ZuWednesday at Lola’s Saloon/ Romio No E’s Birthday Bash

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I love it when shows just fall together.  This was the case for this #WuWednesday.  Last month, we didn’t have many people out so it was REALLY important to have heads through the door this month if we wanted to continue this night.  I knew performances were a must and also knew that Romio No E had a birthday the next night.  After a little brainstorming and Romio agreeing to turn it into a #ZuWednesday, the night was set.  Right off the bat we had people down to perform, the bill was set, Deejay Mike B was scheduled to spin some videos, graphics were made and we had a pretty bad ass show.  I liked the Wu/Zu graphic SO MUCH I had to order shirts for the night.

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They came out fabulous too.  Shout out to Tay and 5DZN. 

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Scott Johnson took the stage first.  He did a great job of bringing his own crowd.  I know a lot of people hate playing for “an empty room” when they open.  Problem solved if you can get your friends and family out to support you!  Scott has a real boom bap sound with precision lyrics that actually say something.  He did very well, must admit I was a bit  surprised at his skill. I like surprises.  Skip the VM came on next, green slime and all.  He had Tape Mastah Steph backing him on the decks, a really good look since Tape is well connected to labels like Stones Throw Records and has an OG status when it comes to Turntablism. Next up was Kye Yote who has a really mainstream almost R&B sound.  He puts on a great performance and even tried to dance with me on stage while I was trying to talk to Deejay Mike B.  Nice try, Callie doesn’t do stage stuff….Doug Funnie rolls on stage complete with visuals for our entertainment.  Doug is part of a hip hop genre called “Nerdcore” where they rap about video games, toys, cult movies and such.  While spitting to “I’m a Big Kid Now” he had old school Mario Bros playing on the projector and even performed a song about Reading Rainbow complete with visuals from the show.  Good stuff.  Pac Manson took the stage with a Dead Presidents Mask and did a killer set with Romio No E joining as well as Mallie G.  Weight took over, another great performance from someone I haven’t seen before. 

Side Note: When I post specific instructions like “Message me if you want to perform” that means MESSAGE ME not Comment on the post.

Weight got on my good side quick by following instructions. 

Spewcataclism did a beat set that I wasn’t able to pay attention to because I was running around trying to get Romio’s act assembled and introduced…..but he always does a good job in EVERYTHING he does.  So I’m sure this night was no different.

Then the performance we had all been waiting for, Romio No E.  He and I had been secretly working on putting a band together for this performance.  Zach Tucker of many top bands and Matt from Burning Slow had already performed off the whim at The Grotto.  We wanted a little more well rehearsed set and Zach suggested adding Christian of Bomb Quixote.  Tracks were shared, a rehearsal was made, Romio put together some nice visuals and of course came in costume.  What happened was a great performance where the band added that special “umph” to the tracks.  The visuals were on point, all old videos Romio has put out in the past few years.  When he performed “Immaculate” he made the projector the chalk board from the video but edited him out so he could “write” on it live.  Good stuff.  And on “God Bless You”, Romio even came into the crowd to serenade the ladies.  Romio outdoes himself at each performance, kind of makes you wonder if he’ll run out of ideas.  I guess everyone has to attend every show to find out, right? Smart marketing. 

Last but not least, Alsace Carcione, who is easily one of my favorite MCs in the area.  She got on the video tip too and had her own videos playing on the projector.  Alsace put on a great performance and a lot of people who were on their way out the door turned around to stay.  I like that shit. 

All the performers were 100%.  Bilal did a great job starting off the night with all vinyl. At one point he even mixed a Wu-Tang track with Amy Winehouse “You know that I’m No Good”.  Mike B has the visual/Music stuff on LOCK!  Wu-Tang tracks for the ears while the eyes take in Ninja Turtles, My Little Pony, Speed Racer and more.  Makes me reminisce about my days of psychedelics….And let’s not forget about Smokey’s BBQ Truck and the bomb $1 BBQ Street Tacos.

Lola’s is always a great spot.  Sound is superb, the bartenders always take care of us and I just love the sound guys and Tim the door guy <3  I hope this will be a Bday that Romio No E remembers forever!!   I know I had fun!!!

HH4YN Presents: The Return 2014 AND #BEATKRATE Session 1

imageIf you haven’t heard of HH4YN (Hip Hop 4 Your Noodle) and Tay aka Spewcataclism, you have definitely been hiding under a rock or are not involved in the DFW Hip Hop Scene AT ALL!  If Tay isn’t throwing the show himself, usually its a bet that he’s involved somehow.  Whether its promo, performing, graphic design or providing band merch, Tay has his hands on nearly every GOOD show rolling through the DF-Dub.  This last week, he outdid himself with 2 shows, The Return 2014: Music+Art+Music and #BeatKrate Session 1.  

The first show, The Return, was held at a place we dubbed “The Chome” which is an old church off the Eastside of FW that’s been converted into a home.  We’ve had a few events here already that were a success.  Collective eARTh put a collection of art from over 2-3 dozen artists all over the walls.  The art is a blog in and of itself.  Lets just say that Collective eARTh runs with some VERY talented people.  My favorites were the skateboard art and the paintings with half Lee Harvey Oswald half JFK and the Selena and her killer counterpart.  Very dope.  The first act I caught was Kree23.  She’s a female MC from San Antonio with high energy.  Birds Eye Blue and Beast represented DK.  At one point, Peno’s daughter, Chloe, joined them on stage and you could just tell she was on top of the world.  ”My daddy’s famous,” she told me later.  Cute stuff.  Hologram Dagger + Grimp did an amazing set.  They never fail to impress a crowd.  Hunter’s violin skills against the beats Hologram Dagger and Grimp churn out makes a classic yet innovative sound that any music lover can enjoy.  Alsace got the house jumping and Grey Matter finished off the night with such high energy it seemed wrong for the event to be over!  Good people, GREAT Pho, and some amazing art made for a night everyone will remember.  

imageThen come Wednesday it was #BeatKrate Session One.  Now when I saw this line up, I KNEW it was going to be a great night for Hip Hop in Fort Worth.  Sean P, M Slago and Remode are easily some of the top producers in DFW.  To see all three on a bill together with Tape Mastah Steph made this girl happy :) Night of things were running a little late.  Tay had Buddah Fingers hook up a professional looking recording device to the sound board to record the nights awesomeness.  Tay also had someone videoing and Skip the VM taking snapshots to record the night in full.  He’s putting out some kind of series with interviews and audio/visual recordings of each #BeatKrate Session for youtube.  Gonna be dope.  There were a few new faces this night, a lot of familiar faces coming out to support.  Each producer went up and really put on some great sounds.  Some sampled, some didn’t, but all VERY talented with their own style.  My favorite of the night, DJ Remode.  Super talented beat maker, would love to see him on some more local projects.  He ended his set with a track he produced with Aceyalone last year.  Like I said, all the producers did an amazing job and I saw some Emcees get inspired with some lyrics and project ideas.  THAT’S what this is all about.  Love it.

I got to give a huge #SALUTE to Tay Spewcataclism.  Every event he does is well thought out, well planned, and well executed.  I’m honored to have been given the chance to work with him and make no secret that he is the person who helped break me into the Hip Hop Scene with the Funkytown Showdown last November.  Thank you Tay and keep it up!!  

Vans Warped Tour 2014 #YoBringItBack

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Through out the year, I have kept in contact with some of the production crew for the Yo Bring It Back tent at Warped Tour.  This year when they announced the Dallas date, they asked me if I was going. I got in with the guys from Dielex Kemposed last year because it was my birthday.  This year, I jokingly asked if I was “with the band” again and Fritz the Tour Manager said “Of course!”  Man, it was such an honor to be included.  

Day of I showed up, found a gate to park at, found certain pleasure in telling the gate keepers “I’m with the Bring It Back Tour” and let in for NO parking fee!!  As soon as we parked, I heard, “Callie!” and look over to see Dubb Sicks with a Tour badge on.  No need to wait for our bracelets, he takes us straight to the tent.  Bracelets are passed out, schedule is written up, and the day begins promptly at 11am.  

First up, the Bring it Back Cypher where all the artists take a turn freestyling over instrumentals.  Not to dis any of the other performers, but when Kilo Artifact gets on the mic to spit, he shames most MCs.  This was no different, he stuck out as a top performer.  Vel the Wonder took the mic with DJ Lala from California.  This short, cute, hispanic chick with stretched lobes probably surprised a lot of concert goers, including myself.  She was witty, precise, able to paint pictures with her lyrics, and far more than just a “cute girl” on the mic.  Her DJ (also a female) did a great job backing her, even scratching a bit.  Got to love a female duo.  Then Slop Musket got on, a three piece band with two MCs.  They put on a highly energetic and animated performance.  Their band teetered the line of punk rock and hard rock with some amazing guitar riffs and a 6 string bass guitar.  Totally great performance.  Last but not least, the Slop Musket band joined The Lie Show for another on point performance.  One thing I love about the Yo! Bring It Back Tour is a lot of these guys don’t look like your typical Hip Hop MC.  Lots of surprises.  

The Beatport Stage was the main attraction in this area, the tent taking over the show between the 15 minute tear down/set up this stage needed.  The genres of music ranged from alternative rock to electronic, Nerdcore to hip hop/trap.  DJ Nicola Bear was the first performance I was like “wow”.  She’s a UK native who has a residency in Ibiza and plays all genres of music depending on the crowd.  Ocelot told me he had a deal with her that she’d play a new Beastie Boys song each tour stop and on day 3 it was “Intergalactic” which spawned a dance circle in the crowd.  She was easily my favorite performer on the Beatport stage.  MC Chris came on and….man….  This little short guy with a voice like a 5 year old spit some “rhymes” about being a ninja, eating pizza, and Peter Venkman aka Bill Murray of the Ghostbusters.  Like that dude made Warped Tour and Doug Funnie didn’t??  Where are we going wrong, Fort Worth?  Then of course Crizzly did a set this year that definitely out did last year (he just stood there and played last year) complete with a hype man or “jump man” who would go in the crowd and just get them jumping pretty much.  Not bad.  The Crizzly Bear even made an appearance and danced in 100 degree weather.  

As far as our tent was concerned, my favorite parts are always the Cyphers.  We even had a Bboy/Bgirl Cypher which is ALWAYS a good way to get a crowd.  One dude even did some power house moves!  Pat Maine put on a very uplifting set, Grey Matter of course wrecked shop, Guilla Muenster was a nice duo, Dubb Sicks did his regular “Head in a Hoopty” with a very willing female participant who shook her ass for the audience and everything.  Amplified and Spliff put on a nice act with a harmonica at the end.  While all of this was going on, Todd Bot was by the tent painting a one of a kind piece and a few bodies for donations :)

My ALL TIME favorite thing at Warped Tour this year (besides the people at our tent of course) was the REVERSE DAYCARE.  I saw this and was curious….  There was a very young man standing outside the entrance who smiled as we walked in.  In a 20X20 tent (or smaller) were a bunch of chairs facing a TV, highly air conditioned with cans of Monster.  It took me a minute to realize……  these were parents of concert goers.  I walked out and busted out laughing, trying not to let the parents know.  Young man at the entrance goes, “Funny, right?  They drop their parents off and are like, ‘Ok, we’ll come back and get you when we’re done!’”  Most genius idea I think I’ve ever heard of!!!  After this, I saw a link on Warp Tour’s site saying “Free Parent ticket with admission of a minor.”  GENIUS, Vans!!!  Props on that one.  Romio No E got an interview with the tent I’m hoping he puts on YouTube soon *ahem*

I had a blast.  It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to make these type of connections and KEEP them.  This is a field where relationships make or break you.  The more good relationships you have, the more good relationships you’ll make and vice versa.  Thanks again, Yo! Bring It Back for having me out again this year and I can’t wait to build with you in the future!!! 

Romio No E’s Album Release Party, #FreshBeats EDM edition, and Pharcyde *whew*

What a week I had last week.  *WHEW* glad it’s over and glad to make so many memories.  

First of all, Romio No E’s “Incredidope” Album Release Party.  There were like 20 performers scheduled, Kilo Artofacto, Knowledgeable Intellect, Wrex Dub and D. Smiley being the ones I was interested in seeing.  I arrived around 9:30 and there were already quite a few people there.  I ended up speaking with Erotic D and another female breaking her way in the scene, Crystal, and mingling between different spots.  Romio announced he was “getting ready” for his performance and we all made our way inside.  Fool comes out in a green velvet tailcoat, complete with white ruffled shirt with his hair down.  Looked like Prince to me, I was digging the dramatics.  Dr. Rock dropped the beat and Romio performed like a pro.  There was energy, there were good beats, witty lyrics….I mean it was a performance worthy of Trees or Queen City Music Hall.  Romio has been on my radar, but I had yet to see him perform.  Bout damn time….  D. Smiley took the stage and did a great set with KoolBrz.  Kilo Artifacto has a tendency to give me goosebumps when he performs, and this night was no different.  He did a song about the voice in the back of your head that will leave you in chills.  Great stuff.  All in all the party was a success.  I think having 10 MCs on stage all with mics that have chords was a little much….poor sound guy.  Dr. Rock was a HUGE legend in the house, so the energy behind that and Romio[’s performance made up for anything that could have been better.  Everyone left that show super amped.  

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I almost didn’t go to #FreshBeats EDM version, but I just had to see the turn out and peep the talent.  I arrived what I thought was late, but in true Fresh Style, there was a late start time.  But once the battle started….whoa.  I haven’t dug EDM music in YEARS and I was hearing some stuff that reminded me of my raver days in the late 90’s.  I left a little early, but while I was there, there was no trap music (yessssss).  The judges were super technical, obviously knowing their ish.  The crowd showed out twice as much as the Fresh Beats Hip Hop version, and included many scantily clad ladies.  Joel’s always got some great ideas and I love witnessing events like this.  Something different, something fresh.  

Now Pharcyde…..I’m pretty sure everyone knows that the first go round didn’t go at all.  BAD NIGHT nuff said.  So I was excited and nervous to redeem myself this go round.  The venue was a no brainer, Lola’s has the best sound EVER but of course day of show there were a million and one things to do and only one of me.  I recruited Jerad aka Skip the VM and Crystal to help me transport the talent.  One less thing to worry about.  I arrived at the venue at 7pm which should have been sound check, but there was no DJ.  No worries…  Long story short we started 2 hours late for various reasons that all worked themselves out.  I started drinking whiskey at about 8pm then switched to beer for most of the night….needless to say this show drove me to drink.  A lot.  JLD did a fantastic job.  It’s an MC with a guitar (maybe bass) player, Chris Evans of the Hanabarbarians, and Drummer Alex Knight of various bands, from over there being one of them.  They did a great job of getting the crowd hyped.  Then Fab Deuce took the stage.  Pudge so eloquently said, “Shout out to Callie, this is Pharcyde Round 2” (which was kind of round 3 but who’s counting?).  They did an amazing set with Wild Bill and the crowd loved it.  Alsace got up, got the crowd bouncing.  She did one of the most on point performances I’ve seen from her yet and I’m sure the vibe of the place was a factor.  The energy was LIVE this night.  -topic and Koolquise did their trademark flawless performance, Buffalo Black did his intense, mind stimulating act while delivering tracks from his new album.  All that was left was the Dallas DMC Champion, DJ Spiderman, and his DJ crew, KutThroat Ent.  And of course, they cut it up.  Pharcyde rolled into the building, we had their green room set up.  I rolled them a blunt while they got ready for their performance.  After sweating bullets all day over this show, this moment felt very much deserved.  Booty Brown, Imani, Mike Relm and their manager, Greg, were all very nice and very professional, very down to Earth and easy to talk to.  At the end of the day, they’re people just like us.  They went on stage, and I hit the side stage to watch them perform.  Mike Relm did a short little 15 minute intro with video- AMAZING!  And The Pharcyde were everything you’d dream them to be.  They had great energy, did the classics like “Pack the Pipe” and “Passing Me By”.  There were EASILY 200 people there all with phones out, smiles on and heads bobbing.  So looking back, yeah it was a super stressful show, but worth every moment.  Everyone had a good time, I got a lot of props which is always a nice feeling.  I got to meet a cousin I’ve heard about and met on Myspace/Facebook who turned out to be a really cool cat.  That doesn’t happen everyday.  I took Mike Relm to another hotel in Dallas the next day and he invited me to see him spin at House of Blues (score!) and was just a super cool guy.  I always talk music, and he mentioned when he listens to records he’s “looking for something”.  I like that.  

For more pictures and videos, check out my facebook page and Right Round Productions Fan Page as well as VM Snapshots.

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Paul Wall at the Prophet Bar in Dallas

My homie, WordLife, informed me he was performing with Paul Wall at Prophet Bar, and wherever he goes I’m always welcome.  I was pretty stoked about this one…

Let’s back up a bit.  In High School, my homies used to bump DJ Screw.  Unless you were from Houston, back then, you didn’t really know anything about DJ Screw and the SUC.  We had a couple of Houston/San Antonio transplants in our school and they brought their music with them.  So late 90’s early 2000 it was Swisha House and then Paul Wall, Slim Thug, Mike Watts, Mike Jones, Chamillionaire, etc.  It was like Texas had its own underground scene AND sound.  I’m in love with Bass, so naturally, I love me some SUC and Swisha House.  Then about 2004/2005, Rolling Stone came out with this article about “Chopped and Screwed” and these crews from Texas like it was something new!  I was kind of proud that I was “in the know” before the rest of the country, and super proud that Texas put its name on the map for its own sound and culture.  

Now it’s been a few years since I’ve bumped Swisha House, SUC or Paul Wall even, but still doesn’t negate the fact that I was and still am somewhat a fan.  When the opportunity for me to MEET Paul Wall came up….I jumped on it FAST!  One of the producers from Top Shelf asked me to help promote (duh of course I will) and even gave DFW Norml booth space.  

Night of, I show up, check on the Norml table, and start mingling.  One thing I noticed right away was how many nice looking ladies were in attendance.  I didn’t really pay attention to any of the openers…  Me and Max from DFW Norml had a mission to not only meet Paul Wall, but give him some Norml swag and a Kind Pen.  When it was announced Paul Wall was in the green room, we headed upstairs.  

There were quite a few people in the smoke filled green room.  I saw Paul Wall, and almost sheepishly approached him.  Let him know who we were.  He wasn’t familiar with Norml, so I explained and immediately he was with it.  I told him I’d love to have him perform or speak at a Norml event and he asked to put his number in my phone!  Bucket list item- check.  Max took a few pics of Paul Wall with the kind pen where I was halfway in….  Max told me so and Paul goes, “You want a picture with you all the way in it?”  Uh, yeah.  So he put his arm around my shoulder and we took another.  I let him be for a moment, got some of my other Norml Compadres upstairs to meet him and snap some pics.  

After a little bit, I approached Paul Wall about doing an interview.  He was more than happy to give me his take on Legalizing Marijuana.  First thing he says, of course, is that it should be legal.  ”Look what alcohol does to people.  And what about prescription drugs?  They’re legal.”  He mentioned his new group he has now called Legalizers.  ”Kind of like what B Real did with Cypress Hill, just getting the word out to people about legalizing Marijuana.”  I mentioned one of my favorite albums from the early 90’s, Total Devestation’s “Legalize It.”  ”I hadn’t heard of that one, I’m gonna have to look it up,” he tells me.  I love schooling people on music!!!!  It’s the best.  He also mentioned all the money Colorado made, and in fact, more Texans than any other state, flocked to Colorado when it turned legal.  That says something there about how Texans feel about marijuana legalization.  Last but not least, I asked Paul Wall what he would say to young artists trying to make it big.  ”Stay on your grind.  I know a lot of dudes that got tired.  Just keep up the hustle, don’t quit.”  Good words.  

He went on stage shortly after this and I watched from the side of the stage.  The audience pushed as close to the stage as they could.  At one point, the music stopped and instead of going back stage until the sound issues were fixed, Paul Wall signed items, smoked with the fans, took pictures, shook hands, for at least a whole 30 minutes.  Music came back up and he was back performing.  He did one of my all time favorites, “Money Gets Jealous.”  I was like, Hey that’s the song he did with Chamillionaire, remembering the beef they had long ago.  Right about then, Paul goes, “Shout out to Chamillionaire!”  Maybe they made up.  He did all the mainstream favorites including “Grillz” and “Sitting Sideways”.  The audience was going nuts.  His performance was way on point.  

I’ve got to say, for someone as popular as Paul Wall and respected, especially in Texas, dude was super humble, super down to Earth and just plain COOL.  I know local artists who don’t do SHIT with bigger egos than this dude.  He took the time out to mingle with everyone that came through the green room doors, and there were a lot.  His fans really got the full experience and I’m sure all of them walked away from that show super stoked.  I know the guys of Norml Facebooked about it all that night AND the next day!  

One thing I will say….Paul Wall rapped over vocal tracks.  I HATE THAT!!!!!!  Ugh its so confusing to hear!  He actually texted me back today (bucket list- check!) and mentioned the sound delayed the show a little bit so it was a little awkward….  I’ll forgive him this one time because he was really The People’s Champ that night.  I can’t say enough how awesome he was to everyone.  Humility and talent are a great combination.  

A few things to note:

  1. There were SO MANY GIRLS!  And anytime a “Fuck Bitches and Hoes” song came on, they got wild!!!  Like what?!?!  Only conclusion I came up to with on this one….men, treat your girl like a freak every once in a while so that maybe they won’t have to unleash it at a rap concert.  I mean just bend her over, grab her by the back of her hair and slap that ass.  Maybe even call her a bitch while you’re at it.  Just every once in a while is all I’m saying….
  2. I got so much flack from my “conscious” rappers aka “REAL Hip Hop Heads” for being excited and going to this show.  First of all, it’s Paul Wall.  He’s a Texas legend.  Second of all, he had to do something right!!!  I’d be a fool to not want to meet him and take the opportunity to dig in his brain, figure out what he did that maybe others aren’t.  Not to mention, this fool brings the people out.  If I can get him on a Norml event, think of how many people we can attract and how much money we could raise for the cause.  

Anyways, all in all it was a great night.  Top Shelf always treats me right at these events, giving me backstage access.  They’re always good to the DFW Norml group, allowing us to set up and sell merch.  WordLife is my boy!  He put on a hell of a show with Accomplice and I even saw him getting some love from some ladies (get it!).  Hate me all you want, but I think Paul Wall is the shit.  

Blueprint, MDK and Grey Matter at Lola’s in Fort Worth

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One of the first hip hop shows I was involved in was the Blueprint Meet & Greet last July at Virtuoso Tattoo Krew.  Since then I have followed Blueprint on Facebook, read his blogs, bought his music, basically becoming a fan.  One of my favorite lines from his album on Greenhouse (with Illogic) “Bend but Don’t Break” went “You think you’re free, I think you’re slaves, cause all you rap about, are whips and chains.”  Insta-fan after that line.  

DJ Notion hits me up a few months ago wanting a date in Fort Worth to bring Blueprint through, I was all over it.  Lola’s was the first and only choice, of course.  Line up was set, and a mighty fine one I might add!!!  

Night of I arrived early enough.  Doors opened at 8:30 or something crazy early.  DJ Notion and Zetroc played some mellow tunes until about 10pm.  Gave everyone the chance to chat it up a bit, get acquainted with the bar, have a few drinks.  I took this opportunity to say hello to Blueprint, ask how his stop in Houston went, all the things us promoters say to touring acts.  Let him know how excited I was to see him perform again.  He did the same, asking me how things were and such.  Good dude, genuine.  

I had a special guest that evening.  An old flame of mine’s little brother and cousin, who I had spent a great amount of my High School and early 20’s knowing, made an appearance.  I hadn’t seen Jon in a good 6+ years.  It’s was like seeing a brother again after years apart.  He’s a Blueprint fan and drug his cousin to a hip hop show, cause that’s what cousins are for, right?  Caleb, Jon’s cousin, told me before the show, “I don’t listen to Hip Hop.  I used to, but not so much anymore.”  He went on to say what crap he was hearing on the radio and I let him in on my philosophy as of late in regards to Hip Hop.  Conscious lyrics vs. Mainstream crap.  

Grey Matter went on, got the crowd all hyped, then went straight into “BPM”, one of their most popular tracks.  During the set, Jon and Caleb were both vibing.  Caleb looks over at me and says, “Man, bad ass show so far!”  Grey Matter put on a great performance, everyone was real hype once they got off the stage.  Kilo even spit a few a Capella verses.  Perfect intro for Mindz of a Different Kind.  

MDK is a 4 member group out of Austin, TX.  They performed with Blueprint last year at Crown and Harp.  I saw them, became a fan, and since then, they’ve performed in FW one other time. MDK performed some of the stuff from their new album, Butter and Water including “Lyrically Creep” which is one of my favorites.  The chemistry of these four MC’s, the way the flow flawlessly between each other and interact make this group a little different than most that I see.  Usually, an MC will get up and spit at least an 8 if not a 16, and in songs like “Lyrically Creep”, Bza will spit a 4, then Chi Town will come in for a 4, T-fly another 4, Nick with a 4 and just rotate it like that.  Something I haven’t seen done (very well at least) by a lot of groups.  Keeps your attentions, that’s for sure.  

I took a break outside, talked with Jon and Caleb who both were enjoying the show very much.  ”Damn, Callie.  Good show!”  I couldn’t take credit, I was just the middle man, but it’s always nice to win people back to hip hop with some good lyrics.  

Blueprint takes the stage, and he never disappoints.  He has a way of delivery that makes you soak in his very thought provoking lyrics.  My favorite of the night, “Perspective”, had a lot of good one liners.  Here’s a few:

"I don’t care if you’re living in a high rise, You’re no different than a man in a hut.  Every single life is sacred in God’s eyes.  You’re not worth more because you have more stuff."

"I don’t care what the care of your skin is. I don’t care about your fortune or fame.  I just want for us to have more perspective and understand that everyone’s pain is the same."  

"We tell ourselves they don’t work as hard us, they could be like us if they weren’t so lazy.  I think it’s an excuse, that allows us to treat them less human."

So many more…

After the show I bought Respect the Architect.  Great album.  Check it out.  

I hung out with Notion and Mindz of a Different Kind down at Pug Mahoans after the show.  They had a great time, really felt the hype after the Grey Matter set.  All in all it was a great night for everybody, a great night for Hip Hop in Fort Worth.  We didn’t have crazy numbers come out, but the vibe was fresh, the people were receptive, and the groups all did flawless performances.  And let’s not forget the great staff at Lola’s Saloon, who always help put on a top notch show!  Glad to be a part of it.  

The Sunday Soup’s First Recording Session 5/18

For a while now, the Southside Pirate has been asking me to put on some kind of Hip Hop Show to air weekly. I recruited Big Cliff Watkins to be the co-host, we found a studio, Green Audio ran by Ben Napier, willing to donate space/time, came up with a name and BAM!  Our first session was rolling.  

Looking back, booking 3 heavy hitters to interview in the first episode was a very lofty idea.  I wanted to lay the ground work for Fort Worth hip hop.  Cliff and I both agreed Erotic D and SIx 2 were definite “Old School” (and still in the mix I might add) names to show that Fort Worth has BEEN on the map in Hip Hop.  We also wanted to add an up and coming act that we both agreed represented Fort Worth well, and we both agreed on Grey Matter.  Steve Watkins from DFW.com even got approval from his editor to do a story on our first recording session and the radio show in general.  

Night of, I arrived early.  I had been super anxious leading up to this moment…  It’s like that thing you want SO BAD it makes your stomach turn.  The first guests to arrive were Grey Matter so we did their interview first in the front room of the studio.  These guys are all naturals in front of the mic.  Me, not so much.  We touched on all the topics I hoped we would, Grey Matter had some AMAZING answers, and Big Cliff is great at the bantering back and forth during interviews.  I’m more of the background history, research questions type I guess….Grey Matter mentioned that this was one of the best interviews they had done!  I was really proud of the content and knew it would be hard to cut it back.

Next up, Erotic D.  If you don’t know who this guys is, just look him up.  I was introduced to him via Facebook after he responded to a post regarding help on this very radio show.  Since then, I’ve seen his face on the We From Dallas Documentary, I’ve read some interviews, and we’ve chatted face to face a couple of times.  Erotic D is most known for his work with Dallas based D.O.C., Dr. Dre and Suge Knight during the formation of Death Row Records.  He moved to Arlington after his dad retired from the military and after staying a time in L.A„ made Fort Worth his home.  He gave good perspective on the business side of things and how production really works.  

Better late than never, Six 2 made it to Green Audio Studios just in time.  I was informed of Six 2’s existence only a few months ago, while talking to the director of We From Dallas.  I looked him up and couldn’t believe I had slept on that name.  Six 2 toured with “The Up in Smoke Tour” after releasing a track on Dr. Dre’s Chronic 2001, “Xxplosive” (featuring Kurupt and Nate Dogg).  It was really a blessing to have him come to the studio and share his experience with us.  A lot of up and coming MCs should really take note.  Six 2 is dropping a new album soon, and I’m looking forward to helping him possibly book his next show.  Either way I’ll be there to support!

We got no intros not outros no sponsor takes.  It was definitely a learning experience for our first session, but the content we got was historic.  So instead of ONE show featuring all of these amazingly talented artists, we’re going to drop 3 different episodes out of this.  I’m really excited where this is going and I hope to bring light to an already thriving scene.  Cross your finger we air the first episode May 25th!!! 

Ben and Knowledgable Intellect from Green Audio Studio were amazing.  I can’t express enough how grateful I am that they took the time out to help us!!!  One major theme you’ll find in all three interviews is TEAMWORK.  Without a team, you can’t get anywhere.  One person can’t do this on their own.  And I know it’s going to take a team to get this radio show off, anyone willing to help please email me at SundaySoupFW@Gmail.com.

Tune in to www.SouthsidePirate.com!!!