This show was crazy. It was unlike any other show I’ve ever reviewed, mainly because of the uniquely high level of interaction between Hopsin and the audience. He brought three volunteers on stage who claimed they could rap a verse of his classic Sag My Pants, crowd-surfed, and came to the edge of the stage and shook hands with everyone (myself included!) in the front row. I was particularly thrown off guard when he singled me out and spoke to me as part of a transition to a new song. He came to the edge of the stage, crouched down, and said to me, “I know you from somewhere, you look familiar.” He got a line of it wrong and messed up the transition, but his fans chanted his name “Hopsin! Hopsin!” signaling they were still having a great time.
He covered a wide variety of his music, which he pointed out before the show, saying he would because he ‘knew how it was from the fans’ perspective.” From Ill Mind 5, Pans in the Kitchen, I Need Help, to newer Ill Mind 8. His fan interaction portrayed that realness that he’s advocated since the beginning of his career. When he came down to shake everyone’s hand he even said, ‘Just to show you all this is real, no Hollywood bullshit.’ Being Hopsin’s main selling point, the crowd thoroughly enjoyed this.
One of the most unique things, which I’ve never seen before at any show, was bringing up members from the audience to sing Sag My Pants. Three guys volunteered to each sing a verse and then Hop and the crowd sang the chorus. Two of the guys did really well, and got to jump into the audience and crowd-surf. One guy was better at crowd-surfing than the other, and the other one fell at first—but got lifted up eventually. The third lyricist froze on stage, his girlfriend was standing next to me in the crowd and she said that it wasn’t a lack of memorization; just nerves. Still, Hopsin congratulated all of them at the end.
Some of Hop’s music is controversial (which is why we love it) and he was very respectful about it. For example, before singing Ill Mind 7, which is based on an internal monologue questioning the existence of God, Hopsin disclosed to the crowd that he was not meaning to offend anybody; that these were just his thoughts. As an outspoken Christian, his music sometimes conflictingly speaks on his devout faith in God and other times doubts His existence. Hop’s lyrics reflect very realistic virtues, as his opinions are always changing and he does not represent any one belief, which makes him relatable to many.
Hopsin ended his show with Bout the Business, after being enticed back on stage for an encore. His fans were more than loving; everyone was in ecstatic support. And he deserved it; he was incredible live. He rapped and sang every song exactly how it sounds on the tracks. The most impressive was how he kept rapping even while crowd-surfing! Flawlessly! Here’s to hoping he goes on tour again soon 🙏🏽
Once again, The Observatory was an awesome venue. We got to the line about an hour before the doors opened, and ended up standing right at the front, next to the stage. One thing they did, though, was brought on way too many openers. Hopsin’s openers were pretty good. Token was my favorite, he had great energy. But the San Diego area’s opening groups were just laughable and exhausting. Hopsin’s got some true fans to stick around through all of that!
But, all in all, The Observatory is always a great venue.