March 2nd Tyga was in San Diego rapping at the Observatory in North Park. His performance was outstanding, featuring old hits and new songs, great visual effects, and even a surprise appearance by Kylie Jenner. His headliners were a rap group from Atlanta that came out into the crowd and whom I got to meet and take a picture with. The Observatory is a unique venue because if you get to the show about an hour or so before the doors open, you can stand at the front of the crowd right next to the stage. That was another reason Tyga’s concert was so spectacular. I was at the front for most of the time, but when I was at the back of the crowd I noticed Kylie Jenner and a friend standing above everyone at the loft with seats watching Tyga. When people started noticing her and pointing her out she went away, but reappeared during Tyga’s song “Stimulated,” which also featured the music video playing on the giant screen behind the stage. Tyga was phenomenal live. He was full of energy, performed songs everyone knew and the oldies I was hoping for, and sounded just like he does on his tracks. Another shout out I’d like to make is to Access Music on Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach, for selling me tickets to this concert 30 minutes before it began! The decision to go was sort of a spontaneous one, and this place had twenty tickets they were still selling. I was able to go there, pick up three tickets, and get to the concert about half an hour before Tyga came on. I’m so glad I found out about this business, because a few weeks later I bought tickets last minute from them again for Waka Flocka Flame. If you’re ever in need of some tickets on the fly, try Access Music!
2 Chainz has spent this giving season amping up his own charitable intentions through his organization TRU. December 21st his foundation hosted the TRU 2 Hoops Holiday Basketball Classic at his hometown’s high school. The basketball tournament provided youths aged 10 to 13 with new Adidas uniforms and other special prizes. Proceeds from the concessions went to former North Clayton High School basketball star Zac Bradley who tragically became paralyzed his freshmen year of college due to a car accident.
The rapper’s foundation also hosted the 4th Annual Streets Execs Christmas Concert at Tabernacle on December 23rd. The show is free to attend, but viewers must bring an unwrapped toy to donate to several charity toy drives. The show featured 2 Chainz, B.o.B., Travis Porter, Young Dolph, Cap 1, Shanell, Rich Homie Quan, Young Dro, and Trinidad James.
If not his most famous act yet, “Dabbing Santa” sweaters being sold by TRU have been bought all season long and popularized by celebrities. Some proceeds from the sweaters are currently going to the Plater home in Georgia. Dierdre Plater, a single mother and veteran, is going to rest a little easier this year now that 2 Chainz has offered to pay her rent for all of 2016. He also surprised her and her family by furnishing their home. 2 Chainz used his foundation and the sales of his sweaters to help this family out.
This has been the season of collabs, starting with Drake and Future, now Fetty Wap and French Montana, and coming soon Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz. It’s an exciting time in Hip Hop with the quick rise of stars and the return to the industry from originals.
I wasn’t that impressed with Future and Drake’s album What A Time To Be Alive, I expected a little more from the two rappers. The beats were decent and the two have a good chemistry, but the lyrics for many songs in the album lacked depth and were repetitive. For example, “Big Rings” and “Jumpman” displayed these faults.
Fetty and Montana, however, have dropped their mixtape Coke Zoo which features hits like “Angel”, “Sometimes”, “Power” and more. They produce phenomenal sound because of their similar pitch and French Montana adds the traditional edgy rap while Fetty Wap offers his famous singing.
I personally am very excited to see the Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz collab, which will come “sooner than people think” as 2 Chainz announced on Rap Radar’s Podcast. The project will be called ColliGrove, a mixture of College Park, Atlanta for 2 Chainz and Hollygrove, New Orleans for Wayne. The two have already delivered hits in the past, such as “Duffle Bag Boy”, “Days and Days” and “Rick as F—k” to name a few so there new music should be promising. Both Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz are working on solo material as well. Wayne’s No Ceilings 2 is scheduled to drop on Thanksgiving. 2 Chainz has also been working since the release of Trapavelli Tre this past August. His solo project will be called B.C. (Before Chainz).
Fetty Wap has also had recent releases and Ty Dolla $ign’s new track comes out tomorrow, November 13th. It’s a good time to be a Hip Hop fan!
Thursday, October 22nd, SoMo’s Fallin’ Up Tour stopped in downtown San Diego at The House of Blues. The House of Blues, located on 5th Avenue, is a small bar/ club with balcony seating on the second story and a dance floor next to the stage. The quaint size and close proximity makes for an intimate and exciting show that puts the audience less than twenty feet from the performer. As someone who usually finds themself yards away in cheap lawn seating, being front row right next to my favorite artists made the show extremely thrilling. If you frequent downtown San Diego I definitely recommend this venue; it has a cool, indie vibe and puts you close to your artists without paying extra.
Kirko Bangz opened the show and he was phenomenal. He sang songs the audience knew, sang them well, and was all in all a great performer. Jordan Bratton was next. Before the concert I didn’t know who Jordan Bratton was, but he surprised me by being very talented and entertaining. Both performers were exceptional.
The audience was waiting for SoMo, and it felt like he took forever. But when he finally came out, words could not describe his performance. He even brought a girl who was celebrating her birthday onto the stage (so if you’re going, make sure to wear a birthday crown)! He sang some throwbacks, new songs, and a few covers. He was amazing, as expected.
The concert was a lot of fun and all of the performers made it beyond worth it. It does turn into a bit of a strip show, between Kirko and SoMo—but of course no one was complaining. Merchandise at our show ranged from $20-$45. And the best part, after the show Kirko Bangz came out into the audience to take pictures with fans. Jordan Bratton also came out to sign autographs. SoMo is very engaging with his audience which makes it a lot of fun. The tour continues until November 21st and has fifteen more stops. Click here for dates, places, and tickets http://www.officialsomo.com I highly recommend it!
A recap of the Chris Brown One Hell of a Nite Tour in Chula Vista can be summed up by just one word: incredible. Last night south San Diego boomed with the bass and voices of Fetty Wap, Omarion, Kid Ink, and Chris Brown. The night even brought a surprise performance by French Montana. Fetty Wap was perfect, as usual, and started off the crowd chanting and singing along with him. While he was only on stage for four short songs, he achieved total audience engagement and it was clear Fetty Wap fans filled the arena. Omarion followed Fetty’s performance and at first started off strong. His time on stage was the least memorable of the four because he got discouraged when the audience didn’t sing his lyrics back to him and instead chose to play other songs not by him. This made his performance weak because fans didn’t come to hear recordings of popular rap songs by other artists; they came to hear him. His self-proclaimed personal DJ left too many breaks in the song for audiences to sing, which created awkward silences when the crowd didn’t know the words. Although he should have sung more and played other songs less, when he did sing Omarion was talented live. Kid Ink lit up the stage next and—for lack of a better description—absolutely killed it. He sang new songs like “Body Language” and some of his originals such as “Iz U Down”. Ink paraded around stage and even walked through the front seats of the crowd. After his amazing performance he signed his hat and threw it into the audience, along with two signed towels.
Chris Brown’s entrance was the best it could have possibly been. With multiple screens showcasing intense visual effects he ran out to sing a crow favorite, “Run It”. Chris brought out tons of throwbacks which made his performance unique and sentimental. His ability to rap and dance and the same time was truly impressive. He sang mostly snippets of current songs that he is featured in, oldies but goodies, and slow jams for the ladies. When he went off stage many people thought the concert was over, but that’s when French Montana appeared! He sauntered on wearing a team jersey and sang into the microphone his signature “Hehhh” and the crowd went crazy. He picked up the tempo from C.B.’s slow songs and got everyone moving with “Pop That” and “Ain’t Worried About Nothin”. Chris Brown came back onstage and they performed as a duet to their song “Loyal”. Every artist’s live performance held up to expectations and therefore the night couldn’t have been any better.
Lil Wayne was recently interviewed by Cari Champion on her “Giving Major Props” podcast. The two discussed his charitable Lil Weezyana performance, N.W.A., Jay Z, signing Drake, and the NFL season.
First of all, this was a great interview. Cari Champion is an amusing and engaging host and she related to Wayne in a way that made her listeners feel connected to him. Lil Wayne was also a perfect interviewee. He was genuine, polite, and shared humorous anecdotes as well as gave listeners a glimpse into his personality. The pair start by discussing the 10th year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Lil Wayne, a New Orleans native, raised money for Hurricane Katrina charities with his successful show Lil Weezyana, where he showcased every era of New Orleans music.
The conversation then turned to the movie “Straight Outta Compton” and the N.W.A.. Wayne said he loved the movie. “They left a lot out of course, but they had to,” he said. While talking about the Greats, Lil Wayne shared a story about Jay Z that marked a milestone in his career. When Wayne was still up-and-coming, he received a phone call one night from Jay Z. His voice was animated as he told Cari about how he tried to get everyone in his house to quiet down when he saw the incoming call. It was only a short conversation, but being acknowledged by Jay Z let Wayne know he was going in the right direction.
Lil Wayne also discussed that while Jay Z made him feel accomplished, he made this moment happen for Drake. Wayne discovered Drake at a time when Drake’s mixture of rapping and singing was getting him rejected. When Wayne brought him on he said, “Don’t change anything. Don’t think cuz you coming over here by me you gotta rap about the things I rap about.” Essentially, as Wayne humorously put it, he was telling Drake to “Keep it Canadian.”
Wayne also demonstrates the virtue of being humble, as he wouldn’t tell Cari that he alone was what jumpstarted Drake’s career, even though he discovered him. However, when asked who’s a better rapper between him and Drake, Lil Wayne responded laughing, “Oh I annihilate that guy.”