E.S.G., Swangin' and Bangin' (screwed)
E.S.G., The South
E.S.G., City Under Siege
E.S.G. and Slim Thug, Get Ya Hands Up
Grit Boys (feat. Great Sc), Live From Da Hood
I wanted to recap my recent stay in NYC, as some truly epic events went down in my second favorite city. First up, Roxy Cottontail and Matt Sonzala of Houston So Real fame put together a tribute to DJ Screw at Joe's Pub Thursday night (September 15th). The names alone were awe-inspiring: Bun B, ESG, Grit Boys, Screwed Up Click, Lil O. It was both a showcase for Houston's rap talent old and new, and a tribute to the man who made all of this possible, the founder of the screwed up sound, Robert Davis. To top it all off, it was a fundraiser for Hurricane Katrina victims, fitting for a night dedicate to Southern music.
First, the good. The music exceeded my expectations, as I have come to expect little from a live hip hop shows. This night was a revelation. The performers (well, most of them) were great live, engaged and animated. The promoters had things running smoothly, as each act promptly followed the one before, meaning there were few lulls or drops in energy. Best of all, it was a chance to see legends, L-E-G-E-N-D-S, up close and personal. I mean, I was stage right, a few feet at most from Bun B, ESG and everyone else up there. I can't thank Matt and Roxy enough for putting all the time and hustle into bringing Houston to the rest of the world. They doing yeoman's work, and deserve all of the props in the world. Getting to hear Bun, ESG, Lil O (a revelation), the Screwed Up Click and the Grit Boys live wasn't possible until these two got to work. Oh, and hearing ESG go off for 20 minutes made the entire next paragraph worth it, for real. He was amazing, perhaps the best live hip hop set I have ever heard, as he had every single person who made it until 3 am mesmerized, no easy task. Check the mp3s above for a taste, as I might try to put up some more if there is interest.
Okay, let me just get some of the bad off of my chest, as it really upset me that night. Arriving at Joe's Pub around 11:15 or so, I was shocked to see a line stretching down Lafayette. I knew that this was a hot show and part of the CMJ Festival, but couldn't understand this sort of wait. No big deal, as being on the guest list seemed like it should get us in right away. MC and I soon realized that everyone in line was on the guest list! We then proceeded to wait for an hour and 45 minutes to get let in. Group after group arrived, walked to the front of the line and were let in through the rope with no problem. Listen, I don't mind DJ Green Lantern getting let in right away, but the girl with her nipple exposed by her skimpy top? C'mon, mang. At one point, the man responsible for the door informed us that the list had been ripped up, and only "artists and important people would be getting in." That was all that was said to us the entire night, which only added to the frustration. Fortunately, one of the doormen spoke up for us (actually for MC, as no one cares about my lame ass, including me) and we got in and all was forgotten. The saddest/most frustrating part was that the place was nowhere near capacity, and all of the people who walked away because of the wait would have packed the place.
Thanks to MC for making me stay in line, putting up with my moody ass, and just generally being down. I don't know what I'd do without her.
Matt has posted up some thoughts and frustrations with the night at Houston So Real, and it actually made me feel better. In fact, I wanted to hug him and tell him that everything was alright, that it was a great night in spite of a few bad apples disguised as doormen. I don't mean to throw out any hate here, as that is the last thing I want. I just want to make sure that this party can become a regular one, and that it won't push away the very fans who make these nights so much fun. Go here for Matt's pictures and thoughts on his entire trip to NYC, which was more exciting and eventful than my entire year. Go here for Roxy's flics, including lots of great shots of the great one, Bun B.
What would it take to make something like this happen in Philadelphia? Hmmm, we'll have to look into this.
Finally, it appears that this night was also the most recent edition of the blogger convention, a nice followup to the Kano/grime stuff from last month. lemon-red was there, and he's so famous now that he gets his picture up everywhere, hanging with the legend, Broken Language. Catchdubs seems to have been there, That Good Good clearly was, the Fader guys were there, Hardly Art, Hardly Garbage too (one of the few to stick around for ESG it seems). In a great job of blocking (theater term), I realize that I was literally on the complete opposite side of the club from this group of A-Listers. The D-list never hurt so bad. Oh blogosphere, what will it take to make it to the next level? What must I do? Are you there G-d? It's me, Jack.