Archive for Detroit

The Summer of In-‘Cudi’-ble Hip Hop

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , , on July 21, 2009 by bendey14

romt concertForgive me for not posting a review sooner, but I’ve needed a day or two to come down from my hip hop high this past weekend.  I, along with some extraordinary gentleman from MSU and Code 2 Avenue, embarked on a journey to a town outside of Detroit this past Saturday called Royal Oak.  Why you ask?  Well because a handful of my favorite hip hop artists were in town doing it big and doing it well.  The venue was the Royal Oak Music Theater, which I had never to before, but was very impressed.  Tiered seating standing room, full bar in back, and the perfect sized stage for an intimate up-close and personal hip hop performance.

88-Keys took the field first, and put on a quick (too quick in my opinion) set that got the crowd going.  Offered up a lot of energy…which you can see from my blurry pictures down below that he was constantly moving.  His latest album “The Death of Adam” was co-produced by Kanye West and exhibits a very unique creative style.  The entire disc is a continuous story of Adam who…well, I’ll just let you listen to it yourself, get this shit!!  Side note:  We also ran into him at the local sneaker shop called Burn Rubber, and let me tell ya, the guy is humble as they come.  Great guy who doesn’t mind chatting with his fans for a half hour.

Next up was B.O.B. who I had listened to a little bit the past few months.  I hadn’t previously been much of a “fan”, but didn’t dislike his music by any means.  I guess you could say I was a listener, just not an avid one.  But I was impressed none the less, he brought a ton of energy, then quickly changed gears for a slow acoustic song, where he actually played the guitar (+++ in my book).  His set was also quite short, maybe 5 songs if I remember right, but very entertaining.

At this point during the concert, my buddy and I were experiencing fierce personal battles with our bladders full of beer (the downside to having a venue serve booze), but we were not about to give up our front row positions.  And it’s a good thing we didn’t, fore Kid Cudi was up next.  To be honest, I was seriously considering just soaking the ol’ trows, until some fool to my left was ousted from the joint for peeing on some chick’s leg.  Talk about learning from the mistakes of others…

Kid Cudi was absolutely amazing.  Didn’t have any props, no flashy get-up, just a fiber optic wire mesh type back drop that was busy flashing lights throughout his songs.  His music was what made the show, and of course his intense energy.  Unlike 50 Cent, who’s giving his audience pec-flexes and mean-mugs, Cudi smiles at you and dances like he’s barefoot on a bed of coals.  He has a unique aura around him at all times and you can tell through his voice and lyrics, that he absolutely loves what he does.  At several points throughout the show, his grin was so wide I thought we wasn’t going to be able to continue on through the next verse…looked almost as if he was trying to hold back laughter.  He performed a new track titled, “Heart of a Lion”, to which I’m desperately waiting for it’s release.  He presented a phenomenal 8 minute version of “Day N Night” that included the techno remix as well.  Luckily I was able to nab a video of it despite the security gaurd in front of me giving me shit.  Be sure to check it out down below.  The only disappointing thing about Kid Cudi’s performance was the absence of “Maui Wowie“.  I thought that song would’ve been a give-in, but I can’t complain about anything else.  Incredible performance, period.

I can’t write too much about Asher Roth, since my locale switched to the upper deck for his set (it was either pee on someone and see Asher like I intended, or avoid jail time and see him from above).   Asher’s set was alright, definitely brought the energy, but it was a tad “gimmicky”.  For example, he entered the stage in one of those power wheel things only the rich kid in your neighborhood used to have back in the day.  He then proceeded to pass around a 3 foot long blunt made out of contruction paper and a mega horn (probably) to some fans…which left me wondering when he was gonna start playing music.  When he did play, it was very intense, yet the desperate attempts for laughs remained in the form of his hype man running around stage in a lion costume…among several others.

I saw Asher play a couple months back at Michigan State Univeristy when he opened for Lupe Fiasco and he did pretty solid, but this time around he left me somewhat dissapointed.  Great lyrics, great drive, and great energy from Asher…but should’ve left the costumes on the bus.

Here are some pics and a fresh vid for you to indulge in.

88 Keys

88 Keys

B.O.B.

B.O.B.

B.O.B.

B.O.B.

IMG_4973

Kid Cudi

Kid Cudi

Kid Cudi

Kid Cudi

MJ?? Nah, it's Cudi

MJ?? Nah, it's Cudi

Cudi and his Louis V's

Cudi and his Louis V's

Cudi

Cudi

Wale Does Detroit

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2009 by bendey14

IMG_4572Me and the fellas made a trip out to Detroit last night to get in on the Attention Deficit Tour with Wale and Colin Munroe.  Not only did we have plans to get a full course meal of DC’s own, we figured we’d wash it down with the Finally Famous after party over at Majestic with Big Sean and Drake.  Seeing how Drake’s riding off the success of my recent artwork (or maybe it’s me riding off his success?  yea, sounds ’bout right haha) I figured we’d have a pretty good chance at getting in if I ran into the right people.

Wale, Colin, Drake, Big Sean, One Be Lo, and rumors of Common, Asher, and Cudi being in town?!  Wings pull out the victory earlier in the night too?!  One epic night is beginning to unfold before us my friends… or is it?

We get to the Shelter (8 mile), which I’ve never been to before, and I immediately am reminded of Rick’s American Cafe here in East Lansing.  It’s small, it’s dark, and you feel like you might contract AIDS off the floor if you’re not wearing proper footwear.  Lucky your boy had on his DVS’s.  First up was Octane.  Never heard of him, but he damn near killed it.

Octane

Octane

Next up was One Be Lo whom I have heard of.  He did alright, but not as good as I expected.  I’ve heard quite a few of his tracks, but haven’t seen him live, maybe I was expecting something different, but whatev, it was good to see Detroit’s still goin’ hard.

One Be Lo

One Be Lo

Despite being told Big Sean was up next, it was Colin Munroe.  A little disappointed?  Yeah.  Pissed off?  Nah.  Munroe brought it even though his mic was effed.  After a short set, it was Wale’s turn.  He comes up on stage in the middle of a Twitter post on his Blackberry and I couldn’t help myself but to laugh…cuz shit…I’ll admit it…I follow him.  I know the fellas over at Code 2 do as well, and don’t act like that shit ain’t hilarious (where you at Royal).

Wale did pretty sick.  Nothing spectacular, but the venue made it worth it.  The intimacy the Shelter provides is perfect.  It wasn’t a 50 dollar show at the United Center…it was what hip hop was meant to be.  A bunch of die hard fans and a passionate artist gettin’ crazy in a mildew infested basement in the heart of downtown Detroit.  If that ain’t hip hop…someone tell me what is.

Although my camera completely sucked it’s battery pack dry 5 min. into the set, my boy DKA was able to pull through and document a bit of history.  Here’s some of the gold…

P9170072

Oh yea, peep this before I forget http://www.zshare.net/audio/553586987d875073/ (the perks to following Wale on Twitter)

The show finally got over at about 12:30 am and it looked like the after party at Majestic was going to be a bit over our heads.  Octane did throw out the invite to us outside…but some teamsters over here had to work in the morning and I only had $15 cash on me…maybe next time.  If anyone went, shoot me any photos you got!  (Zeph, i’m lookin’ at you son.)

Peace

-Bendey