Kendrick Lamar & Friends Shut Down SOB’s (Photos & Review)
(s/o DJ Zeke for the video)
I’ve been to a lot of shows at SOB’s it’s one of my favorite venues, it’s small enough to keep it feeling personal but infamous enough to bring in big names. A few month back Dom Kennedy at a show at SOB’s that was so packed and hyped, it was still being talk about, up until Monday when Kendrick Lamar decided to just blow that show out of the water. Partnering with Hennessy, XXL put on a showcase to present The Break, a section on XXLMag.com where up-and-coming artists show and prove their skills. Monday headliner Kendrick Lamar, was joined by King Mez, Emilio Rojas, Phil Ade and Mr. Motherfuckin eXquire (along with some other special guests) to make history at SOB’s.
The doors at SOB’s opened at 8pm per usual, knowing that SOB’s tends to start a little late I thought I would be fine getting there at 9pm, by that time they had shut down the door and not allowing anyone, press, bloggers, entourage, into the building. From what I heard, the line wrapped around the block for over an hour, with the earliest eager fans showing up mid-afternoon.
Once inside you could feel the vibe of excitement and pure love for each artist, even downstairs you saw the artists genuinely proud of their peers for the crowd they brought out (well, it was almost all love, minus the little quote from Danny Brown but i’ll get there).
Unfortunately, with my late arrival I missed King Mez and most of the homie Emilio Rojas’ set so i’ll let XXL break those down for you:
With host Sway helping to focus the building’s excitement, King Mez kicked the night off. The 21-year-old North Carolina rapper passionately performed songs from his King’s Khrysis—a free project from earlier this year, entirely produced by Khrysis. At the end of his set when Mez got the entire room behind him as he performed his recent leak “Reign,” and then, at Sway’s request, kicked an a capella to wrap things up.
Emilio Rojas, who is prepping his mixtape Breaking Point for a January release, proved that even though he’s young, his flow is seasoned. The Rochester rapper balanced double-time flows with a more standard approach, as he treated the crowd to some of his older stuff, like “Bold and Arrogant,” as well as cuts from the upcoming project, including the well-received “Middle Finger.”
I was working on making my way from downstairs to the stage, running into XXL Freshmen class present and most likely future artists, Mac Miller and Danny Brown. Both were there in hanging out with friend in support of K. Dot, but of course you know when can’t leave an event without some drama to stir up.
Honestly, I think this is stupid and nothing to talk about but since ya’ll want to hear about it this is what happened with Danny and Mac. When in an interview, Brown was asked about touring with Childish Gambino and what he thought of the album, he simply answered:
“I listened to it. Hey, it’s better than Mac Miller’s…That’s my response. It’s better than Mac Miller’s. He’s the worst guy around. Don’t get me started. His album cover is like, ‘Ugh, what is this?’ He’s trying to be artistic, huh?”
“If I see him, I’m just going to have to apologize to him, like, ‘Man, I just want to apologize for hating you so much. Because I’m not going to stop. You’re probably a cool guy. I don’t feel violent in any way, but I really hate you. I hate your music, man.’ It’s just bad.”
Of course, all you hear from this is that Danny said “he’s the worst guy around” we all have opinions, you can’t tell me you like EVERY artist out there right now! Let him live!
Back to SOB’s, I make my way from downstairs and fight through the crowd to get a chance to see Phil Ade perform, who was definitely worth throwing some bows around to see. He has been working us bloogers lately, dropping new songs every week as part of his #PhilAdeFridays series, but the crowd pleaser was definitely an a capella that even some of Hip-Hop vetrans would be impressed with! The crowd definitely was not mad when he hit them with “Gone” from his most recent mixtape (PhilAdeFriday Vol. 2 out at the end of December!)
The next performer, well to say the least was rememberable, probably because he was on stage almost double the amount of time allotted. The amount of dudes on that stage gave me a Summer Jam flash back to the Dipset show this year, 40s and all! There was a lot of yelling and jumping, you could never say that Mr. Motherfuckin lacked energy that’s for sure. I think the highlight of his performance, for me at least, was when he brought out Troy Ave. Not only do I enjoy Troy as an artist (Bricks In My Backback 2: Powder To The People out now!) but that fur he rocked on stage was EVERYTHING!
Next up, the headliner and XXL 2011 Freshmen Mr. Kendrick Lamar. The crowd walked out of that venue and could not have asked for anything more from Lamar, he gave out so much energy, love, and passion on that stage I left with a new respect for him.
Lamar performed songs from both his Overly Dedicated and Section.80 obviously the crowd pleasers were “Michael Jordan,” and “A.D.H.D.,” but he also brought out a few friends that the crowd was definitely not mad at.
First the Top Dawg Ent. artist brought out his labelmate and former XXL Freshman Jay Rock for “Hood Gone Love It,” from the Watts native’s album Follow Me Home, than the newest game changer A$AP Rocky, who will be touring with Lamar on Drake’s Club Paradise Tour.To end the show and remind everyone there of his raw talent, Kendrick closed down to capacity filled venue with an a capella version of “I Am (Interlude).” On the track, he promises, “My plan B is to win your hearts before I win a Grammy.”
Hosted by Sway, and supported by other rappers in the house Mac Miller, Smoke DZA, Danny Brown, we wouldn’t be surprised if he gets your hearts and that Grammy…especially after a quote like the following from a respected artist like Talib, K. Dot’s got this!
“I had to show love to Kendrick, I think he’s dope. Shout to all the young artists out there creating their own lane like Kendrick and A$AP Rocky.” – Talib Kweli