Mobb Deep & Nosaprise at Fitzgerald's, 4/9/2014
A hip-hop show on a Wednesday night is as good as a rap show on any other night, except maybe better. Everyone who claims to be a hip-hop fan but is really just a whats-new-on-the-radio rap fan stays home to watch Basketball Wives or whatever nonsense is on cable these days. There is no twerking at a real hip-hop show, no shouts of "truuu" or hashtag rhyme structures. Just the real. Hip-Hop.
Wednesday, I arrived at Fitz already disappointed because I knew I'm too late to catch Walter Mallone's set, the new-ish project by my homies the Zamora brothers and an MC named Raymond Auzenne. But here's a quick listen to one of their tracks:
I did arrive in time to catch Nosaprise walking through the crowd with an armful of bottled water on his way to the stage. Nosa is one of those dudes who is eternally cool without even trying. Supremely talented and genuine to the bone, he took the stage as the opening DJ finished up a mix of everything from Biz Markie and Lil Troy to Snoop Dogg.
With his 1994 "Clutch City" Houston Rockets tee, Nosa hit the mike hard with tracks from his Book of the Dead project, a mix of clips from the Evil Dead movies and "all the dead rappers who inspired me," as he says. His rap voice is nasal and distinct, which begins at a jog and sometimes ramps up to a sprint. "He kinda sounds like Big L," said a fan watching the show next to me. I nodded in agreement.
I jotted down a few notes from the wide spectrum of lyrics that Nosa spit, like the question "who's gonna raise your soul," a tribute to his dead homie The Ultimate Warrior, and rhymes about "Westbury getting scary in 96." Some people might get lost in all of this jumping around, but others (like me) enjoy hearing a musician expose all of his thoughts and secrets. Nosa plays the guitar and the organ with his Screwtape crew before his set finishes, providing yet another excellent adventure of music.
I spotted the Waxaholics at the back of the room and went over to say "what's up." DJ Big Reeks was surprised that the show wasn't sold-out. "There should be more people here; dudes love Mobb Deep," he said. DJ Good Grief told me about seeing Mobb Deep here at Fitz back in 1994, a show that also included Das-EFX and Onyx. I can only image how awesome that show could have been.
Review continues on the next page.