Wiz Khalifa, Jeezy & More at The Woodlands, 8/15/2014
Out of any trap rapper when the subgenre entered its boom period almost a decade ago, Jeezy has sustained the longest. Any Jeezy record from his debut Thug Motivation 101 on will immediately make you want to run through a wall, uppercut your supervisor at your job and then file those TP9 reports. Backed by a band with some serious amplified drums, Jeezy kicked off his 45-minute set rattling off hits "Put On," and "Lose My Mind" before a large medley of TM101 cuts from "Trap Or Die" (minus Bun B) to "Soul Survivor."
I stood before the pulpit of Reverend Snow, and thought for about nine seconds about flipping a brick. Or lazily watching Scarface again, take your pick.
So What About the Rest? Plenty of things could have make Rich Homie Quan's set even more memorable, outside of him not even knowing what the hell Young Thug is saying on their "Lifestyle" record. He could have brought out Propain for "2 Rounds", hit a medley of singles of where he's on the chorus, or explained why he has a bucket-hat Buddha for a rap friend onstage at all times. Any of this would have worked, but Quan kept it to the mixtape cuts which have made him a burgeoning star.
True to his nature, Ty Dolla $ign proved he was a child of both R. Kelly and Nate Dogg. He riffed on the "Feelin On Yo Booty" refrain for the close of "Or Nah" and sang about taking other people's women and ultimately being that guy throughout his set, especially through "Wood & Leather" and "Paranoid," Nate Dogg created West Coast misogyny in rap and while that's a larger argument for another day, at least I found time to put my brain on airplane mode for a second.
IAMSU! and Sage the Gemini are Bay Area favorites, the opposite end of ratchet music where dances are key and fun is to be had at all times. Thoroughly enjoyable throughout their joint set, the duo reminded people why "Red Nose" and "Gas Pedal" cracked speakers across the country and how cuts like "Function," "Only That Real," and more became party mainstays.
Also, we need to continue feeding Mack Wilds NYC rap cuts from the '90s to sing over. As the opener of all openers, he had to deal with a sparse crowd and some who may have felt unfamiliar with him. No matter -- he at least had one woman behind me singing and dancing with glee.
Personal Bias: I miss "mixtape Wiz" maybe more than any other rapper who broke big via free tapes.
The Crowd: Young, not wearing much and high as hell.
Random Notebook Dump: Where I was sitting, you couldn't help but be entertained. Behind me was a family of all ages, an older woman dancing hard to Mack Wilds among them.
It wasn't until asking a few questions during an intermission that I found out that all of them were related to IAMSU!: cousins, aunts and even the rapper's mother who had flown in from San Francisco and affectionately called him "Tootie." His oldest aunt therefore became my new best friend. She did everything short of the Bernie and rapped Drake's "0 to 100" with me. Family is so damn awesome.
Work Hard, Play Hard
"Damn It Feels Good to Be a Taylor
Bout Me feat. IAMSU!
Black And Yellow
Staying Out All Night
Young, Wild & Free
You & Your Friends feat. Ty Dolla $ign
We Dem Boyz
Lose My Mind
Get Ya Mind Right
Trap Or Die
Bottom of the Map
And Then What
I Luv It
Dey Know (Remix)
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS