The second annual Smoker's Club tour, which kicked off October 12, finally landed at Warehouse Live's ballroom Friday night with bountiful billows of smoke. One of the Smoker's Club tour mantras is "Bring your lungs." A line was still wrapped around the building even at 10:30 p.m. The venue was sold out and packed wall-to-wall with the usual 20-something hip-hop crowd that a Scoremore promotion brings. We arrived just in time for Smoke DZA's set.
We were barely in the building ten minutes when we saw the first two people being carried out by their friends. There were also a couple audience members sprawled across the ballroom couches in deep slumber, not because the show was boring they had already "enjoyed" themselves a bit too much. DZA, who signed to Curren$y's Jet Life Records while on the Smoker's Club tour, did some songs off his latest mixtape "Rolling Stoned."
It was still early and we knew it was going to be a long night with a promising line up as the clouds of smoke stayed consistent.
At 11 p.m., DZA finished up and there was brief intermission before Def Jam recording artist, Big K.R.I.T. emerged on stage. K.R.I.T.'s thick southern accent is reminiscent of Pimp C and his energy made it evident that he loves Houston. The audience showed that the city loves him as well when they recited the lyrics to "My Time Machine" and "My Sub" in unison.
Bun B later joined K.R.I.T. on stage to do the "Country Shit" remix, which turned the crowd's spirit up a few notches. Before they left the stage, Bun said, "This is for Pimp, Hawk and Pat." The audience roared in agreement.
The instant Method Man stepped on stage in a tall white t-shirt and a du-rag, hands in the shape of huge W's extended in the air to represent the Wu-Tang Clan. Meth is a veteran rapper and has been performing for nearly 20 years. He has done shows as a solo artist, as the other half of Method Man and Redman and alongside the eight other members of Wu-Tang.
Meth's abundant experience was on display in one of the most enthusiastic live performance we've seen from a rapper in quite a while. He clearly enjoys every bit of performing -- stage diving much more successfully than when he tried it in London and no one was there to catch him -- and toked on a blunt between every song, asking the crowd, "Who got some weed up in this bitch?" Was that a joke?
As Meth did the hook to Raekwon's hit "Ice Cream," he managed to walk along on railing so close to the bar that it almost made it look like he was in a Coyote Ugly mood. The crowd was fairly young so lyrics didn't go over as much as with the newer artists on the bill, however everyone was in amazement at his vivacity.
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Meth performed fellow Wu-Tang alum Ol Dirty Bastard's "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" and another Wu-Tang classic "Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nothing to Fuck Wit." On the tour stop in New York, Redman surprised everyone by coming out and joining Meth to do "How High" and we were crossing our fingers that he would pop out by the second verse of "Blackout," but Meth's energy was satisfying enough. Towards the end of Meth's set we spotted Atlanta rapper Killer Mike, who was in town for a show on Saturday, watching from the audience.
At about 1:00 a.m. with the stage is set up like a living room, complete with a sectional couch, chairs and a painted backdrop, Curren$y arrived. The last time Curren$y was on stage at Warehouse Live it was April and he rolled out on a lowrider bicycle. This time it was a chilly November night and he rolled out in a wheelchair with a cast on his foot -- he broke his foot hopping off stage in excitement at a Rock the Bells show in late August. He was assisted out of the chair and on to the couch and said, "This my house, Houston; all I ask is that you don't smoke any reggie in my house."
Curren$y's hypnotic voice chanted "Jet Life" over and over putting the crowd in a trance as his signature Jets hand symbols and cameras are raised up higher than half the audience might have been that night. After a few songs, he removed his thick hoodie and requested a lighter from the audience. About 15 lighters landed on Curren$y's couch and he picked through which one he wanted to keep.
"I'm kinda lonely on this couch," he said before being joined by some homies with bottles of champagne as well as two ladies. He performed songs like "Smoke Break" from his Covert Coup album and Master P's "Bout It, Bout It" -- a nod to his hometown of New Orleans -- all from the comfort of the couch. Smoke DZA joined Curren$y, eventually helping him hobble to the front of the stage on one foot. Curren$y closeed his set with "King Kong" and was rolled away. The effort of an injured artist is always admired and the "kicking back in the living room" stage setting blended quite well with his performance and music.