Warehouse Live's studio was filled with Houston hip-hop heads on a brisk November night. Women were clad in skin-tight leggings with boots and the men bundled up in leather jackets and hoodies. The host for the evening was MC Kane, who normally MC's hip-hop clubs in the city. He gave the concert a nightclub feel by excessively encouraging the audience to "Head to the bar and tip the bartenders." The crowd was kept busy and entertained by Go DJ JBone.
Youngest N Charge took the stage almost five minutes after walking in the door. The fashionably late group made up of BP, Mike and Young B entered the building wearing dazzling diamonds. "I want to feel like its a million people in here; ya'll come closer to the stage, BP said. They opened up the set with a rap over Future's "Tony Montana" and did an ode to Pimp C over Rick Ross' "Tupac's Back." Bun B was in the building in support of his son Young B, but Bun supports damn near every rap show in Houston. Nevertheless, it's good to see him proud of his kid.
John Dew was next with a live band accompanying him. The enthusiam of Dew's performance rubbed off on the intimate crowd. Hollywood Floss and Hashbrown eventually join Dew on stage and, shortly after, Floss lept into the audience. These guys like to have fun at their shows.
Dante Higgins opens his set rapping accapella and we think we ended up standing next to his mom or aunt near the stage because we overheard a lady say, "Oh lord, I forgot he has to curse." How cute. With no hype man, Higgins owned his performance. People knew all the lyrics and almost every head was bobbing. Doughbeezy met Higgins on stage for their version on Jay-Z and Kanye's "H.A.M." before Higgins dramatically exited the stage by dropping the mic.
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The NiceGuys consist of four members: One rapper, two producers and one DJ; but last night it seemed like there were at least ten people on stage. "Last week we won a Houston Press music award for um, being awesome," Yves joked, "And we brought everyone on stage like typical rappers."
R&B crooner Jack Freeman joined them for his feature on the song "Not at All." Freeman's voice turned the fun-loving performance sexy as women rushed the stage. Later, the two producers Free and Todd added vibrancy to "Ari Gold." The Niceguys obviously enjoy performing live and they make it feel like a party.
At midnight Propain took the stage donning shades and a sweatshirt. He opened up with an ode to legendary Houston rappers including Big Moe's "Mann." The audience roared with excitement and recited every lyric. Towards the end of Propain's vigorous set, Slim Thug joined him for the "Say I Won't" remix. The crowd went nuts, but everyone knows you'd be crazy to be from Houston and not love Slim Thugga.