“I think they’re ready,” exclaimed Earl Sweatshirt as he turned away from the DJ and looked back at the audience at the House of Blues. As the audience screamed in agreement, the West Coast MC looked around the packed house.
“How are y'all gonna say you’re ready when you don’t even know what’s coming?” he said laughing as the DJ simultaneously dropped the beat for “East,” the off-kilter track with its jerking accordion loop. The sound reverberated through the crowd as Earl stood center stage trading verses back and forth with the crowd.
Earl has spent his career forging his own path and refusing to create traditionally commercial music, often releasing work composed of extremely short songs with abrasive, hard hitting beats. It’s a catalog his fans ate up Friday as Earl rapped his set, pacing back and forth across the stage.
NBA Leather, the multi-city North American featuring Action Bronson, Earl Sweatshirt, Boldy James, and The Alchemist, touched down at the House of Blues Friday night, getting a hardcore, dedicated fanbase to brave the cold, gloomy weather and fill the House of Blues to capacity.
Coming fresh off the release of Earl’s fourth album, Sick!, the tour gives the four artists the opportunity to deliver live music to their rabid fanbases. All three artists have worked with Alchemist’s production with Boldy releasing two albums in 2021, Bo Jackson and Super Tecmo Bo. Action, of course, is constantly working with Alchemist, featuring him on his Vice Show, Fuck That’s Delicious, and releasing several joint albums.
Even Earl has teased the release of a secret album that he and Alchemist collaborated on and uploaded to Youtube under a fake name, sending fans scrambling to find the record, still lost in an ever-growing sea of audio and video.
“I see you! I see everything Houston,” he screamed, making sure the city knew he touched down. Shortly after Action welcomed Bun B and Le$ to the stage as Bun performed the UGK hit “Wood Wheel.” As Bun performed, Action, Alchemist, Earl and Boldy joined him on stage to cheer alongside the Port Arthur native as Pimp C’s verse filled the room.