Dante Higgins, Doughbeezy, The Monster, Delo, O.N.E., Overdose, Leo Solomon Midtown Lounge February 16, 2011
10:11 p.m.: Walking in, Doughbeezy and The Monster are out front saying things into a video camera. Those two run together apparently, which is pretty much a perfect pairing. You've got the diminutive motor-mouth little brother and the What, Mother Fucker!? big brother. Things rarely work out so poetically.
10:23: Rapper O.N.E. is wandering around touching hands with people. He's performing tonight. The last time we saw him live he was tough stuff.
10:32: If your legs look like oak tree stumps, maybe you leave that mini-skirt on the rack? And maybe you get some better friends?
10:34: The show tonight is being hosted tonight by a local comedian named Ken 2 the Fool. It appears that he is sponsored by Adidas.
10:41: "Make some noise if you ain't got AIDS!" Cool, cool.
10:46: Ken 2 enjoys hearing himself talk. He introduces the first act, a singer named Jason Walker who goes by Leo Solomon (that might be the first time someone adopted a stage name that was equally as innocuous as the original), then continues to chat it up for a good two minutes. Solomon shrugs after several seconds then walks off stage and waits 'til Ken 2 is finished.
10:51: Whoa. Leo Solomon Who's Really Jason Walker is good. He's a bit of that poppy R&B. One of the songs he does flips a sample from television show Living Single and references Trae and Z-Ro. Several people with brightly colored drinks sway in the air in approval.
10:51:04: By the way, why is there such a preponderance of red and pink drinks at mostly black events? Has that ever been addressed?
10:57: O.N.E. is next up. He opens with an a cappella, which is one of his go-to moves. He's especially tough to corral when he's allowed to roam without any form of predestined iambic pentameter. Tonight is no different.
10:59: The guy from R.I.S.E. DVD is here. He's cool because he wears a mechanic's shirt and church shoes.
11:07: Despite some issues with the microphone cutting out, O.N.E. gives a solid performance. His reward: Ken 2 the Fool making fun of his track jacket.
11:09: Ken 2 introduces Doughbeezy as the next performer and a gaggle of girls rush the stage screaming. Cool stuff. Except the next act is a rapper named Overdose, not Beezy. Whoops.
The conundrum is immediately clear: Will the girls who clearly came to see Beezy stay at their post at the front of the stage (they're currently the only ones there), or will they retreat back to their table and leave poor Mr. Dose to fend for himself?
11:09:04: So, the girls are back the table...
11:15: Overdose is a serviceable rapper, but he had quite a bit of his wind sapped by the mistaken identity. These are the perils of being booked around The Beez. Rap is a tough job.