Curren$y, Young Roddy, Corner Boy P Warehouse Live April 20, 2014
There were no egg hunts going on at Sunday night's Curren$y show. Instead, fans were all about the Easter grass. Celebrating a double-stack of holy days (Easter and 4/20, stoners' very own Hallmark holiday), the young hip-hoppers who packed out Warehouse Live arrived with bales of the good stuff (and the bad stuff, and the in-between stuff) pre-rolled and ready to go, primed to enjoy some of New Orleans' kindest weed rap and not remember much of it.
Unsurprisingly, it was a late show. A huge line of people was still snaking its way through security at 10:15 p.m. as 5-Star worked hard to keep as much contraband as they could out of the club. If they confiscated anything, it was less than a drop in the bucket, of course. As Warehouse Live filled up to capacity, the room grew smoggier and smoggier until there was simply no escaping the smoke. Even the bathrooms were cloudy.
By the time the first rapper from Curren$y's Jet Life crew hit the stage, the crowd was a bit past loose. Corner Boy P soldiered impressively through an opening set that was received mostly by glassy-eyed stares and bored chatter as concertgoers either burned through blunt after blunt or lived vicariously through those who did. The Corner Boy never slowed down, keeping his chin up and his smile big as he rapped to the billowing fog.
The heavily sedated crowd came alive, at last, for Young Roddy, Curren$y's chief lieutenant. Roddy kept a tight flow throughout his set, sending fans' hands up all over the building contorted into the crew's thumb-and-pinkie "Jet Life" hand sign. He kept the verses coming fast and furious, rapping a capella about chasing girls, double-cupping his drank and the like. The young crowd grooved hard, floating along on the heavy bass pumping out of the Warehouse P.A. on appropriately named songs like "Blow Up."
During the short wait between Roddy and Curren$y, it occurred to me that I was in the midst of possibly the largest Warehouse Live crowd I'd ever seen, and certainly the largest cloud of dope smoke I'd ever seen. If Greg Abbott could have seen the gigantic, diverse crowd of stoned, happy youth in that building, he might have just given up and gone home.
I suppose he can catch it all on YouTube, as hundreds of cameraphones shot up when Curren$y speared at last. The former Lil' Wayne protégé showed Houston a little love by rocking a Warren Moon jersey, and his fans showered him right back -- literally. Throughout his first song, gifts of joint and blunts reigned down on the stage.
"It's Christmas in this motherfucker, too!" exclaimed the delighted rapper, bringing the night's holiday celebrations up to three. "I don't mess with that bullshit. Only throw me that killa."
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The crowd bounced and rapped along lustily to tracks like "Three 60" and "King Kong" as Curren$y did his thing. While smartphones recorded every bar of "High Tunes," non-smokers were forced to turn down offering after offering from their neighbors, doing their best to survive the eye-stinging secondhand stuff that was rapidly turning the air opaque. Even through the smog, the view of the stage was still remarkably good even all the way in the back of the venue -- a testament to Warehouse Live's design.
Curren$y broke the crowd off repeatedly with a cappella verses that fans loudly rapped right back at him, keeping the night bouncing right along. It was a happy, chilled-out affair, but still a little too intense for some. I saw a semi-conscious girl get dragged out of the scrum, and then a dehydrated-looking guy not long after. It was a not a night for amateurs.
Those who could hang were loving it, though, screaming along deliriously to "Jet Life to the Next Life." LE$ came out for a verse or two, and even Slim Thug made a quick appearance, stopping by on his way out of the Rockets game. Curren$y served up a bottomless well of big, dreamy beats and a cappella rhymes that had the young crowd levitating, including "Mary" and "Michael Knight."
"Yo, that's my time, but I ain't goin' nowhere," said the smiling rapper as his show concluded. "Let's smoke weed and kick it."
Well, where else was he going to go? All of the weed in Houston seemed to be hanging in the air inside Warehouse Live. And what good is a holiday if you can't spend it surround by your closest friends and family, anyway?
Personal Bias: Happy holidays.
The Crowd: A very large, fairly diverse bunch of twentysomethings.
Overheard in the Crowd: "Go ahead and hit that a few times; I been hittin' it for a minute."
Random Notebook Dump: They could have made a killing at this show selling those smog masks everybody wears on the streets of Beijing. It was THICK in there.
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