Fat Tony feat Tom Cruz & 10ille Warehouse Live July 6, 2012
There is a track on Fat Tony's new Double Dragon named "Good While It Lasted." It tells the story about a girl that Tony spends a lot of time with in the back seat of her black Jeep -- discussing the implications of the Supreme Court's ruling to uphold President Obama's healthcare law, I'm certain -- and how she ends up doing him wrong. So of course, Tony leaves her, but he can't help but to reminisce about how great things were during that time.
Houston... we are THAT girl. Sure, we loved him then and love him still, but it took a move to the City of Angels to unleash Tony's full ferocity and talent. Combined with his new friends Tom Cruz and 10ille, what we witnessed at Warehouse Live on Friday night was nothing short of a masterpiece wrapped in a blunt, dipped in lean, and remixed with video-game beats while drinking Guinness and wearing denim.
The night began with a set by the ever-cool DJ iPod Ammo, who is equal parts chill-mode conductor and hyper-dance initiator. I arrived early in order to catch a few words from Tony and Cruz, but they were nowhere to be found.
Discouraged, I ventured next door to Lucky's Pub for a bite to eat, only to run into B L A C K I E, another H-Town product that has been away from Houston traveling and performing across the world, gaining new fans along the way.
As it turns out, Tony and friends were at the bar, too. Cruz remembered me from the Double Dragon mixtape release party in Los Angeles back in May. "You were there with that other dude who was drinking lean and smoking a blunt! I remember you!"
How stereotypical of me, but yes, guilty as charged. I received a heartfelt bear hug from Tony, and he introduced me to singer/rapper 10ille, whose mysterious style and beauty is rare 'round these parts. After a few moments catching up, we closed our bar tabs and headed back next door.
10ille (pronounced "Ten-eel") was up first. Her voice needed a few minutes to warm up, but once it did, her attitude and strength flowed with beauty and bite. The songstress from the Bronx performed trippy hip-hop soul jams with an R&B sweetness that are hard not to like.
She would later return to the stage with Tony & Cruz to sing the hook on "Young Girl", easily one of the gems on Double Dragon.
Chants of "Tony, Tony, Tony!" were lobbed to the stage as the crowd eagerly awaited the man of the hour. Tom Cruz lead the chants, fully aware of the impending hurricane that was about to blow across the stage. A bit about Cruz:
- Former member of the rap group Supreeme
- Procuded Tony's RABDARGAB
- Worked with Murs and Das Racist
- Raised in Atlanta, visited his family in Houston regularly growing up
He is also an almost perfect complement to his buddy Fat Tony. Where Tony wears loud button-ups, Cruz wears a soccer jersey or goes shirtless. Where Tony wears shades, Cruz stares you down with his piercing gaze. Where Tony's voice flows and rhymes seemingly without stopping to take a breath, Cruz comes in an octave lower with a settled down deference. He is Hammer to Tony's Spike. Maverick and Iceman.
The duo runs through the first four tracks from Double Dragon ("Goldeneye," "Denim Guinness" Boys, "Inventory," "Double Dragon") before bringing back favorites from RABDARGAB ("Love It Mayne," "Nigga You Ain't Fat") and of course, our favorite song about being at Pappadeaux with a lot of hoes, "Like Hell Yeah."
He closes by jumping off the stage and into the crowd, immersing himself with his fans as the anthem "Home" rings out, pulling at our heartstrings with every "HOOOMMMMEE" he bellows.
An intimate show with Fat Tony, back from L.A. and a recent cross-country tour, if only for one night.
But it was good while it lasted.
Personal Bias: His name is Anthony. My middle name is Antonio. We both graduated from Jones/Carnegie Vanguard. We both attended the University of Saint Thomas. We are both really great rappers (my upcoming mixtape "Taco Trucks and Craft Beers" should be dropping sometime next year!).
The Crowd: Only 100 tickets were sold for this event, and it seems like the place sold out. Fat Tony fans for life.
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Overheard In the Crowd: "Did you know I was in Tony's 'Like Hell Yeah' video?!"
Random Notebook Dump: Shout-out to all of the local artists who came out to support, including rappers A.D.D., Frankie G Da Mex, Buckamore, Uzoy, producers That Purple Bastard and Third World TV, and the only and only DJ OG Ron C.