Jambalaya Festival at Bayou Music Center, 5/23/2013

Jambalaya Festival Bayou Music Center May 23, 2013


  • Houston, Texas
  • A roomful of screaming, dancing teens
  • G-Eazy, RL Grime, Big Boi, Zeds Dead, Earlwolf


1. Open the doors of Bayou Music Center at approximately 4 p.m. Allow scores of teenage hip-hop enthusiasts to swarm the floor, courtesy of Scoremore, the young company responsible for bringing today's best underground and indie artists to Southern states.

2. Preheat your Jambalaya Festival with a heaping helping of G-Eazy, a hilariously foul-mouthed rapper from Oakland, California. Eazy, legally known as Gerald Earl Gillum, is lithe and pale, with what appears to be a pompadour greased back with gel and a comb. When his mouth opens to perform cuts like "Lady Killers" and "Loaded," -- two stand-out tracks in a short discography of songs that repeatedly discuss sex and drugs -- he sounds like a splice between Lil Wayne and Drake -- only his verses are ten times dirtier. Don't be shocked when you see a woman throw her panties onto the stage.

3. Follow G-Eazy with an hour's worth of RL Grime, a DJ who fuses EDM with hip-hop. Be careful not to go over the allotted time limit, however. What starts off as an arousing reinterpretation of currently popular rap songs into dubstep waves becomes, after prolonged exposure, groups of teenagers sitting down in pockets inside Bayou Music Center, tired from dancing to the digital beats.

4. Sprinkle in about 45 minutes of rapper Big Boi. Use caution with the use of images on the LCD screen behind him, which shows images of him and former Outkast partner Andre 3000 in stages of hip-hop ascension. Your audience will soon become so nostalgically transfixed by the litany of videos above, they will nearly forget the actual man performing onstage.

Since the duo was known for their colorful and creative videos, the entire performance will start to feel like a music video with live music attached, even as Big Boi sends you on a trip down memory lane with his personal bests from a decade of being one of rap's wittiest and politically astute lyricists. He will smartly wedge a few new songs into his set, to which the audience will nod appreciatively, but when classics like "Rosa Parks" and "Ms. Jackson" roll back around, the bouncing crowd will show their true colors, rapping along in remembrance.

5. Fold Zeds Dead in for a room-shaking bout of traditional dubstep so loud, it turns the building columns into whimpering children, shaking after being hit by wave after wave of warbled digital sound, the best of them being his separation of Juicy J's "Bandz a Make Her Dance" verse to leave only perpetual repetitions of the catcall phrase, "ratchet pussy." This added percolator is a needed boost to a crowd whose energy levels have started to wane after a marathon afternoon and evening of manic fist-pumping.

6. Sprinkle a little Earlwolf on top, to taste. EarlWolf is a rap duo consisting of Tyler, the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt, members of the approximately 60-person controversial collective Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All -- OFWGKTA, or Odd Future for short. (Theirs is not the only subgroup within the group; there are others, but Odd Future's makeup is so complex as to warrant its own separate post.)

The duo's coming will finish what Zeds Dead started: a major revival from kids who have started camping out in the corners of Bayou Music Center, as if the venue was our very own Coachella. Earlwolf will strut across the stage, performing eloquent classics like "Orange Juice" and "Assmilk." The clever wit and arrogance of their lyrics will not be lost on the attendees, who will lose their freakin' minds over these leaders of new-school hip-hop.

7. Serve hot to a legion of fans over the course of eight hours. Reheat and re-serve over the next two days to fans in Austin and Dallas. Enjoy.

Random Notebook Dump: "When's the jambalaya comin' out?" we kept saying to ourselves as the night wore on. Alas, the only bowls we spied came from backstage.

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