Last Night: Kickback Sunday At Club L.A.X.

SF2 Kickback Sunday Club L.A.X. January 30, 2011

8:10 p.m.: Since we last checked in with SF2's Kickback Sunday event, it has grown a bit. They've picked up a sponsor or two, signed up GT Mayne and Rapid Ric to be a part of it, and are putting together larger and larger prize packages (CD artwork, mastering, etc).

Matter of fact, it's grown so much these past few weeks that KBS now requires residency in a proper venue. The initial test run - Sunday was their first away game - was held at Club LAX, way up on F.M. 1960.

8:12: Killa Kyleon is just getting up onstage to do a guest performance set. He touches on that song about quitting a girl in the morning before grabbing the evening air by the throat with his redo of Lil' Wayne's "Bill Gates" track. That song is tough stuff. Did anybody else notice that he flipped his hat backwards right before he went bonkers? He's like a black Lincoln Hawk.

8:12:04: Yes, that's an Over the Top reference for you. Step your semi-obscure Sylvester Stallone movies game up, bitches.

8:12:30: Halfway into the song, Killa Kyleon just stops rapping. His explanation: "I ain't gonna lie. I don't know all of that motherfucker." Funny. Killa Kyleon is not about excuses, it appears.

8:19: Delo pops up on stage for a quick acapella rap. That guy has never not at least been interesting. Looking forward to a proper Delo concert soon.

8:24: Doughbeezy is here soaking in the accolades. He, along with The Monster (KAB), have really put their stamp on this event the past few weeks.

8:48: Ah, speak of the monster and he shall appear. KAB is now here soaking in the accolades as well.

8:50: As mentioned, GT Mayne is hosting the event tonight. He's a smallish guy, maybe 5'7", 140 or so pounds. He has on a short-sleeve button-up shirt and everyday jeans. A pair of glasses rests comfortably on his nose and a scruffy beard dangles from his chin. All of this may be an attempt at looking reserved and approachable, but mostly it just makes it look like he has really strong beliefs about apartheid. You have to like that guy.

8:50:04: GT's new song, by the way, is very good. Google it.

8:52: Okay, so we're at a proper battle point in the show now. Doughbeezy, Q Man (we think), Overdose and HoodStar Chantz are the contestants. Doughbeezy and Overdose are the first up. This is the first time tonight the crowd has seemed actively engaged in the show. Let's see what's what.

8:54: Oh shit. Beezy snapped, making jokes about using Overdose's cell phone to film a movie of himself having sex with Dose's girlfriend and then saying he's changing his name to DDT because he's "doing the damn thing." Poor Overdose hasn't even gone yet but he's already lost.

Q Man, who somehow manages to make Lil Boosie sound like James Earl Jones, wasn't very impressive during his performance but absolutely goes yo-yo when he goes in against HS Chantz in the other first-round battle. The crowd is amped up. People are screaming at the stage, Killa Kyleon is making his "Holy Shit, Did he Just Say That?" face, and general glee abounds. This right here, the feeling that's filling up all of the empty space inside L.A.X.'s megamansion, is why everyone has fallen in love with this event.

Chantz, not to be outdone, gets after it himself, winning the crowd over when he mentions how it costs to be the boss, then turns and shouts at Q, "SO TELL ME WHAT MY BILL IS!" Tough, tough stuff.

9:10: Okay, the battle eventually shook itself out the way lots of these things do these days (with a victory for the charismatic Doughbeezy), but the grander narrative is clear: Kickback Sunday is a wonderful event, and the local guys will line up to say nice things about it, SF2 and the SF2 team. But it likely needs to be in a smaller, more organic, more natural setting for it to flourish completely.

The reason the battle was so much fun was because everyone was so engaged and participatory. That the event is growing at such at a rapid rate is inevitable (SF2's only concern appears to be help local artists; you can't fill up one hand with names of the places that do that for local rappers), but L.A.X. is too big, and too unattractive frankly, to host it. Next week's KBS will, according to SF2's Teresa, be held at a smaller venue on the south side. It should be loads of fun.

9:14: Show's moving forward again.

9:15: Tyler Jets, the young handsome kid that was of particular interest to the ladies the last time we saw him, is up. He's especially Drake-ish tonight, a circle closed completely when he does a redo of Pimp C's "What Up," the song from Pimp's posthumous album that actually features Drake on a majority of it.

Even if it's unintentional, you have to appreciate the roundness of the situation when an up-and-coming Houston artist doing a song by a national artist who has made it a point to show how much he enjoys Houston artists.

9:21: Just throwing this out there: If you have a noticeable limp, your Cool Grey tennis shoes look decidedly less cool.

9:23: There's a guy in here that goes by the handle @krangdabrain on Twitter. We see him everywhere, yet we do not know his name. This has never been a problem though, because he's only ever walked up to us, shaken our hand, then walked away when we've seen him. He's either the coolest, busiest guy of all time, or he doesn't know our name either. Whichever it is, it's one of the more enjoyable relationships we've developed coming to these events.

9:24: The name of the next two guys that are about to perform: Young Don (we think) and, after him, Young Truth. Young Sensation is standing in the crowd waiting, as is Young Rome (or something), who went up recently. Perhaps -PERHAPS- it's time we stop going with "Young" as part of the rap moniker.

9:26: Kirko Bangz is wandering around the building somewhere. We'd go look for him, but there are about 200 or so people in here at the moment. It'd take too long. We'll just sit here and wait until a group of women get into a fistfight over which one is going to go home and try to have sex with him, then he'll be easier to spot.

9:28: Young Truth, who looks a little closer to Middle-Aged Truth, is up now. He's a fiery fellow. He starts out his set with a simple, reasonable plea, saying "I came to the stage for everyone else, so can you kindly come to the front?" Club L.A.X. is a large venue, so one of the immediate problems of holding it here is that if it's not filled up entirely, people eventually gravitate to the open area. A few people that were near the back start to make their way towards the stage.

Naturally, Young Truth's first line is a monstrous, "I'M NOTHING LIKE YOU MUH-FUCKAHS!"

9:58: Beezy, The Monster, K-Dogg (why isn't anybody talking about this guy yet?) and a few others make their way up on the stage. Good stuff all the way around. If you've still managed to not make your way to Kickback Sunday, do so soon.

Personal Bias: We're fans of slickster rapper Young Sensation, who is always at these events. We've linked to his music, interviewed him, written nice things about things he's done. Still, we've never seen him interact with anyone directly and never gotten the chance to see him do a proper set. If we get there late, he says he was the first one up. If we get there early, he says he's the last one up.

The one time we were at a KBS and they called his name to perform, he vanished into the ether. This all seems to point to one obvious truth: Young Sensation actually died several years ago after his mother began feeding him soup with cleaning products mixed in, while we possess the ability to see dead people and must help him avenge his death. It's the only way this all makes sense.

The Crowd: Looked smaller than it actually was.

Overheard in the Crowd: "Are there any more Killa CDs left?" Kyleon was handing out free copies of his latest mixtapes. There were not any left, but they'll be available online soon.

Random Notebook Dump: During the final round of the battle mentioned above, both finalists (Beezy and Chantz) faltered a bit. Kyleon, who is lethal at these events, turned to them and said, "I'm just gonna stand here and look at both of you niggas. What the fuck happened that round?!" Then he made them redo it. I wish you could rent Killa to do children's parties. He'd have that piñata bullshit done in, like, under four minutes, guaranteed.

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Shea Serrano