Too Short, Devin the Dude, DJ Kid Capri House of Blues January 16, 2010
The truly legendary lineup of DJ Kid Capri, Devin the Dude and Too Short came together Sunday night for Houston's first major hip-hop show of 2011. The term "legendary" is often just a synonym for "old," but these three dudes brought back the kind of '80s and '90s swag we don't get a chance to experience enough anymore.
Capri, the East Coast veteran and self-proclaimed "World's Greatest DJ," played everything from Jay-Z to Tupac to Outkast to UGK, covering each region of the most influential wombs of hip-hop (with the exception of Erykah Badu). After a 45-minute mix he affectionately introduced Houston's Devin the Dude, reminding everyone how integral he is to the hip-hop community...as if we didn't know.
The Dude really is one of a kind. There is no one like him; he raps, sings, tells jokes, smokes a lot of weed, and is just an all-around personable dude. Although he hasn't experienced mainstream success and recently parted ways with Rap-A-Lot Records, countless major-label artists have featured him on plenty of tracks. He's been deemed your favorite rapper's favorite rapper.
Devin (above) came onstage with his Coughee Brothers entourage and delivered an hour-long set of classics like "Sticky Green," "Lacville 79" and "Doobie Ashtray," to which the animated crowd sang along word for word. It is this sense of community and hometown love that Aftermath admires so much about Houston rap shows.
No album was left untouched as Devin progressed to his most recent studio release, Suite 420, before ending his set with the melodious "Anything" from "To Tha X-treme." His singing voice was as soulful as ever, and our hearts filled with appreciation and adoration as he repeated both verses a second time around.
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As he departed, he reminded his loyal H-town following to never give up on themselves. He gave some words of advice: "Wherever you go tonight, get there the way you came here: Good-hearted, good-minded, and good-spirited people." Then, for his encore, the Dude came back on with E-Rock of 5th Ward Boyz for "Pussy Weed & Alcohol."
After the traditional H-town head-nodding and communal rapping in a cloudy weed haze, Capri (above) came back onstage to prepare the audience for the Oakland headliner. To be completely honest, he could have spun for another 30 minutes and we would not have objected, but another half-hour of Dipset and Gucci Mane could not have prepared us for the freakiness that was to come.
Too Short is notorious for being one of the most pimping rappers, which may be why he got along with Pimp C so well; say what you will, but he knows women and he knows how to work them. He has a pimp's bravado, slow and choppy delivery, and a short (duh) bald-headed stature as unmistakable as the way he says his favorite word: "Bitch!"
Short played his recent songs first, opening with "Life of the Party" and his new single with E-40 called "Bitch" (you'd think he'd be tired of that term by now). By the time the hyphy dance staples "Blow the Whistle" and "Shake That Monkey" came on, the younger crowd of women took over the aisles and used the rails to steady themselves as they...shook their monkeys, for lack of a more appropriate expression.
Devin the Dude came out to join in on "Fuck Faces," which would have been even better if Scarface could have participated as well.
When the first half of Short's set was over, he cut the music and took 15 minutes to speak to the people of Houston about how much he loves our city - mainly for the freaky women and independent hip-hop music. He mentioned that Houston was the first city he was in that a woman approached him, grabbed him by his private parts, and asked, "So, wussup?"
Before the last half of the show commenced, Short Dog spoke directly to the older fans in the audience and asked if they were ready to bring it back to the '80s. The old heads and a few young bucks responded enthusiastically as they screamed out the slow-paced lyrics of "Life is...Too Short."
Many mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers danced around us, probably revisiting a very pivotal time in their lives - perhaps a time when they conceived one of their children. He continued to play older songs, including "Freaky Tales" and "Get In Where You Fit In." The heads kept up with the words even when they had to take a seat after too much dancing.
Short closed the night by playing the newest song he has released., so new that he claimed no one had heard it before. Like the Dude, Short Dog left the audience to mull over one final philosophical reflection: "If you ever mess with a fat bitch, and you know I like 'em big, make sure her titties aren't small."
We made sure to bold this in our notebook.
Personal Bias: This show was everything that a young, pimpin' MC could aspire to put on. Not only that, there was a vast amount of OG rap philosophy being taught to the younger crowd.
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The Crowd: Old heads and dedicated weedheads.
Overheard In the Crowd: "Yo... I really feel him, in my heart." - Fat Tony on Too Short, one of his personal heroes.
Random Notebook Dump: There may have been quite a few ex-pimps and ex-hos in attendance, possibly mentoring new pimps and hos the Too Short way.