Nipsey Hussle Warehouse Live February 7, 2014
The frigid outside temperatures Friday night made Warehouse Live's Ballroom feel like the coziest place in the city. But you could see the cold-induced stiffness instantly melt away as Nipsey Hussle ticketholders crossed through the venue's double doors for the last leg of his "Crenshaw U.S." tour.
Fans placed drink orders, took viewing positions and proudly hung their Hussle-patented "T.M.C." (the marathon continues) flags across the banisters. A host of Houston rap's most notable names -- Bun B, Boston George, Jas Prince, Le$, Kirko Bangz, Slim Thug, Propain, C-Stone, Doughbeezy, Killa Kyleon and Jack Freeman -- all hung around backstage to see the South Central L.A. rapper grace the stage.
The uncharacteristic number of opening acts made the crowd anxious and irritable, causing them to send barrages of booing at several performers. However, local acts 2 Raw and Propain's protege Doe Man did draw positive responses with their punchline-drenched a cappella freestyles.
Rising Houston star Delorean added a live drummer to his short set, an unexpected yet pleasant surprise. Then, shortly after Erk The Jerk spit a few brief songs, Nipsey Hussle erupted onto the stage with maximum force for a set that was saturated with hits from a variety of his projects.
Fans were appreciative of the assortment of material from The Marathon, The Marathon Continues and, most recently, Crenshaw as Hussle wasted no time personally engaging the crowd. After performing "Checc Me Out," he drew near the edge of the stage to ask, "What y'all wanna hear?"
After a dynamic rendition of "Drop Coupes" that kept arms and their attached cell phones waving in the air, he brought out Houston homies Bun B and Kirko Bangz to perform while he took a quick breather.
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Post-break, Hussle reemerged revitalized to full strength, cranking out hit after hit while transitioning between songs with the simple instruction to the DJ, "Keep going." Even several minutes past 2 a.m., he still showed no sign of deceleration as per his request, the T.M.C. flag was hoisted high into the sky.
"You gotta hold that motherfucka real high for this one," he spoke as he brought out Slim Thug to perform "Go Long."
After inciting pandemonium by performing at the barrier of media pit over the top of his enthusiastic fans, Hussle finally ended his Houston show by standing outside of his tour bus to greet and take photos with his supporters.
Personal Bias: Way too many openers. Two or three is fine, five or more is pushing it.
The Crowd: Anxious and dedicated
Overheard In the Crowd: "Cuz is a real 60 Crip, he just raps too."
Random Notebook Dump: Kudos to Armani and the rest of 365Live for delivering a nearly hitch-free production. Secondly, this was arguably the highest fan-to-artist merchandise ratio I've ever seen; no wonder he made Forbes. All Money In.
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