Dom Kennedy, Doughbeezy Warehouse Live Studio September 10, 2011
Saturday night, Aftermath was engulfed in clouds of marijuana smoke as we entered Warehouse Live for Dom Kennedy's show, part of the Cali native's "Scoremore Texas Tour" that had already stopped in Dallas, Austin and Oklahoma City.
Amongst Saturday's smoked-out atmosphere, the room was packed wall-to-wall with pretty girls, guys who get snarky if you brush against their sneakers, and familiar faces like Trae tha Truth and Bun B. DJ Mr. Rogers hosted and spun between each set.
One opening act was Houston's own Doughbeezy, who performed to a receptive hometown crowd. Also known as "The Southeast Beast," Doughbeezy is touring Texas with Kennedy. Killa Kyleon also took the stage, and the crowd went bananas when he bought surprise guest Bun B onstage to perform their latest song together, "Bodies Hit the Floor."
Around midnight, DJ Mr. Rogers, introduced "Leimert Park's finest," Dom Kennedy. The West Coast rapper - Leimert Park is an area of South Central L.A., near Crenshaw -came onstage sporting dark shades and Chuck Taylors. Houston-bred artist Carter joined him perform their single "CDC." After that, Carter did his hypnotic ode to the city, "Houston Summer," which also features Bun B (who didn't hop onstage this time).
It's been a while since Aftermath has seen an indie artist not from Houston that has packed the house with fans who know every lyric to every song. This was Kennedy's second show in Houston; he did tracks from his earlier projects including debut album From the Westside With Love II. Without a doubt, "Dom's Prayer" was a crowd favorite.
People were actually dancing at a concert for once, instead of paying money to stand around and look cool. The energy in the room was very genuine and the audience was actually filled with fans. Kennedy didn't have a hype man with him onstage the entire time, something also rare at a rap show.
Kennedy made sure to check on the ladies in the building between each song, and closed out his 30-minute set by paying homage to his hood with "A Leimert Park Song." Before exiting the stage he gave advice to younger artists: "At my in-store earlier today, I ran into a group of kids rapping from Houston, they inspired me."
"I just want to let ya'll know it doesn't matter if you're in school or still working - don't give up on doing music," he said. "You can do it too."
After the sold-out show, Kennedy wasn't rushing off to the usual afterparty. "I'm staying here afterwards until every pic is taken and every autograph is signed," he said before walking offstage.
Personal Bias: Dom Kennedy's last three mixtapes and his album get lots of play in my vehicle.
The Crowd: Young girls and guys in skinny jeans who love weed.
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Overheard In the Crowd: "Have you heard my mixtape yet?"
Random Notebook Dump: Every time I leave Warehouse Live's studio room I smell like a pound of OG Kush.