Saturday Night: Suckafree Concert Series at The Mink

Suckafree Concert Series The Mink May 7, 2011

Suckafree is Houston's newest underground rap concert series, joining hasHBrown, John Dew and David Wright's One Mic, the Purple Bastard et. al.'s Turnin' Headz, H-Kane's Frontline Tour, and one or so others.

The bimonthly event that was started by Hollywood FLOSS - or, as he's also known, Everyone's Favorite Bantamweight - and T. Piper Media, with assistance from Kevin Paul. This past Saturday they had their very first show at the Mink. We went.

Some notes below:

The lineup for the inaugural Suckafree was very solid. Nearly everyone on the bill was either a) someone we'd seen perform a bit part in something else and looked interesting (for example, we saw Snoopy perform several months briefly at an open mike-style cipher and had been trying to catch him again); or b) someone we'd never seen before and were excited to, represented in this case by Snap of the Niyat, Purple Bastard, Reese and UZOY.

Unfortunately, Purple Bastard - the bearded, rail-thin, bizarro rapper - had a family emergency and understandably had to back out, and Atlanta's Reese had "flight problems," placed in quotations because his problem was that he waited too long to purchase his ticket to Houston, then decided to just not buy it when the date neared because the ticket had become too expensive on account of the short notice.

Yay, professionalism.

You know who's a real bitch? The guy who programmed the directions from Reliant Stadium to The Mink, that's who. UZOY and Tawn P are two of the city's most compelling rapping females, and we were excited to see them on the same bill. However, we ended up arriving shortly after Tawn's show because Google Maps thought it pertinent that we take a goddamn tour of Midtown. Yay, nonlinear directions. Die, dying, dead. At any rate...

Rating Suckafree's Remaining Performances, From Best to Least Best:

First Place: Authentic Snoopy

Snoopy is a young, energetic, handsome, likeable kid. His best, most interesting song is called "Hello," a wonky (guitars, not bass), economy of sound Nuevo rap track. He performed it to great effect, despite the fact that there were only about 25 people there to see him do it. He is officially on the radar. @authenticsnoopy

Nearly First Place: UZOY, who slinked around the room cloaked in demureness before (and after) her performance, exploded on stage. The best song she did: "Pack It Up" off this year's impressive The [Def]inition. @uzoy

Third Place: The first two songs of Snap's set. Snap is an interesting person to think about - he's an older dude, and he makes rap music for people that might not know they even like rap music. When he swims around in that Sleepy Guitars And Snares aesthetic, how he started his set , he is extremely effective. (Here's his most recent tape) He was superb to start.

Nearly Third: John Dew (above). There's a review coming this week of Dew's recent tape, STJv1.9, so we'll save his analysis for that. Come back here for that to read about what it is that makes him worth paying attention to. @johndewmusic

Fifth Place: The rest of Snap's set. Following his solid start, his focus seemed to wane a bit. Put him in an earthy, bohemian setting, and he'd probably be excellent. That's just a guess, though.

Some Estranged Notes That Didn't Fit Anywhere Else:

There was a short, stocky, older fellow roaming around the room. He looked like he might've been security, or maybe someone's dad, but then he got up on stage during Snap's set (totally should've seen that coming) and crushed a verse. It was cool. Remember that movie where Billy Blanks plays the high school janitor who happens to be a karate expert, and he ends up wowing some kid who's been getting bullied with his ninjaness? That's what this like. Or something.

DJ Klinch was the night's DJ. He did a good job filling in the evening's empty space (highlights: "Boyz in the Hood"; "Knocking Pictures Off Da Wall"), as well as served as the inspiration for an argument that we eventually lost: Is it cool for men to wear muscle shirts? He had one on and, we don't mind saying, looked pretty badass in it.

We asked several people if we should buy one. The nicest answer: "No." The most unnecessarily mean one: "What the fuck is wrong with you?"

If you wear a backpack to a hip-hop show, know that everyone there not wearing one is actively hoping that you stumble down the stairs or twist your ankle or step on something sharp on the way home.

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Shea Serrano