Saturday: Trae Was A Very Special HPMA Showcase Guest Indeed

Trae Tha Truth Bud Light Outdoor Stage August 7, 2010

Trae tha Truth was the special guest at this year's HPMA showcase. As such, he brought along a few special people he normally doesn't bring to shows, namely a live band and hypeman extraordinaire Go DJ Hi-C (he's the CEO of Go DJs, Houston's largest DJ collective).

Normally, Aftermath organizes our concerts into handy little timestamps, which we keep in order by sending ourselves text messages. But for this show we couldn't because our cell phone was about to die because we didn't charge it the night before because we suck at life a lot of the time.

So here are a few bulleted notes from the Trae show in their entirety, including a hat-tip to a Disney movie reference and a Scrooge McDuck joke.

• One thing you might not ever know about Trae if you don't work with him on something, is that he is very diligent when handling business matters. He does not like to be viewed as unprofessional. The night before the HPMA showcase, he had a show in Killeen and on the way back to town Saturday, his van broke down. Twice. Between the time that that happened and the time he arrived onstage, he called Aftermath, personally, no less than seven times to give updates and status checks.

• Trae incorporated a live band for the show. They weren't introduced, so we took to calling them the Trutheteers. Some other band names we contemplated:

The Inkredibles The Banned (Get it? Because he's banned. And it sounds like "band.") A Band, Nigga (On account of the ABN thing.) Ghetto Queen(s) (He has a song on Life Goes On called "Ghetto Queen"; this one would probably work better if they were all female.)

• Know that if you're going to a Trae show, you're going to hear "Grey Cassette," "Screwed Up," "In The Hood," "Miss My Dawg," "No Help," "No Love" and "Swang." The chances of him not performing one of those songs are about as likely as his cheerfully high-fiving The Box's Nnete if he saw her at the Galleria.

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• Speaking of, one of the songs we always cross our fingers and hope Trae performs but he never, ever does is "Nuthin' 2 a Boss" from Life Goes On. It's not a very hype song, so we can see why it gets left out. Still, if he could somehow maneuver it so that Slim Thug came rumbling out to perform it with him, the place would explode, guaranteed. Somebody please fill out a prayer card or something to make this happen.

• From Trae's "BMF" remix: "Got money buried in the floor, the rest up in the attic." Is there any way that that's not true? It has to be, right? He's probably just got bundles of money hidden all over his house. What do you think he does with his attic money? Do you think he swims in it like Scrooge McDuck? Better yet, maybe he pays attractive women to swim in it for him? And maybe he makes them talk like Scrooge McDuck while they do it? Yeah, yeah that's definitely what he does. Go ahead and treat that as fact.

• Though there a couple of sketchy moments at the beginnings of some of the some of the songs - we're told the band didn't get a chance to practice together until that morning - The Trutheteers were surprisingly interesting. When Trae et. al hit "Swang" as their closing number, the guitar player got loose for a second, gave the song a solid rockish feel to it, and the kids went yo-yo.

Who'd have thunk that that song translated so well to a live band? Super-solid moment. If a proper band gets some ample time to rehearse and really nails everything down, it could be huge. Backstage, Trae was noticeably pleased with the way things went. Rumors are already circulating that he's planning on organizing a similar show for a medium-sized venue like House of Blues.

• Also, regarding that last bullet, during "Swang" Trae rapped Pimp C's verse to great effect. How ill would it be if he covered a few Houston rappers' songs at his next show? How batshit crazy would the crowd go if he just up and did a verse from "Front, Back and Side To Side" or "Tops Drop" or something really out of line like "25 Lighters"?

• Regarding the live-band thing, if Trae does plan a show with a full live band - we're talking string section and everything - here are three sleeper songs Aftermath likes to hope he'd consider pumping out:

"Real Talk" from Life Goes On; played somewhere near the beginning of the show: The guitar player would have to be superb to handle this song completely, and the drummer would have to be overpowering, but if they pulled it off... holy shit.

"Give My Last Breath" from Life Goes On; played somewhere near the middle of the show: A piano, a violin, a guitar and a drummer. Bam. Did that just blow your brain? Throw in some neon lights and put Trae in all white suit just because. It'd be like some Kanye shit.

"Use Somebody" from The Incredible Truth; played at the very end, right after "Swang": This would be sooo bananas. It'd be the perfect storm.

First, it's a Kings of Leon cover. There's no better song in his discography more appropriate for a band than this one. Second, it ranks somewhere near the top of the "Best, Most Meaningful Trae Songs Of All Time" list; the line where he sings, "All I know is that pain got me feeling ashamed and I can't breathe" is his all time best line from any song ever.

And third, it's wildly appropriate with regards to everything that's going on right now. If Jay-Z can make a video for "Forever Young," Trae can perform "I Could Use Somebody" live.

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