Schoolboy Q, Isaiah Rashad, Vince Staples, Audio Push, DJ Mr. Rogers Warehouse Live March 25, 2014
Tuesday night, Warehouse Live rapidly swelled to shoulder-to-shoulder tightness as the seemingly infinite line wrapping the exterior of the building began to file inside, as Schoolboy Q's "Oxymoron" tour made landfall here in Houston.
Audio Push, a relatively new duo hailing from Inland Empire, Calif., set the tone for the evening. Members Oktane and Pricetag drew an energetic response for their single "Shine," and afterward encouraged the sizable audience to raise their arms to sky for an all-inclusive Instagram photo.
Up next was Long Beach's Vince Staples, who used several Snoop Dogg classics to acquaint the Houston crowd with his hometown. During a brief break from his karaoke-style performance, Staples favorably compared Houston's level of vigor versus what he had just seen in Austin.
"Y'all niggaz got strip clubs, Slim Thug and James Harden!" Staples stated.
After this engagement, he performed a song that fans who were familiar with him seem to be into; unfortunately the young performer held the microphone to close to his mouth and lost some steam thanks to the muffled acoustics. However, he did regain some momentum with an interesting take on crowd control: Staples told the left side of the room, "If you love yo mama and she ain't a hoe, turn to the other side and put your middle finger up and say FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU and FUCK YOU!" Needless to say, the people had mad love for their mothers.
During an impromptu beatmaking display by DJ Mr. Rogers and Westside Ty, Top Dawg Entertainment roadies draped the TDE flag in front of the DJ booth in preparation for Isaiah Rashad, who emerged with a Kendrick Lamar-esque stage presence as the pulse of the instrumental track "Ronnie Drake" drew the audience in.
Rashad announced to the crowd, "we gon get real trill in here" as he leaped up and down just prior to performing "R.I.P. Kevin Miller." The white toes of his high-top Chuck Taylors gripped the edge of the stage as he forcefully regurgitated the lyrics "Y'all live for bitches and blunts, we live for weed and money." As someone who had never heard Rashad's music before, I was captivated by the lyrics and his poise onstage.
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For the next 30 minutes or so, Mr. Rogers spun a unrivaled set that paid homage to Houston rap forefathers, encompassed dubstep and welcomed home Lil Boosie.
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Following a stage dive by Schoolboy Q's DJ, and an earsplitting praise for the headliner to take center stage, the man himself emerged dressed in a black hoodie adorned with the Oxymoron cover art and his signature bucket hat. Opening track "Fuck L.A." had the audience in a frenzy, and he went through "Hands On the Wheel," "Bet I Got Some Weed" and "Druggys With Hoes" before acknowledging a fan who demanded he "turn the fuck up."
Another uproar ensued as Q shot an imaginary assault rifle to the cadence of "Gangsta." Prior to settling the mood with "My Hatin' Joint" and "Studio," Q chided all the ladies who decided to attend the concert with their boyfriends. Cell-phone lights illuminated the room as the show concluded with "Break the Bank," "Yay Yay" and "Man of the Year," but the monolithic cheering was easily justification enough for him to come back for an encore performance of "Oxymoron."
Personal Bias: Boo to the guy with the camera who was standing on the barrier. You're already in the front, stop obstructing people's view.
The Crowd: Ethnically Ambiguous.
Overheard In the Crowd: "If you not gon turn the fuck up, let me get to the front!"
Random Notebook Dump: I've been spoiled by Scoremore's timeliness; I was happy to be home before 1 a.m.
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