Trae Tha Truth's Birthday Party at House of Blues, 7/2/2013

Trae Tha Truth's Birthday Party House of Blues July 2, 2013

The last time Trae took the stage for his birthday at House of Blues, his special guests included Jadakiss, Waka Flocka, Yung Joc and Lupe Fiasco. And since Trae is good at making friends and convincing inviting them to his party, the chances of an All-Star lineup Tuesday night at House of Blues was almost guaranteed. As one commenter put it, a Trae & Friends show usually has a better rap lineup than Free Press Summer Fest!

I walked into the venue at 10 p.m., surprised by what a small crowd was in attendance. There was plenty of room to roam downstairs, and the balcony was almost empty. No matter, DJ Mr. Rogers was on the mixers cueing up one of the best sets of H-Town rap imaginable. From Geto Boys to UGK, Lil Keke's "Southside," to Madd Hatta's "Down South" and Z-Ro's "Mo City Don Freestyle," and everything in between... It was an H-Town shindig top to bottom.

The first act of the night was the ferocious J-Dawg. The young Boss Hogg Outlaw is about as dark and menacing as a black hole, captivating with his emotional sound and intimidating with his animalistic scowl. J plays every show as if his life depended on it, never backing down, all hard and strong at all times.

"This is real nigga shit!" he proclaimed. "I'm starving, I'm here to eat!" Of course he spoke figuratively, but it would not surprise me if he actually picked up a hater from the audience and ate him.

From "Ride On 4's" to "Associates" and "First 48," there is no warmup for J-Dawg. Like The Incredible Hulk, the rapper is always angry. "Pray for me and I'll pray for y'all! G's up!" Nobody reps the "H" like J-Dawg.

The curtain was soon closed, and all kinds of commotion could be heard backstage. I soon found out that Trae was performing with a live band, and the set up was causing a delay. "Just be patient everyone," said Mr. Rogers from behind the scence. "Trill shit just takes a bit longer than bullshit." Very true.

Once the band was ready, a booming voice jumped on the mike. With the voice of a boxing announcer, Trae was introduced as both "The King of the Streets" and simply "The Truth." The curtain opened to reveal Trae dressed in all white, sitting on a throne.

"I guess a bunch of niggas forget that I'm the man!" rapped Trae. That is the first line of "Choppa Talk" from 2012's Tha Blackprint, and the large, bejeweled Asshole By Nature made his presence known right away. He also paid tribute to DJ Screw with "Grey Cassette" and Pimp C with "Long Live The Pimp".

The first guest of the night was comedian Lil Duval, who quickly made fun of Trae's deep, mumbling voice. Now, making Trae the object of jokes is usually not the smartest thing to do, but Trae was all smiles Tuesday. And so the comedian lived to joke another day.

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When he's not roaming around the city in search of tacos and graffiti, Houston Press contributor Marco both writes and points his camera lens toward the vibrant Houston music scene and beyond.