Road To Paid Dues, The Gramophone, 03/05/13
Photo’s/Words : BeezNutzSTL
Paid Dues is a independent hip hop festival held annually in Pomona, California. This week some of my favorite artist came out to rock The Gramophone in St. Louis on The Road To Paid Dues tour. Thanks to my good friends Kathy and Curtis, I have known about and been a fan of Prof for years now.
My friends Kathy, Curtis and I all decided to meet up and ride downtown together. That way we would save that gas money for better things, such as drinks and merch. We got to The Gramophone around 9:30, went inside and headed straight to the bar. Which was where I met my new friend Anna. We had both came to the show to see Prof and we ended up hanging out most of the night. A beer later I found my spot just in time for Black Cloud Music who was taking the stage.
Black Cloud Music is a indepedent record label based in Island Empire, California founded in 2006. They were represented by two of the members Noa James ” The Intelligent, Elegant, Elephant ” and Curtiss King who made a reference to himself looking like Sinbad which was funny. They both were dope, had great lyrics and played well off each other. I watched the entire set and was very impressed. Noa commanded everyone’s attention and respect when he rapped acapella and his words boomed off the back brick walls.
They rocked for 30 plus minutes and got the crowd hyped up. It was a nice sized crowd packed into the smaller venue. We headed outside for a minute to cool off between acts. Fashawn was the next man to the stage. As soon as Fashawn touched the mic he got right to work. My friends and I all liked him, and you could hear people around us remarking how dope he was between songs. He rapped about life, California, weed and girls. Fashawn started ” G’s Up ” by asking ” By a show of hands who knows where the good weed is in St. Louis? ”
Fashawn made a lot of fans, my friends and I included. After Fashawn left the stage I held down our spots while everyone went for merch and drinks. Anna came back with beers, and shots. While Curtis and Kathy went and got some merch including a fresh Dj Fundo T-shirt. As soon as Dj Fundo walked out and started scratching records the party was on. Prof has a unmatched energy level on stage and his shows are just crazy start to finish. He opened with ” Gampo ” off his newest official release ” King Gampo ” which had the people that knew him rapping along, while everyone else was bouncing.
Prof has so much fun with his music and it spread like fire through the small venue. One of my favorite songs ” President ” was in the midway through the set and was a highlight of the show for me. During a song break Anna got Prof’s attention and told him she bought him Jameson. He was super excited and said she looked like a mob daugther. She promised him that her mob father wouldn’t put a hit on him, if he hit on her. In exchange for the shots Prof personally thanked her and then serenaded her with some R. Kelly. Then they both slammed down the shots, made for a very memorable part of the show. As always Dj Fundo, kept it fun on the Turntables chiming in with funny stage banter throughout the night.
Everytime Prof comes back around the crowd is bigger, and he has stepped it up. Two of my favorite Prof tracks closed out the set ” On My Way ” which was on the first Prof cd I ever got. He followed that up with my favorite track off King Gampo ” Yeah Buddy ” which got a great crowd response each chorus. This show made me feel great, and it wasn’t even over yet. I looked over and Anna was glowing, her night was made. The look of amazement was spread evenly across the room. Just wait till he comes back through he will have a lot more St. Louis fans and be in a bigger venue.
“ My fans are like pyros spreadin’ fires you already heard about him ” – PROF – AMAZING
Coming into this show, my knowledge was extremely limited on the headliner of the evening Murs. The Los Angeles based rapper has been making music since 1995 and has a long track record of appearances, and features. He walked on stage backed by Dj Foundation and won me over immediately, he has a awesome stage presence and his music was dope. The song ” Better Than The Best ” featured some awesome word play and a catchy beat. I also really enjoyed the ” O.J ” song which was about breakups. During one point he slowed down the song to talk to the crowd about relationships before bouncing back into the rest of the song remixed with a outkast beat. He also paid respect to the legend Nate Dogg by doing a brief piano backed cover of ” Regulators “. The crowd sang every word and we all stopped for a second to remember Nate Dogg, R.I.P.
He brought back out Fashawn again, which was cool. Fashawn really impressed me so it was a welcome sight to have him back on stage. Together Murs and Fashawn teamed up for some really great live hiphop. Everyone in my group with the exception of myself had to work the next morning. Which meant for me that we had to leave before Murs finished his set. I wanted to stay, but it was time to roll. We said our goodbyes and hit the door.
The show front to back was solid, the definition of live hip hop at its very best. You owe it to yourself to check this tour out when it rolls through your town. Be sure to check out the links below and show these artist some love. The Gramophone did a great job with this show, the lights, sound and staff were all on top of their game. This easily was one of my favorite shows of the year.
Till Next Time…..
Thank you!!!: Stophouse, Black Cloud Music, Fashawn, Murs, The Gramophone, Curtis, Kathy, Devon, Thank you Anna for the Beer! Thank you to everyone who read and shared this.
BLACK CLOUD MUSIC
(FREE ALBUM DOWNLOAD)
PAID DUES FESTIVAL