Swollen Members, Madchild, Sozay
Pop’s Concert Venue, St. Louis, MO
I remember around 2002, I ran with a bunch of skateboarders who also did graffiti. All of us were all big into the underground rap and hip hop music that inspired our lifestyles. We would ride around St. Louis and get into all types of shit listening to music. It was good times and, that style of music marks a era of my life that I wouldn’t trade for anything. There were far too many great, unbelievable times that I will remember forever. Just like the first time I heard Swollen Members.
Years past and I slowly got to see all the groups we had listened to back then, with one exception: Swollen Members. They toured a lot but, either I missed it or my city would get skipped. Then Madchild went and got banned from the US for a few years and that was that. So you could say I was pretty excited when Pops announced they were hosting a show for Swollen Members. Now I could finally see the group I had eagerly awaited to see live for well over a decade. They would not let me down.
I enlisted the help of 2 friends, we met up and piled in one car for the trip across state lines to the beautiful city of Sauget, IL home of Pops Nightclub. After we got inside, and secured some tasty refreshments from the bar, my friends and I went to check out the merch. I chatted with the Swollen Members merch guy Johnny, while they bought up a bunch of stuff. He was a super cool guy and, was the son of the touring support Sozay.
My friends and I stepped outside into the chilly night to the Pop’s patio for a moment. While we caught up on bull shit and, they caught some nicotine refreshment from the from the air inside. They stayed outside while I went in to catch Sozay, he was fun to watch. He had some really great tracks, a lot of them featuring some really fun word play. My first impression was man this guy is intense. He had this killer, crazy look in his eye. The same look that is in a really driven, pumped up, fighter right before a match. That look. He rapped with that same intensity and together with his hypeman got the crowd ready to party.
I enjoyed Sozay. About 2/3 the way through the show, he invited his son to join him for a song. It was a very catchy track and turned out to be one of my favorites from the set. It was great to see father and son rap together and, to me was a highlight of the show.
Between Sozay and Swollen the intermission was very short because I remember running to the patio to pull in my chain smoking counterparts inside just as DJ Rob The Viking bought out Prevail, and the notorious, Madchild to the frenzied St. Louis stage.
BAM. BOOM, They walked onto Pop’s stage from then on, it was as if bomb exploded and the place went nuts. This shit was crazy, all these people wearing BattleAxe Gear flooded the stage. Madchild is something you need to see live, he had this look about him. Big sunglasses, and tattoos covering his face and smiling this crazy ” I just robbed a bank and got away ” smile while rapping these venomous lyrics that prior to this I had only heard on a CD.
One of my first thoughts watching them was, they should write a damn book so these broke ass, broke down rappers can read it. Title it ” How To Do A Live Rap Performance “, because these guys were schooling the game. Working both sides of the stage, slapping more hands than that of WWF stars of the 80s on the way down to the ring. It was a good feeling seeing the show I had waited so long for. Prevail, was doper than I could of every imagined, his rhyme game is so sharp. He was spitting razor flows effortlessly all night while working the stage with blinding speed.
This show was pedal to the metal, in your face, for the entire show. For a few songs Prevail took a breather, while Madchild treated St. Louis to some solo material. The crowd ate it up, almost as much as the Swollen stuff if not more so. During the song ” Dickhead ” everyone in the audience sang every word. It was pretty incredible to see the love STL has for Madchild and Swollen.
This crowd was not the largest one of the tour but, Swollen Members as a group blew the place apart like it was a capacity show. Madchild remarked how happy he was with the crowd and, to be on tour in St. Louis. He seemed to be in very good spirits and projected this good energy on the crowd. Its a great feeling to watch people do what they love, Madchild puts passion into his raps and performance.
They finished the blazing set with a solo Madchild song ” Monster ” and all I can think about is how this performance is burned in my memory forever now. Madchild killed this performance from start to finish, in every way. Its just a raw, very captivating performance and let the show end on a very high note. I was completely impressed with this show.
Swollen Members have new album ” Brand New Day, out next month, featuring the single ” Power ” check it out online. If you are anyway on the fence about going to see Madchild, Swollen Members, or Sozay go! Spend some money on this show because this guys will tear the stage down and put on a memorable show. I am already counting the days until they come even close to my city. I can’t wait to see this again. Thanks to Pop’s, Thanks Swollen Members for putting St. Louis on your tour, thanks to Sozay for coming out and rocking. Respect to everyone who came and spent some money on some real underground hip hop on a Sunday night in St. Louis.
Till Next Time.