Late arriving crowd for this Thursday night show turns into an amazing 90 minutes plus of hip-hop from Apathy and Celph Titled. Arriving into Boston sick and tired from several weeks on the road, the duo (along with the incredible Blacastan) headline a nice show downstairs at the Middle East. The show was presented by Leedz Edutainment.
Per usual, DJ Slipwax is opening up and entraining the incoming crowd with his usual assortment of cuts, beats, and DJ trickery. Champ Chuck come out to host the show and to try to hype of the crowd. He runs through the line up for the night and gives shoutouts to Sandofilms and DJ Slipwax. Weak applause from the crowd for DJ Slipwax. Most people still swarming the bars. Chuck attempts to get the crowd going by announcing group affiliations for Apathy and Celph Titled. Chuck calls up EMF to begin the performances.
EMF introduces themselves and starts off with a heavy bass track. Crowd is lined up a couple of heads deep as EMF steps right up to the front of the stage (and over the monitors). They call for hands up for the start of their second song and the crowd obliges. They present a nice and smooth delivery. They bring up D Wade to a weak applause and then shout out No'Muzzle Entertainment, Hush Harding, and Mike Ross. The next song is quicker tempo which gets the crowd moving a little. For the next song, they call up Hush Harding who is hiding out in the front row. They switch back to a song with a stronger bass. Now the people paying attention is getting deeper just as Hush goes into full takeover of this set. They close out on a song about weed. They overall delivery is good and the slow flow they go with fits really well. Some great facial expressions from EMF and Hush and they close out with getting the crowd to chant.
Champ Chuck comes back up to the stage and tries to keep the crowd going. Tough crowd at first attempt but gets them engages on the second round. Chuck plugs the merchandise tables down back and the sponsors for the night. Chuck tries again to pump up the crowd with the fail safe "hip hop" chant. Gives it up to DJ Slipwax for cuts a few tracks and then Chuck introduces P Sieze.
P Sieze starts off with a weed song. He moves around the stage in just about every direction and twirls. Ask Slipwax to cut it after the hook. He gives a shout out for fast food and the crowds responds with silence. He says his next song has 30,000 hits (????). He checks with the crowd to see who eats organic and who eats garbage. He asks the crowd to put their hands up for the truth (no response), government (still no response), and hip hop (meh).
So P Sieze does a track on conspiracies. The delivery is weak and the instrumental is okay. Crowd is kind of tuning him out at this point. Asks the crowd if they are feeling it (meh) and if the want to get killed by the government (meh). This performance is poison. Next track is produced by Jon Glass. He cuts that song short and brings up his wife for the last song. Song is short. He takes a photo with the crowd and heads off.
Champ Chuck comes up and gives out free stuff (and who does not like free stuff??). He shouts out Sam the Sleezebag and gives out his CD (very dope CD!). Chuck introduces Heddshotts with a back and forth chant with the crowd.
Heddshotts bring it hard and right to the edge of the stage. Great flow from all members. Their years of working together shows in the way they hand off from one to another and all keep the same flow pace. The crowd is roaring after the first track. Heddshotts go right into their next song. They stop to do a sound check to make sure the audience is into the set. Gets the crowd to respond to set up their next track. The crowd is all into this and responds loudly on the hook. Next track, they turn up their rapping tempo on a Stu Bangers produced track and then follow up with another new track; this one produced by P Rov. The latter is a slower flow. Heddshotts close out with a Public Enemy tribute song. Slipwax delays a little then they go in on the Public Enemy sample. Insane performance. Crowd is really getting into the performance and with hands up, they begin to chant "Heddshotts."
Chuck is back with more give aways. He teases a performance by Blacastan but turns it over to DJ Slipwax who cuts it up first. Blacastan comes out on stage to a little cheer. Chuck asks for any Demigodz or AOTP fans then hands it over to Blacastan.
Blacastan said he is going to do five songs and then hypes up the crowd. Blacastan goes into his first banging track and the crowd really starts to pack it in. Does a round of shout out then into his BMX song. Talks about bikes and shout outs Jedi Mind tricks. Gets into the next track with an a capella. Tells the crowd that his next track is produced by DJ Premier and after performing it once, he does it again. With the crowd really into his set, they hype up Blacastan to keep going. Blacastan delivers another a capella that contains a political message. Blacastan signs off but said he will be back.
DJ Slipwax starts spinning again and Champ Chuck does a quick introduction for NME. NME hypes up the crowd some more and sends shout outs to the other performers. First track has a rock sample. Tells the crowd that he, Apathy, and Celph Titled just did a Canadian tour. Announces that he and Apathy are going an album together. MNE works on getting the crowd to participate in his next song. NME has built up a great stage performance as he moves from one side of the stage to the other. Takes off his shirt and he has a Garnett Celtics jersey on. Huge pop from the crowd. Next song is another rock sample. His instrumentals are catchy and really helps to get the crowd locked in. NME looks like a frat kid who went from rapping for the fun of it then turned it into a career. One thing is clear, the crowd is really into his set due to the pace and instrumentals. He brings a lot of energy to his performance. MNE closes it out by shouting out those on stage with him and then leads the crowd into chantings AOTP and Demigodz.
Slipwax spins a set while the mics get unraveled. NME calls for everyone to move up and tells the crowd to put their hands up. He introduces Apathy, Celph Titled, and Blacastan. All four with microphones in hand go hard from the top. Apathy announces on his Live stream that they are live and the crowd gets really loud. Apathy leads off the next song. For the third song, Apathy asks for the monitors to be cranked up. Feedback can be heard but it works into the song as he speed raps. Apathy calls out Quest from UGHH and gives him props for all the hard work he and his team does to supply the World with a place to find underground hip hop. Celph Titled takes the lead on the following track. The monitors are now echoing very noticeably. Apathy performs "Back in New England" which is fitting after three and a half weeks in Canada. Apathy and Celph Titled keep trading song performances. The crowd keeps rocking along. Apathy kicks an a capella that rips new rappers, producers, and older rappers who are following trends. Speakers blast the Rocky Theme followed by Demigodz tracks. Celph Titled performs an a capella next. Blacastan easily slides in as a hype man as if he was with them in Canada. They get into some AOTP tracks. Apathy switches to one of his old tracks that he said he performed at the Middle East back when he first started coming around. Switch back to some more AOTP tracks. Blacastan performs "Life of a Tape" which is followed up by another a capella by Apathy. They perform a few more AOTP tracks then close it out. Apathy said he and Celph Titled have been sick but tonight's crowd recharged his battery. On to Providence they go to wrap up the tour.
The last two hours spent watching HeddShotts and a third (or maybe it is a fourth) of Army of the Pharaohs was plenty fun for both the artists and the crowd. I'm not sure how the rest of the tour went but tonight sounded like the best stop. If you missed out then you might want to make sure you get out to a show next time.
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