September 2, 2013 1 comment
Never in my life would I have thought to see a rap show with the energy of a Jay-Z appearance at Barclays in Richmond, Virginia. That was until Juicy J touched our hearts, our souls, and our inner trippy ratchetness in one night. (My apologies for not having any photo material from the show but I was in a wave of drunkenness to do anything else other than yell and jump around.)
As soon as I saw him billed for The National last Friday, I made it an obligation to attend this once in a lifetime event. It was something I’ve been waiting on for nearly a decade and now I was mere moments away from being graced with his presence. I had to take a day off of work for this and mentally prepared myself for an unforgettable night, which in turn it was for different reasons. I haven’t attend as many music shows as I wanted to this past summer excluding EpicFest 2013 and Jill Scott, but this was on an entirely different plateau. I’m willing to go forth and say that this was one of the greatest, if not the best music concert I’ve been to in my life.
After some slight pre-gaming at home courtesy of Steel Reserved 211, I arrived at The National to a flock of young, white college kids. Now, I knew that Juicy J was going to bring in a crowd from VCU, VSU, and VUU, but I felt that he also brought along a shitload of high schoolers as well. Out of all the rap shows I’ve been to, this was the largest white attendance I have ever witnessed. This definitely is accredited to the Taylor Gang movement brought by Wiz Khalifa all these years ago, as many of these kids rarely know anything about Mystic Stylez and Hypnotized Mindz.
Most of the older crowd sat by the bar and in the bleachers. There was even a mother with her eight-year-old son attending the show and the dedication was so strong. At this point my slurred mind only thought, “What the fuck is going on?”. I’m only 22, yet I felt so out of place for a minute because of the lack of wristbands on these kids. I didn’t want to associate with them, but it made for a great atmosphere in the end.
The opening acts were kept short and sweet as the show started around 9pm. To me, they all sounded awesome but my judgment was clouded with two cups of “Pimp Juice” and a Screwdriver (Vodka is a pretty great companion). There was this duo of female rappers that were cute and rapped okay, but I couldn’t stop staring at the bosom of one of the members. I mingle with a bit of the crowd, trying to gauge this audience on their rap history and anticipating the entrance of the headliner. They closed the curtains while playing the likes of Rick James’ “Mary Jane” and a bunch of 90s rap classics, setting the party mood up perfectly for what was the come.
I’ve seen Trinidad James, I’ve seen The Roots, I’ve seen Korn, St. Vincent, Rick Ross, Meek Mill, Pusha T, and Future Hendrix himself, but nothing could compare to the deafening reaction to Juicy J hitting the stage. As soon as he opened up with “Stop It”, I proceeded to rap every lyric imaginable with this Middle Eastern guy next to me. Kush smoke penetrating my nostrils as my drink spills all over me from jumping around; I felt an adrenaline rush like no other. Hit after hit – from “Who Da Neighbors” to “Show Out”, and “We Still In This”- the crowd hooked on to every word he spoke into the microphone. He offered some “Trippy Juice” to a few lucky (legal) people in the front row and then things really got awesome afterwards.
He then asked for six girls (3 white/3 black) to get on stage to twerk in light of the announcement of his $50,000 scholarship (which he also performed) and went on an amazing medley of songs. First comes “She Dancin’” and half of the girls struggle with their hip movements and the other half were doing a pretty good job. Then he proceeded to perform “Bandz” and “Pour It Up Remix” and the transition was of the Trap Gods. This entire time I was caught up in the moment and all I could think of was, “So this is how Bauce Sauce felt when he saw Future at SXSW.” Tears nearly came flowing from my eyes when he turned the clock back to rap “Slob On My Knob” and “Poppin’ My Collar”. It was almost as if my soul was on the verge of leaving my body each time I heard, My mansion sitting on 40 acres, who da neighbors? Kobe Bryant from the Lakers, now that’s paper!!’ six different times.
After an hour of a heavenly trippy experience, it ended and I wanted more. It was over in a flash and everybody screamed for an encore. Shit was absolutely phenomenal and I’m amaze that I can remember much of it at this point. Simply because it was something to remember as one man who has done and seen it all in his career was able to acquire a second-wind.