Legends of Southern Hip-Hop Tour | Vinyl Words

Legends of Southern Hip-Hop Tour

Awhile back, while leaving a USF basketball game, I saw some flyers for the Legends of Southern Hip-Hop tour, featuring Project Pat, Pastor Troy, 8 Ball & MJG, Too Short, Juvenile, and Trick Daddy. With a lineup like that, I knew I was going to be there. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized what type of audience would be there. But that doesn’t faze me; I’m from East Tampa. Very rarely do Hip-Hop fans get a tour like this, representing Southern artists. So, knowing that, I had to check this out.

Dj warming up the crowd.

Dj warming up the crowd.

My homie Chris and I got there while the DJ was warming up the crowd. When it was finally time to start the show, the host, MC Lightfoot told a few jokes to set the mood. First on the lineup was Hypnotize Camp Posse alum Project Pat. I’ve never been a big Project Pat fan. The only reason I even got into Three-6-Mafia was because of their beats, thanks to Chris. After Crunchy Black, Pat is probably the least lyrical member of the HCP, so I didn’t expect much performance-wise. The fact is, he barely performed at all. Dressed in way too much jewelry, he basically walked back and forth while vocals from the backing track filled in for him. He and his entourage mustered up a few lyrics themselves, but it was a piss-poor performance overall. Aside from hearing some songs that I actually like, his part of the show wasn’t worth my time.

Pastor Troy

Pastor Troy reppin’ ATL

Up next was Atlanta’s own Pastor Troy, aka Pastor Disaster, aka PT Cruiser reppin’ the Bay Area in a Tampa Bay Rays jersey and a wrestling title belt around his waist. Wasting no time, he jumped right into the Lil Jon & the Eastside Boys’ classic “Throw It Up”. He followed that with his own anthems “Vice Versa”, “Pop That”, and “No Mo Play in GA”; all of which kept the crowd on its feet. His energy filled the venue, but I felt let down that he didn’t perform my favorite PT joint “We Ready”. Overall, he was worth seeing live and his set should’ve been longer.

Short Dog's in the House!!

Short Dog’s in the House!!

Following Pastor Troy, was Oakland legend Too Short. Now, you might say like I said, “why is Short Dog on a tour for Southern artists”. Well, my best guess is that because he moved to Atlanta, GA in the mid-90s. He has become a staple in Southern Hip-Hop since the mid-90s, making hits with frequent collaborator Lil Jon, the King of Crunk. Truthfully, I was kind of surprised that the crowd had love for Short like they did. I’m not sure I why I was surprised. I guess I thought not many people down here liked Too Short like I do. However, the more I think about it…how could Southern fans NOT like him. I’ve been a fan since 1989, after watching the video for “I Ain’t Tripping”. About a year later, my classmate/neighbor let me borrow his “Born To Mack” tape. By then, I getting into his “Life is Too Short” album, and I was sold. Announcing his favorite word, he took the stage and blessed us with some newer cuts from his long discography, like “Blow The Whistle” and his verse from Chris Brown’s anthem “These Hoes Ain’t Loyal”. Even though he did perform “Don’t Fight The Feeling”, “I’m a Player”, “Gettin’ It”, and “Freaky Tales”, I felt he should’ve picked a few other songs. “Freaky Tales” seemed to be too slow for a concert performance, but some people were feeling it. I could be wrong (I doubt it), but I don’t remember him performing “The Ghetto”, “Life Is Too Short”, “I Want to Be Free” or “I Ain’t Tripping”. Even though I enjoyed seeing Too Short onstage, a few songs replacements would’ve made his set better.

8 Ball & MJG

8 Ball & MJG

My first memory of 8Ball & MJG was seeing their ads in The Source magazine, thinking they were probably wack. It wasn’t until my best friend JD told me about them around ’94 that I started to give them a chance. The Memphis legends took to the stage ready to get into their classics, starting with “Comin’ Out Hard” and “Lay It Down” from their first two albums. They then got into “You Don’t Want Drama” and “Don’t Make” from their 2004 “Living Legends” album. They kept the momentum going with “Bring it Back” and “Space Age 4 Eva”. When they started performing “Candy”, the place went crazy. It was like on big house party. But, midway through the song, the music stopped and the emcees lost sound in the microphones. We stood there looking puzzled, as the technicians and the DJs tried to fix the sound. Eventually, the mics came back on, but the music was still missing. So like the true veteran showman he is, 8Ball grew restless and spit some A capella verses, to the crowd’s pleasure. It made me feel good that a performer felt dedicated enough to the fans to keep the show moving forward, regardless of the technical difficulties. When the sound finally came back, the duo decided to give the people what they wanted and restarted “Candy” from the beginning. I have to admit, these guys were definitely one of the highlights of the night. But, they weren’t the only class act of the evening.

Juvie the Great

Juvie the Great

The next act damn-near single-handedly carried a whole label, and definitely put New Orleans on the Hip=Hop map. Juvenile, aka Juvie the Great, came onto the scene back in 1994 with DJ Jimi’s “Bounce for the Juvenile”. At the time, I had no idea who he was or what he’d become. Today, you can’t discuss Southern Hip-Hop without mentioning him. As we waited for him to come to the stage, the excitement was building. What we soon found out was that the sound system was jacked up again. As Juvie warmed up the crowd from behind the stage, the DJs tried to get the music going. It started, I believe, on the wrong song. After about 10 minutes, Juvenile grew impatient and took to the stage without music. He even attempted to play the music himself from the DJ’s laptop. After a few failed attempts, and tense words with the DJ, he left the stage. The crowd started booing the technicians and the DJs, although Juvie later admitted that we were booing him – which wasn’t true at all. There was too much love in the building to disrespect him like that. However, once he finally returned, he wanted us to know that he loved his fans too much to give them an incomplete show and would not perform with the unprofessional sound system. After much frustration and annoyance, the sound was back on and Juvenile took us down memory lane. He ripped through many Cash Money Records classic as possible, including “Ha”, “400 Degrees”, “Still Fly”, “Slow Motion”, “Loud Pipes”, and of course “Back That Azz Up”. Due to the sound issues, much of his performance time was wasted. However, he feverishly gave his all to the crowd. He even took time to take a picture with the crowd and posted it on Instagram. I truly believe that if he had his full time slot, he would’ve stolen the show.

T-Double-D and JT Money.

T-Double-D and JT Money.

Being a native Floridian, I couldn’t help but get excited for the headliner, Trick Daddy. However, at the same time, I’m not extremely familiar with his whole catalog, so I was definitely leery. When T-Double-D took to the stage with his Dade County goons/hype men, it was a shock. Dude looked kinda old and really out of shape; with a huge gut. Even still, he rocked classic Slip-N-Slide cuts like “In Da Wind”, “Thug Holiday”, “Back In The Days”, and of course “Nann Nigga”. Midway into his set, he brought out another Miami legend; JT Money from Poison Clan. After a little nudging from T-Double, JT kicked a few verses, sans music. I was hoping that he would’ve jumped into a PC joint, but it wasn’t happening. He did stay onstage to assist Trick Daddy though. After some jokes and interaction with the crowd, they left the stage and just like that, we got to witness living legends. Overall, the show was worth the ticket. I just hope that for the tour Project Pat stays home, and the technicians have the system working.

~ by Keith Robertson on May 1, 2016.

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