Note: As a part of the #72HoursofHoustonHipHop series, we covered what we could of the Main Street Block Party. There will be a full video recap of all the acts coming soon.

By comparison, the Main Street Block Party is not South By Southwest. That’s because it doesn’t have to be. Nestled in a small area near West Alabama & Main, the Block Party essentially ties in five separate venues to host over fifty plus acts. Given slight difficulties on this writer’s end, all eyes and ears were focused on the activity at The Mink, where if you’ve never actually gone inside of the premises then imagine a maze littered with hipster chicks and beautiful women by staircases.

For the time period I attended, it was a lively mix: a combination of free flowing elixirs, antsy rappers and groups all willing to perform and do something serious. The ironic thing about the New Houston Collective is that they support one another like some weird sort of brotherhood. They attack shows partially as fans and also as competitors. Aware of each acts particular strengths and weaknesses, they even offer pointers on what sounds dope and what doesn’t.

It’s the oddest rap region relationship I’ve ever seen. And I’m in awe of it.

With the Block Party being superbly thick, set times were short, opening the door for quick strikes and instant attention grabbers.

After listening to Renzo’s “Understand This” LP, I’m certain he’s a man without comparison. It’s true that he sings all of his own hooks and material, his raps sound half preachy half light hearted but he literally lives out what occurs on his LP. Take his performance of “Drinkin’ & Drivin” for example. Was Renzo inebriated off of a few refreshments? Yes. Did he hardly skip a beat in delivering a memorable performance? Yes. It’s an odd mix as Renzo had folks moving and swaying from left to right & understands his message. My lone gripe was that he didn’t perform his cover of Lupe Fiasco’s “Superstar”. It would have not only made for laughs but definitely parlayed into a recognizable hit.

We’ve come to terms that Fat Tony is talented. Super talented and possibly the sort of interview subject that would instantly remind people of the scene in The Hangover when the guys wake up to discover there’s a tiger in the room. Tony on the 1s & 2s sincerely doesn’t care what a crowd thinks they should hear, he merely keeps the party going by sheer randomness up to an including a set with Lil B, Brandy & Sisqo & Pretty Ricky in near succession.

And the crowd eating up every single track.

Tony’s also a performer. So when Twenty Eleven asked him to join them on stage for “In Reality” from their debut album Renewable Energy, Tony obliged while Brad James swung from the Mink’s lighting system and found a way to hop in the crowd like he seemingly always does. Although this go round, Brad leapt into a pond of women who chanted “Go Brad”. I’m hoping his head hasn’t swollen from that moment.

Even though he was loaded on some of the greatest herbal brownies known to man, A.D.D. carried on a generation of S.U.C. with a valiant performance running through acapella verses and his latest single “Relax”. Clad in a Houston Oliers jacket, the lanky emcee fueled strictly from the crowd to a loud ovation.

Before we headed out there was the fiery set by –iLL Liad- who had told me earlier in the day that he was going to put on a show. That he did, coming to the stage like a boxer set to defend the crown with Nas’ “Hate Me Now” roaring him in. Aside from one moment when he asked the crowd to come closer to him on stage, Ill wasn’t nice. The moment his shades slipped on, he turned into the man who let Salvation be known city wide. With little sincerity in his voice, he ripped through his set, combining his own brand of profane animosity with a solid purpose. He really doesn’t care what you think about him, other than that he’s a rapper and he’ll prove it to you.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we had to cut the proceedings shorter than normal but luckily, there’s FlipCam footage to piece everything else together.

3 Responses

    • Brando

      Once I get the footage back from the show, I’ll finish the review up. This was just the abridged version. I saw you and Ensane up there though.

      Reply

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