All photos: T. Piper.

The first thing you’ll recognize at a corporate hip-hop event is the not only the large gaggle of people who show up for free things but also how slightly interested everyone seems to be. Yes, the Red Star Access tour/event/kickback where two main performers & a model get together to shill beer came back around to Houston and the headliner happened to be Wale.

A Wale show has the typical ingredients of two things. First, it brings out a throng of women in all shapes & sizes. Some of which still pay tuition or have their tuition paid for them. Second, it brings up the neat ice breaker of whether or not people truly like the guy considering that he may be the most in tune artist with Twitter. So much that his DJ before tragically dropping his hard drive and killing his set continued to bait fans into tweeting the D.C. product so that he could start his set.Now, for whatever reason there’s always something in the air when Wale comes to town. The previous three times Folarin has graced the state’s largest city have been met with ridiculous occurrences, one of which being that “stalker” episode that forced him to do a Ustream chat to clear everything up and the other at the University of Houston where two girls in the crowd started fighting.

Leave it to the MMG soldier to add to his legacy by performing along with Tre of UCB and somewhat enjoying himself (and his Twitter feed) by pausing between tracks to check the action on his Blackberry. He did however make numerous trips to my side of the stage to engage with three female fans who were diehards of his. It also showed how for the most part his catalog varies in different warps & speeds, a healthy mix of club joints and ladies cuts with small portions of bravado.

There was the opening of “600 Benz”, a little “Chain Music” from the recently released Eleven One Eleven Theory mixtape that crashed Hulkshare, that “Chillin” record with Lady Gaga that inexplicably did not blow up and the one spot where Wale took time to let Meek Mill’s “I’ma Boss” rang loud to the heavens. Aside from his most noted female aimed cuts “Pretty Girls” & “No Hands”, THAT got the loudest response from the crowd.

The show wasn’t all Ralph Folarin though. Before DJ D-Nice turned Venue into a club by mixing some old school cuts with new ones including a heavy crowd favorite in “N*ggas In Paris” from Jay-Z & Kanye West, Melanie Fiona  or as someone in the crowd remarked Melanie “I’ll Drink Your Bathwater Because You’re So Fine” Fiona blitzed through her set with a few live portions of her noted hits including “Give It To Me Right” and the soul stirring “It Kills Me” before launching into her latest leak “4 AM”.

At one point, the Canadian singer let out a few “motherfuckers” during “4 AM”, instantly becoming the most sought after black woman for a future Quentin Tarantino movie since Pam Grier.

The Setlist: Pretty much standard Wale with the notable absence of “Ambitious Girls”. Kind of wanted to hear more material from Eleven One Eleven or hell, the first Mixtape About Nothing but oh well.

Crowd Quotables: Many, including “When’s the last time Memphis Bleek heard his own shit in the club?” and “Is that Storm?” after catching one particular attendee rocking probably the worst lace front/outfit combo in the history of Mankind.

Recommend For Future Events: Heineken so far has produced Rosa Acosta & Tahiry for their hosts, therefore if you’re a guy (or a girl into voluptuous women), attendance is mandatory. Had more men known Tahiry was in attendance, I’m sure the population would have evened out.

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