delorean pugtunes nights at the international ballroom

Delorean and PugTunes close out their 2017 in style with Nights At The International Ballroom.

Delorean and PugTunes have a synergy that cannot be crafted into words. When you hear Puggy Two Times cue up the triumphant horns and drums, Delorean morphs into a different rapper. The cadence may be there, dating as far back as Hood Politics 2 but the energy and want to rip through everything? That’s a Puggy special. Similar to the pulsating, dripping ’80s gloss of “Doors Wide Open” from this summer, Nights At The International Ballroom swings everything back into an era and a moment.

For Pug and Delo, that means spending nights off South Main. A few blocks away from Butler Stadium, there was the International Ballroom. On Saturday nights, it turned into the fashion show, the car show and the land where neighborhood stars came to shine.

If you knew about the Ballroom in its heyday, you knew what kind of a show it would be in the parking lot. Teens used to attempt to replicate it when the main all-stars started venturing downtown to the new party, but the Ballroom remained a fixture. It’s now a shell of itself, a Mo. City ghost that has decayed and only lives in memory and lore.

“I want my name on a flyer,” Delo and Rob Gullatte attest to on “I Got That Fire.” Living up to that mantra of being a local star always fed, Delo pulls back the curtain to think about the days where he’ll take his boys all on tour to see the world. Where the days of him in the parking lot passing out tapes to Wreckshop alums will cease, and it’ll turn around to where he’s the one receiving a hopeful’s tapes. PugTunes chops up Oliver Sains’ “On The Hill” for “’96 Summer” where Chris Rock’s Bring The Pain turned him into a cultural icon and Delo schemed to learn bigger numbers and “Diamonds & Wood” was the hustler’s anthem.

Delorean warned fans back in February how he wanted to take it back to the essence. Nights At The International Ballroom pulls everyone into a world where Delo is scraping by and making sure that even his most earnest game of “Shy Brother” will get a hater to come around. His co-stars at the Ballroom understand this too. Doughbeezy enunciates his plans for domination on “Tear It Up,” D-Wreck talks up the legend of Wreckshop on the appropriately titled “Words Wit Wreckshop,” and once the night ends, everyone else comes out to say their piece.

The album appropriately closes with “The Rollcall.” As a stand-alone, its a tribute to those old freelanced 97.9 The Box freestyles early in the morning. In the context of NATIB? It’s the morning after. Delorean is far too giddy to reminisce about the night before so he passes off to rappers who either didn’t go to the Ballroom or will eventually.

Even as the year is about to turn the page, Delorean is still in his relative bag. Patient, able-minded and more, he can pull off a concept album and have it all flow together seamlessly. There are no weak spots in the Ballroom, the sound system sounds as vibrant as ever thanks to PugTunes, and the parking lot still hums with Suburbans on candy. For Delorean, 2017 was about the reclamation of his simplicity. Nothing needed to be extravagant. Similar to his friend Big K.R.I.T., getting back to doing him on his terms was the wealthiest move he could have done.

Purchase Nights At The International Ballroom from Delorean and PugTunes on iTunes now.