On Tuesday October 18, Compton rapper ScHoolboy Q and Brooklyn rapper Joey Bada$$ met at the Shrine LA for an epic sold-out show. While the house was not yet full when Joey began performing, those who were there were Joey’s die-hard LA fans. Joey performed primarily from B4.DA.$$, his most recent full-length album littered with hits such as “Paper Trail$”, “Christ Conscious” and “Big Dusty”. He even did a throwback to “Waves” for the true fans, but let’s be honest, if you know a thing or two about rap and nothing about Joey, “Waves” is probably the reason you came early to his show. Joey of course did a tribute for STEEZ, a reminder of the rapper's humble beginnings as a high school rapper with Pro Era and the struggles him and STEEZ went through together.
By the time ScHool was on stage, the house was packed to the doors with fans. ScHool went through all of the Blank Face hits, pausing periodically to see if “LA had enough energy for this next song”, which I found cumbersome. ScHool made a couple jokes about the crowd being too mellow because LA smokes too much weed. While this may be true, I believe if ScHool brought more energy, the crowd would have given more energy back in return. On the other hand, from Q’s perspective, it is difficult to bring great energy when you’re the only one on stage performing (other than his DJ in the back).
ScHool pulled out Jay Rock in what seemed to be near the end of his set. Jay Rock performed an original, and after Jay left, ScHool said something along the lines of “We just had one member of Black Hippy perform, Ab-Soul couldn’t make it, but we have 1 more member of Black Hippy here tonight.” The man next to me in the crowd started screaming “A$AP IT’S A$AP” which made me realize a lot of the crowd probably knows little about West Coast rap, thus why ScHool was having problems with crowd energy. I shook my head in disappointment knowing it was Kendrick. Five or six songs later Q pulls a little kid (probably the age of 12) on stage that was sitting on his dad’s shoulders. While the kid was on stage Kendrick came out and performed “Untitled 7” (“levitate levitate levitate…” yeah that one). If I were the kid, I would’ve retired because my life would’ve been complete.
Despite police ordinance and the city’s curfew, the show went until 11:40 PM. Regardless if this was just a crowd stunt or not, it made for an eventful night. Imagine being at the show, thinking it ends at 11, and then ScHool brings out Jay-Rock, followed by Kendrick. Pretty epic. He also brought out Traffic and T F at some point during that time (the features on “Tookie Knows II”).
While ScHool could have brought more energy, bringing out so many features, and playing an extra long set made up for it. I think also with Q being a part of TDE my expectations for his performance were extra high. Regardless he had an epic show. Fans were pleased and I’m sure those who bought tickets merely to say they saw ScHoolboy Q perform were even more pleased.
BRADLEY VALENTINE, INTERN