The Observatory in OC was home to the 4th Annual The Smokers Clubtour, and I along with Out Da House Productions were in the building!
This edition of the Smokers Club tour included Chevy Woods, Cashius Green, Pheo, Black Dave, June, Minty Burns, Hefna Guap, The Underachievers, and headlining acts Ab-Soul and Joey Bada$$along with the Pro Era crew.
This show brought out a large crowd; the line extended past the lot onto the main street and once inside, the entire venue was filled from the front of the stage to the upstairs balcony. The crowd enthusiastically greeted each and every act that hit the stage.
Undoubtedly, the Underachievers and Chevy Woods were the most anticipated from the minor act names on this tour. The Wiz Khalifa affiliate, Chevy Woods, had everyone chanting “Taylor Gang! Taylor Gang! Taylor Gang!” as soon as he stepped onto the stage.
The Underachievers stepped in with their grimy-rhyme dropping, quick-witted demeanor. The duo, consisting of Issa Dash and AK, peformed tracks off their critically acclaimed mixtapes Idigoism and Lords Of Flatbush.
Statik Selektah worked the one’s and two’s for a few minutes, giving the crowd the perfect blend of east coast and west coast cuts. During his set, Statik Selektah broke into Slick Rick’s “Children’s Story” and suddenly one of the most anticipated moments of the night occurred as
Joey Bada$$ strolled onto the stage dancing to the Ruler’s classic. Everybody greeted him with a tremendous uproar. Before jumping into his set alongside Selektah, the Brooklyn native finished vibing to the cut and even recited along as the crowd did the same.
Joey Bada$$ gave a phenomenal and mind-blowing performance; the young spitter performed cuts off his 2012 debut mixtape 1999, as well as the recently released Summer Knights. Tracks like “Waves”, “Pennyroyal”, and “World Domination”, and “Hillary $wank” had the crowd going nuts. It wasn’t long into the set when ‘JayOhvee’ (Joey Bada$$) was joined by his collective, Pro Era. Pro Era rappers Ala Sole, CJ Fly, Dessy Hinds, Kirk Knight, Nyck Caution, Supa Slackas, and 47 all rocked the crowd in an indescribable manner.
There are really no words I can precisely use to explain what we witnessed on that stage during Joey Bada$$’s set. To sum up the performance given by Joey and the crew, just imagine Run DMC meets Naughty-By-Nature with a slight taste of immaculate egotistical Big L rhyming steelo. It can be hard to paint that picture, but bottom line let’s just say Pro Era brought New York to the West-Coast… actually let me rephrase that, the Pro Era brought HIP-HOP! The energy given on that stage and the response from the crowd was the epitome of what hip-hop was in it’s golden age within the place it birthed from. For a minute it was easy to forget we were on the West coast as everyone jumped, recited line-per-line with hands in mid air swinging up and downward in approval to the sound; it was like we had tele-ported back to ‘93 onto the “Hip Hop Hooray” music video.
It was inevitable to pay respect to these new school spitters. Even a few of the veteran genre listeners, which are very critical of the new hip hop generation, were astonished at the what they had just witnessed coming from an 18 year old. Joey Bada$$ and Pro Era left the crowd ignited and fiending for more as they wrapped up their time on stage.
Roughly close to 1 am, the last act off the Smokers Club tour hit the stage, TDE’s Ab-Soul! Undoubtedly the TDE deep thinker brought out his own myriad of loyalists, as was evident by the number that displayed homage by putting 3 fingers up in the air, pledging HiiiPower.
The Observatory is no stranger to AB-Soul’s presence… We, at Out Da House, have witnessed the TDE member plenty, from humble beginnings in the Constellation room to rocking the main Observatory stage by his lonesome and alongside his conglomerate colleagues, so Soul’s performance wasn’t foreign to our expectations. This is not to say that he didn’t put on a quality performance, because he always does.
AB-Soul stepped on stage and immediately the three’s were thrown in the air. Soulo mostly performed tracks off his 2012 debut independent album Control System, which included cuts like “Terrorist Threats”, “Empathy”, “Pineal Gland”, “Soulo Ho3”, and “Illuminate” for which lighters lit up some light from the dark crowd. He didn’t fail to remind the crowd that we have “3 eyes” before jumping into an enthusiastic performance of his “Gone Insane” track off his breakout mixtape LongTerm: Mentality. As was predictable, AB-Soul surprised fans by bringing out his comrade ScHoolboy Q for “Sopa” and “Druggys Wit Hoes Again”. Needless to say the fans went crazy! But the most memorable moment off Soul’s set was when Q and him proceeded to semi-perform ‘the homies’ (Kendrick) joint “m.A.A.d City”; the crowd hyped up in a chaotic manner as “Yawk! Yawk! Yawk!” was heard out Q’s mouth. The TDE posse that was present behind the DJ Booth and sidelines came forward and danced along to the track pumping up the crowd, a few of them even jumped out and crowd surfed. The energy was crazy.
By far The Smokers Club tour 2013 had an amazing line-up for all the toking rap fanatics. We definitely enjoyed each and every act that performed on the Observatory stage; but of course our favorite act and what we believe the highlight of this tour was, Joey Bada$$. Big ups and respect to the entire Pro Era crew.