The D.O.C. Was Dallas Hip-Hop's Great Unifier at The Bomb Factory on Saturday

The D.O.C.
With Erykah Badu, A.Dd+, Dorrough, Lil Will, Fat Pimp and Mr. Pookie
The Bomb Factory, Dallas
Saturday, October 17, 2015

Events like Saturday's Straight Outta Dallas showcase at The Bomb Factory only come around so often. For legendary rapper the D.O.C., it was a show 25 years in waiting. For Dallas hip-hop, it was a show the likes of which hasn't been seen before. Generations of local rappers, from Erykah Badu to A.Dd+, joined the D.O.C. for a night that clearly meant a lot to everyone in attendance. It made you proud to be from Dallas.

The crowd came in slowly and many spent a great deal of time staring at the red carpet outside next to the smoking patio, watching the performers and the cast of the upcoming film Carter High make their way into the building. But by the time the D.O.C. took to the stage, a respectably sized crowd who couldn’t believe what they were seeing hung on his every word, singing along to classic songs like “It’s Funky Enough” from his 1989 debut album, No One Can Do It Better.

The crowd really erupted with “D.O.C. and the Doctor,” as if they did not see the song coming or collectively realized it was really happening. The D.O.C. mostly lip sang the old songs, but the audience couldn’t have cared less. Having Scarface backing him up onstage also helped his cause considerably. Justus never joined, but he stood at the back of the stage with a big grin on his face and the D.O.C. eventually went over and gave him a hug. 
Badu stood on the side of the stage and seemed to enjoy the performance as much as anyone, dancing around with a big smile on her face and a jacket that said “By Way of Dallas” on the back. There were representatives from most parts of the North Texas music scene in the crowd. People came from Denton, Fort Worth and the suburbs. If you didn’t know anyone in the music scene, it was a chance to get familiar. For others, it was almost like a high school reunion.

The North Texas music scene may have many components, but being a fan of the D.O.C. seems to be something of a common denominator. It was also clear how much the event meant to the D.O.C., and just how much he loves Dallas. After running through an assortment of songs from his first album, he closed his set with two new songs he wrote a week ago.

“Everything” is a song he wrote for Badu. Before he played it he referred to her as the love of his life. It sounded much more contemporary and sentimental than the other songs he performed. “Naked” was more of an old school hip-hop banger. Longtime collaborator Erotic D produced the D.O.C.'s second album and was the DJ for most of his shows. Erotic D now works out of Keller and returned for this performance. He backed up the D.O.C. on these new tracks a little bit, but they mainly featured the D.O.C. singing with his newfound voice. It’s definitely a softer voice, but it worked well with these new songs.
From there, Badu took to the stage for a long DJ set. She told the crowd it wasn’t a performance and said she expected to see people dancing. But she ended up talking about the D.O.C.’s early days: the high schools he went to and the Fila Fresh Crew. She also talked about her early days as a musician and pointed out that some of the people who were around in the beginning were in attendance. She played some of her old songs and couldn’t resist singing along a few times, filling The Bomb Factory with that powerful voice that cuts right through you.

She also played a new track. It was an effortlessly catchy, relatively straightforward pop song with a sexy chorus, “I can make you put your phone down,” which was repeated several times. By the end of her set, she was remixing “It’s Funky Enough” while the D.O.C. looked over her shoulder with a big grin on his face. She sang the chorus a bunch of times, and then the show was over.

Earlier in the evening, Dorrough showed up and played a strong set, featuring old hits such as “Ice Cream Paint Job” and new songs such as “Go Season” from the upcoming Carter High film. Lil Will, Fat Pimp and Mr. Pookie played quick sets. But A.Dd+ deserve the credit for really getting this show started. 

The duo went on around 10 p.m. At that point, there had been lots of great, short sets. But the crowd was still trickling in and there were lots of people outside, getting drinks, doing anything but looking at the stage. A.Dd+ very quickly changed that. It was a hell of a testament to what’s going on right now with a younger generation of Dallas hip-hop artists. For good measure, they even brought out Blue, the Misfit, -topic, Sam Lao, Bobby Sessions, Buffalo Black and Kool Quise to join them. It was one of the most memorable parts of the show. 

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