Trae Tha Truth, Z-Ro - House of Blues - 11/25/12

Trae Tha Truth, Z-Ro, Snow Tha Product, Doughbeezy House of Blues Sunday, November 25

Last night at House of Blues was not the smoothest Scoremore-booked show we've seen recently. While they've been on a roll, booking sold-out Dallas shows for the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Wiz Khalifa, the crowd was surprisingly thin. Granted, it was a Sunday night, but I expected a better turnout for two Southern staples like Z-Ro and Trae Tha Truth, who were in town performing as reunited Houston duo Assholes By Nature.

Dallas' own DJ Q deserves a dap next time you see him for this one. Spending the most time on stage out of anyone, he spun to the crowd's tastes with classic Southern rap cuts. After he started the night with a solid warm-up set around 9 p.m., so began the parade of opening acts that would last until about midnight.

The first act of the night was Dallas rapper Double A, who put on a pretty lively set, featuring a newly released single I found pretty impressive. K. Kelly was next up, whose set I found to be somewhat flat and anti-climactic, even after he brought out his "bad bitch" in a flesh-colored body suit to shake her ass on stage for about three songs. Duney got the crowd back in high spirits with DJ Situation on the decks. Imagine if the Mohicans were a bit wetter behind the ears and only recorded club bangers: That's what you can expect from this young Dallas emcee live.

As the only opener actually billed, it was obvious Snow Tha Product brought the biggest fanbase out of all the warm-up acts. She ran through her high-energy, up-tempo tracks without skipping a beat, and there is something so refreshing about a female emcee with a man on hype duty. The biggest laugh of the night came after performing her new single, "Hola," when her hype man got a little tripped up talking to the crowd:

"Any of y'all out there smokin' some Patron and vodka tonight?"

"Smoking Patron and vodka," she quipped back. "What the fuck are you talking about, man?"

The last opener of the night was Houston's Doughbeezy, and though he came with a strong performance, by this point the disjointed order of set times and multiple warm-up acts were making the crowd restless. Around midnight, DJ Q started in again while various members of the production crew came on and off stage to consult him. It was pretty obvious ABN were not in the building yet. I assumed DJ Q fulfilled his set time obligation and needed to leave for another gig, because he broke down his equipment. After about 15 minutes of looking at an empty stage, the curtain closed. At this point, we were all starting to wonder if we would even see the headliners.

Around 12:30 p.m., Trae Tha Truth and Z-Ro finally took the stage. I didn't make it to their show at Trees this past February, so I wasn't sure what to expect. For Z-Ro, it was definitely a rough night. The H-Town legend was visibly detached, often checking his iPhone and overdoing it with off-time ad-libs. It's unclear whether sound issues were to blame, but there were about four songs in the set where Z-Ro was obviously lip-syncing his verses.

Nonetheless, the duo's set was comprehensive at more than an hour long, and full of classics like "In My City," "Miss My Dawg (I Gotta Survive)," "Still Throwed" and "Pop Trunk Wave." Just when the set started to feel like a third coast history lesson (in the best way possible), ABN proved they've still got it with newer material, like a remix of Chief Keef single "I Don't Like."

Regardless of the hiccups, it was a good night for Southern rap. Dallas is turning out a new wave of rap lately, but shows like this and the Tum Tum/Big Tuck reunion earlier this month prove we haven't forgotten our roots.

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Vanessa Quilantan