Tum Tum, Big Tuck, A.Dd+, Dustin Cavazos Dada Thursday, November 8
While Top Shelf Shows has plenty to be proud of lately, last night really proved the fairly new local booking upstart a force to be reckoned with. Though marketed as "The Day Dallas Stood Still," Dallas rap fans did anything but at Dada. There's no denying that this city is experiencing a golden era of rap music, and if you're sleeping on it, you have no one to blame but yourself.
It is possible that 8pm doors may have been a little early, which is a real bummer for a show like this, but it is to be expected on a weeknight. Dustin Cavazos played a quick opening set, but the crowd really started to fill in around 11pm, when A.Dd+ and DJ Sober took the stage. They got the crowd moving with a set consisting of material from Loosies, a collection of singles released since their debut mixtape, When Pigs Fly.
In a seamless transition, Paris and Slim closed their set by bringing out Mr. Pookie, with Picnictyme on hype duty, to perform the Dallas classic "Crook For Life." He was the first of many surprise guest performers in a room that was a who's-who of Dallas rap. Next, local trap tune favorites Treal Leal and Prince Rick graced the stage. The crowd really began to get loose, rapping along to their hits "Throwed Off (Fuck Everybody)" and "Mr. Hit That Hoe," two of the most airplay-saturating local singles of the last couple of years.
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Among many valuable lessons learned last night, one we'll certainly remember is that when DJ Sober and DJ Q battle, everybody wins. And when I say everybody, I mean the twerk team of homegirls I was with. These two make the short list of the city's best hip- hop DJs. Combined, they made it difficult to find that point where you'd go get another drink from the bar and catch your breath before the headliners, but that's hardly what I'd call a problem.
When Big Tuck and Tum Tum finally hit the stage, the crowd was ready. Top Shelf had been promising cameos all week on Twitter, and slowly but surely, the backstage VIP trickled out on the stage. First came the rest of the Dirty South Rydaz: Fat Bastard, then Double T and Lil Ronnie. Before you knew it, half the scene was on stage, with Young Nation, Play-N-Skillz, Fat Pimp and Kirko Bangs all in attendance.
The set was a comprehensive Dallas rap experience. One of my girlfriends stopped dancing during one of the first few songs to lean over and tell me, "I feel like we're time traveling!" Covering an extensive catalog going back over 10 years, there was almost no record left unturned. They started out doing early DSR favorites, moved on to solo hits like Tum Tum's "Caprice Music" and Big Tuck's "Southside Da Realist," and, of course, their classic collaboration, "Tussle." Prime Time Click's Dorrough and B-Hamp were brought out to perform their new single with Big Tuck and Tum Tum, "Yeah Doe," the video for which will be making its long-awaited premiere today on BET's 106 & Park.
For one night in Deep Ellum, some of the most important artists for Dallas rap and hip- hop in the last decade all shared a stage together. By presenting us with a diverse sampling of what we as fans have allowed to thrive and represent us as a city, Top Shelf Shows put a mirror to the face of the Dallas rap scene. And frankly we're looking pretty damn good.