Yung Nation, A.Dd+, Mathew Clay, Lil Ronny MothaF, -topic, Dustin Cavazos, Bobby Sessions Trees Saturday, December 29
Before 2013 hits, the community came together to finish out the year with a strong local lineup. It felt like a celebration of what we've accomplished together this year, and of what's to come. Saturday at Trees, promoters Coffee Music Hub brought together Bobby Sessions, Dustin Cavazos, -topic, Lil Ronny MothaF, Mathew Clay, A.Dd+ and Yung Nation, easily one of the top three local bills of the year.
Being that it was Yung Nation's first big Dallas show, I expected it to be completely packed. This year, the Dallas duo has been steadily building a major following by touring the U.S., and their single, "Club Rock (Everybody Rockin)," has been added to the repertoire of Prairie View A&M and Grambling State University's marching bands. While the show didn't sell out, there was still a sizable turnout. This crowd was very young and very hype; I don't think I've ever seen so many people on Trees' stage at one time than during Mathew Clay's set, whose camp brought at least half the crowd on stage.
This show was not without one of the more disheartening trends at area rap shows this year. I am tired of watching bouncers drag hysterical girls out of the club. It's turning into a regular occurrence, and we have to do better. It's one thing to get stumbly and giggly, but it is a lot darker to constantly find yourself trying to hold up a crying, young girl with skinned knees as she falls into a crowd of people, while security screams at her to sit down somewhere and chill until they can figure out how to get her home safely. As a scene, this is a bad look for all of us. In 2013, let's all stand up straight. We're all just trying to go out, have a good time, and show support for our local artists.
While each opener gave a strong set, A.Dd+'s stood out. The duo had some tricks up their sleeve this weekend, integrating classic Texas beats into their set, like Lil' Keke's "Southside" (or, for the sake of this performance, Northside). For their last song, Slim and Paris brought out Tunk, Brain Gang Blue and other members of the Brain Gang roster to perform their single, "Genocide."
After a long D-Town boogie and South Dallas swag performance from Yung Nation's entourage, the headliners finally went on, playing for more than an hour. With a set consisting of viral singles and freestyles, Yung Nation proved their ability to work a stage, but about halfway through, the energy level seemed to plateau. It's a risk you take when you leave too much of an intermission between the openers and the headliners; it can throw off the balance and vibe of a show.
Overall, it was a successful outing for Yung Nation and Dallas rap fans, but we also saw a lot things we should probably leave in 2012. In the new year, Dallas hip-hop would benefit greatly from running a tighter ship behind the scenes and keeping our homegirls coherent. But most importantly, in 2013 we all need to remember that at the end of the day, we're all here because we love hip-hop. We're all out here working toward the same goal: to positively represent Dallas, and Texas hip-hop culture. We're all on the same team.
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