Tech N9ne’s tour this time around was called the “Independent Grind” tour. To say that he has been on a grind would be an understatement. He is constantly touring (although last night was my first time actually catching him live) and always putting out great music that turns heads. He is truly an inspiration and someone that helps me keep grinding when I start to wondering if it’s all even worth it. I didn’t know what to expect when walking into his show last night but I knew I was excited to see a guy who I have looked up to for years.
Mackenzie Nicole got the night started with a short set of sultry yet spicy songs. With her beautiful blonde hair bouncing as she stalked the stage, Mackenzie’s pop princess like voice reigned supreme over the hip-hop induced beats. With only a short time to perform, Mackenzie went into a medley of sorts of some of her songs teasing the audience with just a couple lines before jumping into her next track. Although I was a bit annoyed I didn’t get to hear the songs all the way through, I loved the way that you were able to see all of these different sides of her and her musical ability in such a short time. There were the sweet songs that made you want to sway and then the songs with a sense of a aggression where she would throw the microphone stand on the ground and you would want to pump your fist in the air with all of your might. Her set may have been short but it definitely did the job of getting people hooked.
After a quick set change and the promo videos for Mackenzie Nicole’s new album and TechN9ne’s beer (that was available at the bar), it was time for the next act- Futuristic. If you weren’t paying attention, you could have completely missed his entrance. This kid (he’s only 27) flew onto the stage and instantly kicked into a set full of fast words and energy that had me completely captivated. His style was a bit more aggressive than Mackenzie Nicole’s but it still have a very “party” vibe to it. To say watching Futuristic was fun would be an understatement. Something about him forced you to smile and vibe along to the beat whether or not you liked the music. Towards the end of the set, Futuristic told the audience about how he had wanted to be in the NBA but when he stopped growing at 5′ 4″, he decided that wasn’t going to happen but he wasn’t going to give up on his dreams. Before blasting into one of his final songs, he literally dove from the stage to dunk a ball into this little net his DJ was holding while being held up by the crowd. It was one of those magical moments that words just can’t do justice but definitely made Futuristic’s set stand out from the rest.
After another quick set change and more ads about the beer that was quickly sounding like a good idea as tolerating the young and rowdy crowd was getting a little tough to do while sober, Dizzy Wright took the stage. Taking the energy that Futuristic had created in the room, Dizzy Wright seemed to expand on that bringing a new sense of power to the stage. It was during Dizzy’s set that I finally started to notice just how many people around me were singing (or at least trying to) along to every word. There was definitely a cult-like following in the audience and as an outsider looking in, it was pretty jaw-dropping. Much like the acts before him, Dizzy’s set seemed short but it definitely packed a punch. When Dizzy brought out Futuristic, the set turned into what felt like a party. If you didn’t have a smile on your face while watching Dizzy Wright rap with Futuristic and their respective DJ’s and hypemen (is that what we are still calling them?) then there is something seriously wrong with you. There was so much joy on the stage at that single moment that I could have left right then and been more than content with how my night went.
After another quick change over, a fight between girlfriend and boyfriend in front of me that ended with the guy being dragged out in cuffs (yeah, it was that kind of crowd), it was time for Tech N9ne. A video played on a screen towards the back of the stage. Unfortunately, I chose my spot at the show based on a quick exit path and lack of drunks which meant my vantage point of the stage was a bit less than desirable. I couldn’t see the video that played but it sounded dramatic and the bass from the video alone had my nose piercings all rattling together. Then, just like that, the lights went down and Tech N9ne blasted onto the stage and I was whisked away to another world.
I was absolutely mesmerized as I watched Tech N9ne play through what would become a nearly 30 song set. The set was split up between him and his buddy Krizz Kaliko. They took turns singing their own songs while backing up the other. It was a constant flow which matched the constant stream of words coming out of both of their mouths. Although I was really just focused on Tech N9ne due to my pure obsession with the man and his legend, Krizz definitely put up a fight. Both men commanded the stage and the packed audience with ease. They each had a specific vibe and energy about them and, when combined, they created one of the most perfect atmospheres I’ve felt at a rap show in a long time.
The bumping bass was more than enough to give someone a minor heart attack throughout the night. I mean, hell, I can deal with loud noises but there were points last night where I wondered if I should go stand in back to be away from the speakers because I was having trouble breathing and could literally feel my dinner bouncing around in my stomach. That being said, there were plenty of points throughout Tech N9ne’s set where he let the bass fall out and you were left with just him spitting lines. It showed his talent without the smoke and mirrors and proved what I have always thought– this guy can do it all and keep a smile on his face. That right there had the smile on my face stretching from ear to ear.
Tech N9ne may not seem like a typical idol but chances are, even if you’ve never heard his music, you’ve seen or heard his name. Tech N9ne is a force in the scene. He has been for a long time and will continue to be for years to come. I’m so grateful I finally had a chance to catch him live. He didn’t let me down (although I don’t think that was ever a worry in my mind).