Concert Review: No Deal. No Label. Just Durham. – Tobe Nwigwe Sold Out Bull City On Back-to-Back Nights

Tobe from the SWAT Tour (The Extension) – 4.3.19 (Bull City)

Location: Durham, NC
Venue: MOTORCO Music Hall
Label: Independent
Performers: Tobe Nwigwe (with Fat + Lanell “Nell” Grant) (featuring David Michael Wyatt, Luke Whitney, JJ and DJ Big Reeks [Waxaholics])

After putting on an energetic show in Atlanta back in November of 2018, I had the opportunity to catch the Tobe From The Swat Tour ’19 in my home state at Motorco Music Hall in Durham, North Carolina. Forty-three days before the show began, the Houstonian emcee announced that Bull City had sold out via Public Service Announcement on his Instagram page:

Tickets sold out so quickly that people were panicking and looking for resale options to see the performance. Luckily, since the venue  holds approximately 450 people, for his birthday gift to the fans, Tobe decided to host a second show in Bull City, in turn, making Durham the only city on the tour with two shows.

JJ and DJ Big Reeks Kick Things Off

The show opened up with host/comedian JJ and DJ Big Reeks getting the crowd excited for the night’s performance. Big Reeks and JJ played various songs from Outkast to Jay-Z and honored the recently slain rapper Nipsey Hussle. The pair did a great job at keeping the energy in the room before Tobe came out.

Women Produce

After missing out on the 2018 tour due to giving birth to her son, the woman behind the beats, Lanell “Nell” Grant made her return to the stage and she showed out.  Part of Tobe’s set included a mix of  ‘Chill’ from The Original EP with Outkast’s 2003 hit ‘Caroline’ and it needs a proper MP3 release:

Nell also provided backed up vocals and performed her verse on ‘Caged Birds’ which is the first song from The Originals series that she has actually rapped on with Tobe.

Nell’s talent doesn’t stop at just rapping and producing, but she also does the backup vocals when Tobe performs ‘Reality’. Nell is a Jack-of-All Trades and that’s a crucial ingredient when it comes to performing a successful show.

Nell wasn’t the only woman to hold it down on Wednesday night. Tobe’s wife, Fat, who ironically is pregnant, came out to perform her verse on ‘100K’. Just like at the Atlanta show last year, when Fat came out, the crowd erupted.

These two ladies are just as an important part to Tobe’s vision as he is and that’s what makes this whole movement something that everyone wants to be apart of. When they talk about it being a family, it’s not hyperbole, they are really about that life and it shows in the radiance of their music.

A Proposal

That positive vibe was rampant throughout the show, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the couple that got engaged during Tobe’s set. As someone who’s been to hundreds of shows, this was the first time I had ever seen a proposal onstage and congratulations to that couple.

Young Tob Why You Rappin’ So Hard

“Look, holy flow, every bar, fresh up out the tabernacle,” is the opening line to ‘Tabernacle’ and before Tobe could finish the line the whole crowd was saying it with him. The cool thing about this show is that the instruments were a lot livier than the show I went to in the fall of 2018. This was also the second show of a back-to-back but the venue was filled with energy from the stage to rear exit door.

The good vibes continued out throughout the night.  Tobe brought the ‘Heat Rock’ with him too:

David Michael Wyatt and Tobe performed “Hydration”, an unreleased sequel to the 2018’s “Wavy.” Tobe even joked that naming the track ‘Wavy 2’ would’ve been wack. The song has a nice medley and it allows Wyatt to show off his vocals as well:

The show closed with “I’m Dope” which is a track Tobe and Co. made in tribute to Erykah Badu and Dave Chappelle after they said he was dope. The song is an accumulation of the rapper’s career so far and a lesson about life in general, keep doing what you’re doing and someone out there will think you’re dope at something.

Fin.

You can get your tickets for the Tobe From The SWAT Tour (The Extension) here

Concert Review: ¡Mayday! produces a vibe that is unmatched with their South of 5th Tour

¡Mayday! – South of 5th Tour 11.17.18 (ATL)

Location: Atlanta, GA

Venue: The Vinyl @ Center Stage

Label: Strange Music

Performers: ¡Mayday! (featuring 1Ton, D.U.Ivan and Phil Mauro)

On another frigid Atlanta night, ¡Mayday! produced an unmatched vibe when they brought their South of 5th tour to The Vinyl @ Center Stage. South of 5th is the band’s first Reggae album and their first album to debut #1 on any of the Billboard charts. The Miami-based genre-blending band consists of emcees Wrekonize, Bernz and the percussionist NonMS, and they are currently signed to Tech N9ne’s independent powerhouse Strange Music. They  brought opening acts from across the nation with them including Phil Mauro (Denver, CO.), D.U.Ivan (Miami, FL) and 1Ton of Potluck (Humboldt County, CA).

Opening Acts

Phil Mauro

 

The Denver-based emcee started the show with a set that had the crowd rockin’. His music is a blend of rock, pop and hip-hop, and it pairs well with the rest of his tourmates. He has collaborated with ¡Mayday! in the past on his Toxic Space EP. You can check out more of  Phil Mauro’s music here.

D.U.Ivan

DUIvan

D.U.Ivan, which stands for Don’t Underestimate Ivan, is a Miami-based emcee who has collaborated frequently with ¡Mayday! collaborators, Miami Beat Wave, and he brings a unique style of his own. D.U.Ivan produces most of his own music, and his set was filled with energy from the time he stepped onto the stage. Check the video below.

 

1Ton

The West Coast veteran emcee of Potluck fame was the last onstage before the headliners. The OG Stoner’s set brought a vibe close to traditional hip-hop. 1Ton kept it real with the crowd and had the quote of the night about him not coming to perform for the crowd, instead he came to party with the crowd. Even with all the partying and touring he mentioned how he’s a father first and rapper second and would not miss his daughters’ birthdays no matter where in the world his music takes him, real shit.

 

The Main Event

¡Mayday!

¡Mayday!, who are 6 albums deep into their Strange Music discography since joining the label in 2011, has created their own lane by making timeless genre-blending music. One of those albums is a collaboration with the underground legendary West Coast emcee MURS as ¡MURSday!, and the other 5 albums from the group are different from the last. The latest album South of 5th is their first venture into Reggae and during this tour they’ve adapted that sound to select songs in their back catalog while performing on stage.

NonMS’ started the show with a literal bang by playing different types of percussion before Bernz and Wrek joined him, and the trio started their set performing “Run Up” off their South of 5th album. They transitioned that into “Fuel to the Fire,” which has a Miami sound, and they made the transition effortlessly to “Badlands,” which is a song from their first album,  2012’s Take Me to Your Leader, but this time NonMs plays the bongo drums and the beat sounds more island infused than rock like the original version. Wrek’s rapid flow is still the same on the new beat, which makes this a fresh spin on a classic song by the group. They continued this trend for songs like “Believers,” “Shots Fired,” and “Stun Gun Stick Up,” which was an innovative way to incorporate old tracks with their new sound.

Next, we found “Shelter,” until it was “Next to Go,” and these two songs perfectly transitioned live, just as well, as they do on their album. After performing a couple more songs from their back catalog, Wrekonze spit a freestyle straight off the dome for the fans in attendance. It was only fitting that a completely original freestyle was followed by “Forever New,” which led to “Unplug.” As the band took a moment to unplug, we were treated to an interlude of NonMS showing off his dance skills while Bernz and Wrek were drumming and DJing, respectively.

The group got back into their “Zones,” and went with the West Coast vibe and performed the second track off their 2014 MURSday LP.   Since their discography is deep they even had room for a couple of their solo tunes. Each emcee performed a track from their debut Strange Music solo albums with Wrek’s “Can’t Be Alone” which showcases his rapid flow and Bernz’ “It Don’t Go,” which shows his ability to create catchy tunes.

Things started to slow down after they performed “Roaches,”  Bernz did another solo track with “Smoke N Fuck,” and they decided to close things out with “Space Cadet” and “Antenna,” two tracks from 2015’s Future Vintage LP.  The fans in attendance started chanting “Mayday” wanting the band to return and their fans got what they wanted. First Bernz came out and performed his verse on “Shortcuts and Dead Ends,” the last cut from their 2013 album Believers. After Bernz finished the hook there was some dramatic build for Wrekonize to return and lay his verse on the track. The track is one of the group’s most personal, each emcee starts his verse with “where do I start,”they rap about the trials and tribulations they’ve been through in their careers, and their verses end with the same impactful line from both emcees, “when it’s all said and done we ain’t here that long, better get your feet wet!”

Fin.

RATING

[Fresh Horchata]

[Fuego]

[Bueno]

[a si a si]

[Basura]

[All Mames Wey]

South of 5th is in stores and online everywhere.

 

Concert Review: Tobe Nwigwe Brings The Heat Rock With First Sold Out Show In Atlanta

 

Tobe from the SWAT 11.15.18 (ATL)

Location: Atlanta, GA

Venue: The Loft @ Center Stage

Label: ETA Records (Independent)

Performers: Tobe Nwigwe (with Fat) (featuring DJ Big Reeks [Waxaholics], Tim Woods, and Luke Whitney.)

On a cold November night, Tobe Nwigwe brought the heat rock with his first sold-out show in Atlanta. The 650 capacity venue was not only sold out, but was filled with a diverse audience showing support for the rapper’s first tour as a headliner. The House-based artist did not come along, he brought a few collaborators with him to the Peach State, including his wife Fat, the singers David Michael Watts and Luke Whitney, rapper Tim Woods and DJ Big Reeks. There was one familiar face missing, and that was Tobe’s longtime producer Nell, who was not able to attend the tour due to her recent pregnancy. She was not forgotten because Tobe took the time out of the show, so the audience could send her a video of everyone saying “We miss you, Nell,” in unison… and the audience gave her a clever suggestion on a name for her future first-born.

Opening Acts

DJ Big Reeks

The show started off with DJ Big Reeks of the Waxaholics getting the crowd hyped up with a vibrant set of tunes that ranged from UGK, Jeezy, Dipset, Erykah Badu, to Igbo and Yoruba. The Waxaholics moniker comes from the fact that he prefers to use all vinyl when DJing instead of using laptops like most DJs today. You can catch Reeks weekly on All Real Radio for “Wax Wednesdays,” every Wednesday from 9pm to 11pm.

Tim Woods

The House-based artist had a 10 minute set but he made the most of it. His performance was lively and he showed that he takes his craft seriously with different rhyme schemes in each song in his set. Woods’ lyrics are dense enough that after the first listen, you’ll go back and find some hidden gems. “Caribou” was the last song she performed, and it’s a catchy tune that I only wish was longer.

For fans in attendance who were not familiar with his music, Woods did explain why his songs were short, which made perfect sense. Woods has an ongoing series called #MulchMondays where he’s released a new song accompanied by a music video, every Monday in 2018. You can keep up with the series by following @TheRealTimWoods on all Socials.

 

Luke Whitney (aka Lhitney)

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Hailing from Beaumont, Texas, Lhtiney is an aspiring Pop artist, and he brought a different vibe before the main event. Luke brought out the guitar and the ladies loved him for it. One of his newest tracks he wrote about 2 months ago was a hit amongst those in attendance. The song is about a recent breakup and you can feel the emotions in every chord with each pluck of his guitar. Check out this talented singer here, and he had a dynamic performance that got the crowd hyped before the headliner hit the stage.

 

The Main Event

“Young Tobe, why you rappin’ so hard?”

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Tobe Nwigwe + The Originals

The Southwest Alief, Texas, more commonly known as the SWAT, emcee started his set with”What It’s For,” the intro song, from his “From the SWAT” EP, which erupted the crowd to sing along to every word. The track’s beat switch sounded even more aggressive live that the footage doesn’t do it justice.

 

After a couple of tracks that got the crowd rowdy, the Screwston native slowed things down with a couple of songs dedicated to his wife, Fat. The pair have chemistry when it comes to making tracks together, as if they were Ike & Tina, but minus all the domestic violence.

 

After reality set in, we picked things back up with “100k,” a song Tobe created once he reached the milestone of 100,000 followers on social media. The song is produced by Nell and features Lhitney and Fat, but when Fat came back out to perform her verse on the song, The Loft nearly turned into the Rooftop Patio by the way the crowd exploded.

 

Before performing “Ewu,” a track about being the “GOAT,” Nwigwe brought out a special guest, his father. The inspiration from the track comes from his Nigerian heritage, as he has stated in the past, when he first became a rapper his parents were not impressed in disbelief because they were expecting a different career path for their son. Tobe said something in Igbo and he wanted his father to translate it which was a funny moment for the crowd. This had to be a big moment between the two since the Ewu had the chance to take his pops on this journey that he’s been working diligently on since ending his football career at the University of North Texas.

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2018 has been a big year for Nwigwe, and this tour was a great way to cap things off. Being that this was his first tour there is some room to improve when it comes to making the show more fluid. There was a minor hiccup when Tobe was introduced that caused a slight delay and the audio had some feedback early on. Those are things that’ll get better with time, and there’s no doubt with Nwigwe’s work ethic that he and his team will iron out any flaws.

 

The dedication and persistent work of his team, from producing a new song paired with an accompanying music video weekly since he started his #GetTwistedSundays series nearly two years ago, has taken him from getting his hair twisted by Fat on his couch in the SWAT (So Far Gone Challenge) to his first headlining tour in LA, ATL, DC and NY. His freestyle on Sway gave him nationwide exposure, and when he reached 100k he went from EBT to BET and to top it all off he was recognized as being dope by the legends Dave Chappelle and Erykah Badu and soon the rest of the world will take notice.

 

Fin.

RATING

[Fresh Horchata]

[Fuego]

[Bueno]

[a si a si]

[Basura]

[All Mames Wey]

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