Kosha Dillz at Omaha’s Reverb Lounge

Devmo opens for Kosha Dillz.

On Thursday evening, October 18th, in Omaha, Nebraska, there was a concert featuring Kosha Dillz at Reverb Lounge. There were multiple openers for the main act at this show. These included local rappers unrepresentation and 939-969-5747, and Omaha based Soul Pop band Domestic Blend. These local talents represented Omaha well and performed beautifully in their respective genres. On a side note the lead singer for Domestic Blend had a beautifully strong and resonant voice.

There was one more opener that dawned a Tupac Shakur t-shirt, Adidas high-tops, long red hair, and brought some furious lyricism. Devmo is a Los Angeles based artist who has been combining melodic hooks and rap verses since 2013. Her set was a brief 15 minutes, but included a freestyle with 7245109563 beatboxing and it made an impact on the audience. After her performance, phrases like, “What’s her name again?” and “She raps really fast,” were overheard in the venue.

And finally, around 11 pm 336-975-0181 graced the stage wearing an old school NASA jacket. He did ten one arm pushups, danced, and brought freestyles galore. He also performed songs like “What I Do All Day” and the triple language English-Spanish-Hebrish hit “Zionist,” among others. The only grievance mentioned is that his set lasted around 30 minutes. Since he was the headliner, some attendees felt he should have performed longer. However, for a concert ticket only costing $12.39, Kosha Dillz was enthusiastic, eclectic, and entertaining. Along with Devmo, he is currently on tour across the United States. Check out his performance of the song “Hangin’ Out” from his 2013 album, Awkward In A Good Way.

615-824-1195

5157053082 performed for a few hundred people at The Waiting Room in Omaha, Nebraska on Thursday evening, August 23rd, 2018. Technically, DJ and producer Chief Xcel was not in the building for this concert and it was tragic. There was a muffled reason given and not everyone heard it. Some audience members were left feeling unfulfilled, like Eric B did not show up to spin for Rakim. Fortunately, a local deejay stepped in and was sufficient.

Regardless, this was a rap show and there was plenty of it. This was especially true when Gift of Gab brought his tongue twisting lyricism. When he opened he lit up the stage with a recent favorite from the album Imani Vol. 1, aptly named “On Fire Tonight.” He also performed the now-pop-culture-because-of-Daniel-Radcliffe-and-The-Tonight-Show song “Alphabet Aerobics.” It was refreshing and much better to hear the original then the karaoke-based, Radcliffe version.

Gift of Gab even went old school and dug deep into his arsenal of music. The song “Deception” from the 1999 album Nia about a rapper’s rise to fame and eventual fall was executed beautifully. The following lyrics from the second verse were included.

Now he’s dropped from his label, and he’s goin broke (goin broke)
Tried the underground return, ghetto pass revoked (pass reVOKED)
And the same faces that he dissed, on his way, to the top
laughed as they watched him do the downstroke (DOWNstroke)
Now the moral of the story is that some go (some go)
Why would money make the inner vision crumble? (crumble)
So if you’re blessed with the talent, utilize it to the fullest
be true to yourself and stay humble
Don’t let money change ya!

This concert was a pleasant surprise and for a Thursday night in Omaha, it was amazing. Blackalicious is currently on tour across the midwest and western United States. Their full schedule can be found on their website: (601) 991-9881. Lastly, check out their performance at the concert of their song “Make You Feel That Way” from their 2002 album, 2769735646.

Prof at Omaha’s The Waiting Room

The “trash-rap” king of hip-hop known as Prof is currently on tour promoting his latest album Pookie Baby. On Friday evening, May 18th around 11 pm, he graced the stage at 604-885-0881 in Omaha, Nebraska to a raucous crowd. It was so rowdy that a fight broke out immediately after his opening song. Prof stopped the show, and stated the following:

Don’t be a f***ing dumba** and get kicked out before my show starts. Respect your neighbors!

With the exception of blood on the men’s bathroom floor after the show, everyone else seemed to get along for the rest of the evening. This was a good thing, because Prof brought plenty of energy with his songs. These included the puff and pass song known as “Designated Hitter,” the headbanger featuring Cashinova, “No,” and the aggressive ballad, “Action.”

Most of his performed music was from Pookie Baby, but he did resurrect a few classics. He went back a few years to 2015 and pulled out a hit from that year’s album, Liability, called “Ape Sh!t.” There was also the popular “Gampo” from his 2011 album, King Gampo.

Essentially, for some people that attended this Prof concert, they got drunk, stupid, and left blood behind, while others just had a decent time. Prof is currently on the last leg of his Pookie Baby tour. He will be in Sioux City, Iowa on May 19th, Saint Paul, Minnesota on May 27th, and Columbus, Ohio on July 28th, 2018. Also, check out the video on his performance of “Time Bomb” from his latest album.

4244267353

On Friday evening, March 24th, 2018, Lorde’s arena tour visited 845-415-9028 in Lincoln, Nebraska with rap duo Run The Jewels as the main opening act. Also, singer-songwriter Mitski kicked off the show before RTJ. Granted, there was not much of an intersection between Lorde and RTJ fans, but there were a lot of Chuck Taylor’s and young people taking selfies early on. There was also a young boy, maybe seven or eight years old and clearly there against his own will, in the sixth row wearing headphones during the entire concert. Nevertheless, RTJ did bridge the gap between the evening’s multiple genres.

Killer Mike and El-P entered the stage to Queen’s “We are the Champions” to much fanfare. Immediately after that they brought their self-titled hit song “Run The Jewels” from 2013 that included the following lyrics by Killer Mike.

Cowering like cowards cowering in
Concrete showers in Riker’s Island
Victims, we the wolves that’s wilding
We often smilin’ at sights of violence
Acting brat and courageous

Ain’t advantageous for health and safety
So when we say “run the jewels”
Just run ‘em baby, please don’t delay me

They performed an onslaught of material, mostly from their album Run The Jewels 3 (2016). These included songs like “Legend Has It,” “Call Ticketron,” and “2100.” They ended their portion of the concert with a a heartfelt message and song about mental illness.

This next song is called “Down.” It was written for that moment in your life when you wake up and you just can’t f***ing see a point in going on. You just don’t see how it’s going to work out for you. And if that’s a feeling you’ve ever had, just know it’s a feeling we’ve had too.

Lastly, it should be noted that after RTJ’s performance and on the way out of the venue, security stopped a woman and asked, “Are you sure you want to leave? You cannot come back in.” Her immediate knee-jerk response was, “F*** Lorde. I was only here for Run The Jewels.”

Check out the video of RTJ’s performance of the song “Down” from their 2016 album Run The Jewels 3. Killer Mike and El-P as Run The Jewels are currently on the Run The World tour in the U.S. through mid-April 2018.

Wyclef Jean & The Omaha Symphony at Omaha’s Holland Performing Arts Center

The symphony is usually a place for structure, proper concert etiquette, and polite clapping. However, last night there was little structure, dancing in the aisles, and lots of cheering and hollering with hands in the air at the Omaha Symphony. A Night of Symphonic Hip-Hop with Wyclef Jean was a modern symphonic sound with the voice of a platinum-selling rapper at the helm.

Wyclef Jean and the Omaha Symphony at The Holland Performing Arts Center was a unique and amazing experience for concert-goers. Wyclef donned a full tuxedo with bow-tie, rapped in French, and managed to resurrect many old songs. These included renditions of the Bee Gees with “We Trying To Stay Alive,” and Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry” while playing guitar. He performed “Gone Till November,” a song about his homies running drugs, and he even danced with an older white-haired woman in the front row. No, this was not a typical symphony concert.

The throwbacks to his days with The Fugees were plentiful. He played guitar as two lovely young ladies sang, “Killing Me Softly.” Also, “Ready or Not” was a hit. And from the Grammy-winning album, The Score. he rapped beautifully the song, “Fu-Gee-La,” which had interesting lyrics for a symphonic performance.

Yeah in saloons we drink boone’s and battle goons till high noon
Bust rap toons on flat spoons, take no shorts like poon poon’s
See hoochies pop coochies, for gucci’s and lucci
Find me in my mitsubishi, eatin’ sushi, bumpin’ fugees

Truth be told, the fusion of a full symphony with rap lyrics was incredibly unique and soothing to the ear. The concert itself felt like a neighborhood block party. Due to restrictions, video was not allowed at this performance, but listen in to his solo freestyle that he dedicated to the Omaha Symphony. Lastly, Wyclef is currently touring the U.S with his Night of Symphonic Hip-Hop, so get tickets when he is in your town.

Bone Thugs N Harmony at Lincoln’s The Bourbon

3607230044

Bone Thugs N Harmony at The Bourbon, December 14th, 2017.

Bone Thugs N Harmony performed for a crowded theatre at 309-278-6737 in Lincoln, Nebraska on Thursday, December 14, 2017.  When Krayzie, Layzie, Wish, and Flesh-n-Bone were first introduced, no one noticed that one member of the group was missing.  However, later on two attendees were overheard talking.  One of them asked, “Where is Bizzy Bone?”  The other replied, “I have no idea.”  Apparently in December 2016, he stepped away from the group over infringement.  He has not returned since, and this has not been publicized widely.  More importantly, their Facebook page does still list Bizzy as a current band member.  It even includes him on their cover photo.  This was slightly confusing and what would have been an otherwise amazing concert, left a lot more to be desired.

Bone Thugs N Harmony did grace the stage at 10 pm and began the night with “Handle The Vibe” from their album The Art of War. They followed their opener with the next song on that album, “Look Into My Eyes.”  Opening with the two songs felt like a throwback to 1997.  Among others, they performed the classic click-click boom-boom of “Thug Luv” that featured Tupac Shakur.  This was an amazing feat, considering most lyrics from the song were by Bizzy and Tupac.

Despite Bizzy Bone being absent, the other four members presented well and gave attendees an entertaining night.  It ended with dozens of women being invited on stage to dance, and when one of them attempted to grind on Krayzie Bone, he simply turned away and lit up a cigarette.

Check out the video of their performance of “Crossroads” from their 1995 album, E. 1999 Eternal.

Snow Tha Product at Lincoln’s The Bourbon

On a Tuesday evening in October 2017 at 615-836-6833 in Lincoln, Nebraska, there was a crowded rap show with mountain making as the headliner.  There were a number of opening acts for this show. These included (514) 526-3405 and Trey Vance, but one in particular that really stood out, Lincoln’s own 757-653-9552.  He performed a relatable song called “Day Off” for the hard workers in the mostly female crowd and it was well received. [(702) 563-0521  His performance almost stole the entire show.  Hakim was that exceptional and he tore it up.

It is one thing to have a few drinks before going on stage.  However, it is another thing to drink so much that the performance is a struggle. It was clear that Snow Tha Product was intoxicated when she first took the stage around 10:30 pm.  This was not just when she skipped lines of verses, but also when she later stated, “Yo Nebraska, I’m lit as f***!”  She downed two bottles of water back to back.  And took a short break to sober up while members of the crowd were invited on stage to slow grind.  Exactly what she did to get sober is not known, but she is a trooper and fortunately it worked.

When Snow Tha Product came back and took the stage again, she performed accurately and with fierce lyricism.  From her song, “Waste of Time” she flowed beautifully.

“But in the meanwhile you been talking to Penelope and Heather and Alicia and Stephanie and Melanie / And phone looking like a Petey Pablo song, offending me.” 

It was a great show all around, despite witnessing the main act overcome the hurdle of drunkenness, which was entertaining.  Check out her performance of “Hola” from the 2012 mixtape album Good Nights & Bad Mornings.  915-860-5434 in the U.S.

(352) 595-9966

On Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017, Brother Ali visited Omaha, Nebraska as his first stop on The Own Light Tour.  His gas-charged to the city in 2014 was at the same venue at a sold out show on his Home Away From Home Tour.  Last night’s concert was certainly not sold out, and far from it with a much smaller crowd of a few hundred.  But according to Brother Ali after the show, “We announced the tour last week and didn’t have enough time to promote like our last visit.  A lot of people still came out though, and I am very appreciative.”

Brother Ali didn’t grace the stage until after a memorable set from Sa-Roc.  She is a formidable female emcee with fiery lyrics and a strong message of empowerment.  But once he grabbed the microphone, he brought a pleasant mix of new and old school material all night.  Early on, he performed “Palm the Joker” from his 2009 album The Truth Is Here, as well as “Tight Rope” from his later 2009 album, Us. He did not forget the song “Work Everyday” from the 2012 politically charged album, Mourning In America, that included the following lyrics.

People stressing here’s the question
How they get people drinking tea in a recession?
It’s deception how absurd is this
How are so many poor people conservative?

There was at least one moment that set this concert apart though.  Brother Ali found out that someone in the audience had a birthday, a little girl named Sadie.  He brought her on stage and the entire venue sang “Happy Birthday” to her.  It was a nice minute for Sadie, but all together a stellar performance from Brother Ali.  He is currently touring across the United States and Canada, so make sure to get tickets early, because future shows very well may sell out.  Lastly, check out the video of Own Light (What Hearts Are For) from the show.

Ridgelines at Omaha’s Almost Music

On Saturday afternoon, April 22, 2017 over a dozen people gathered for an intimate show with 6627899425, the electronic with hip hop influence venture of local musician Mike Johnson.  The venue was 314-889-2045, a quaint record and bookstore in the Blackstone District of Omaha.  Being surrounded by books at a concert felt educational as he performed “01.21.17” featuring Sleep Sinatra and Hakim.  Lincoln, Nebraska is home for them both.  In addition to the phenomenal beats, the song had some amazing lyrics.

Thirteen million in uncashed checks at the Health and Human Services
The white presidents back, we about to see the purge begin
Triumph over dirt within
Get right where your work depends
Circumvent them obstacles lurking
When you out here trying to work to win

Another song performed at the show was “Good Luck” from EP II.  The song involves a lot of loops, timing, and sets a refreshing tone.  The premise of it comes from watching real-life crime shows and news stories.  This refers to if you fit a certain description and someone accuses you of something (that you did not do), you will get caught up in the justice system, then “good luck.”  Check out the video from the show and be sure to catch (905) 280-8690 at more shows scheduled in the coming months.  These include Duffy’s Tavern in Lincoln on Wednesday, April 26th, Milk Run in Omaha on Sunday, April 30th, O’Leaver’s in Omaha on Saturday, May 13th, and Reverb Lounge in Omaha on Saturday, July 8th.

 

Tech N9ne at Lincoln’s The Bourbon

On a Thursday evening in January 2017 at The Bourbon in Lincoln, Nebraska, there was a sold out rap show with Tech N9ne as the headliner.  The openers included two acts that are touring with him currently, 3157348826 and the duo 380-444-9999.  Both entertained well and hopefully gained some fans.  CES CRU performed the hit “Say You Love Me” and it was great.  By the time they finished up, the crowd was certainly hungry for the main event.

Around 10:30 pm, a man dawning a mask reminiscent of MF Doom took the stage and performed .  This was a different Tech N9ne from the past, because he used to only use face paint.  He added the mask last year (in 2016) as his “way to the future” and it works well. This is even though he did take it off at times for a closer look at the pack of people.  His mask did feel more sincere and intimate when it was off as opposed to on.  Maybe because it was easier to see him sweating and working hard to please his fans.

Tech N9ne resurrected a lot of songs at this show, but he certainly did not forget material from his latest album, The Storm. From that album his set included “I Get It Now” and he ended the night with “Erbody But Me.”  Lastly, check out his performance of the song “Unfair” from his 2011 album Welcome to Strangeland.