A night attending a tour dubbed The Smoker’s Club could be an incriminating situation to tell your boss/priest/congressman about, but with a line-up including Mississippi’s firecracker Big K.R.I.T., smooth and prolific New Orleanean Curren$y, and near-legendary Wu-Tang emcee Method Man, I couldn’t think of backing away from such a stacked show. Both K.R.I.T. and Curren$y have seen exponential rise within the last year thanks to their own respective mixtapes and spirited live sets, and they both owned the Stubb’s stage in their own ways; Big K.R.I.T. with his Southern charm and Curren$y with his indelible composure and confidence.
Big K.R.I.T. is his own producer, and his beats are unlike most industry rap today, rather opting for a late-90s golden-era of Southern rap sound. Given that a lot of his raps revolve around memories and growing up, themes always line up directly with the backdrops he creates, painting vivid pictures of Meridian as the quintessential setting for tracks like “Hometown Hero” or “Country Sh*t”. He was visibly the most excited and satisfied rapper of the night, doing what he does well and knowing how well he does it. Because of the personal nature of some of his tracks, I can see he why he’d be fulfilled to hear everyone spinning along with him to a track like “Rotation”.
Curren$y’s set started confusingly as some stagehands brought out backdrops to serve as what looked like some dude’s house. Then the couch came out. Then a crew including a guy with a broken ankle ambled out. Turns out the broken ankle guy was the man himself. Apparently what happened is that his doctor had directed him to take it easy and stay home, so what did he do? He decided to bring a cartoon set of his living room to every city of the tour. Although he remained on the couch for most of his high-concept set (complete with members of the Jet Life crew wandering in and out of the scene), he made his best effort to stand up and rap on the fan favorite “King Kong,” leaning heavily on his buddy’s shoulders (can’t put pressure on that ankle, man). His dedication absolutely paid off. Whereas many performers’ sets would have suffered due to an injury, Spitta embraced his condition and made it part of his show.
Everyone had been non-stop since I’d arrived (I’d missed all of the openers, unfortunately) and it was about to be taken up even higher as the elder statesman of the night took the stage with unparalleled energy. Even though Curren$y and K.R.I.T. had put on amazing performances, Method Man’s been doing this for years and with the kind of charisma he has, you could tell. With callbacks to a good amount of his Wu classics and Tical cuts, everyone rapped alongside him throughout his set. Jumping on speakers and barrelling around the stage, the man is just as vibrant as he was back in ‘94. Whereas the other rappers of the night cut beats in the middle of the song to rap a cappella and emphasize their lyrical skills (of which are supreme), Method Man had his DJ drop him back in with perfect timing every time to make the crowd go crazy. He wasn’t finished until he knew everyone in the house was having a good time, but as soon as he noticed that this was the case, he calmly slipped away, leaving the house wanting more. After performances like these, I know I’ll be let down at any show where a triple bill is not as stacked as this one.
– Submitted by John Parsons, Music Design