Live hip-hop sucks balls

One of the reasons I can’t be bothered to feel too sorry about the current state of affairs in hip-hop is that live hip-hop has always kinda sucked balls. Er, at least as long as I’ve been around. Nullus.

Best case scenario, you catch one of these package deals where it’s umpteen different artists over the course of a three hour event. For example, when I was in high school I caught Diddy’s No Way Out tour the summer after Biggie Smalls was assassinated, and the opening acts included the likes of Jay-Z circa Vol. 1, Foxy Brown and a young Usher, plus ’97-era Bad Boy bag handlers such as Black Rob and The Lox. Their mercifully brief sets would be over by the time you realized how shitty they were.

[A year or so later I caught Jay-Z again on the infamous Hard Knock Life tour. It wasn't better per se, but at least it was a bit gullier.]

I bring all this up because this weekend there was a T.I. concert so bad people are actually considering legal action. I can’t imagine any T.I. concert being particularly good (the guy doesn’t rap so much as he talks, and I haven’t been too crazy about any of his albums), but apparently the issue here was that he only played for about a half an hour. Bomani Jones, who was there, says he only did two songs in their entirety, plus a medley of maybe six other songs.

According to a story in the Duke school newspaper The Chronicle (which looks a lot classier than the one we had at Josephine Baker State University), Tip couldn’t make it on time because he had an important dinner at P.F. Chang’s (which is decidedly not hip-hop – I bet they don’t even carry a surf and turf menu item) and I guess the set could only go on so long. Per the terms of his contract with the university, his set should have lasted at least 60 minutes.

In the kind of amusing detail I probably would’ve just made up anyway, a young black chick who drove six hours just to see T.I. was especially upset because she couldn’t get into opening act Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

Driving six hours from the University of West Georgia, junior Shaunte Cook was one of the many concertgoers who arrived late to Cameron Indoor Stadium Saturday night.

“I wasn’t very interested in ‘Satan Said Dance,’” Cook said, using her nickname for the opening indie rock act, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

Lollerskates!

You guys know Duke has had its share of race issues recently anyway, what with the lacrosse team being accused of gang-raping a black stripper college student. I was checking out the comments to the story on the T.I. show in the Duke paper, and those cracka-ass crackas are pissed. I wouldn’t be surprised if they throw the book at his ass, and in this case I can’t blame them. Nullus. If people are paying money to see these jigs put on a show, they should put on a motherfucking show.

  • http://myspace.com/robinthahoodo_o robin_tha_hood

    im i first for once?

  • FLIP

    1st?

  • C Boog

    F#ck 1st! Sloppy 65th!

  • Ashim

    2nd??

    Some hip hop shows are dope… Say, the Roots, Missy usually does something interesting, Diddy too, and Doug E fresh.

  • C Boog

    F#ck 1st! Sloppy 65!!

  • dubbbbbz

    Damn

  • John Brown

    “I haven’t been too crazy about any of his albums”
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Bol,

    You gotta be kidding me right, IM SERIOUS is one of the best C.D. any hip-hop/rap artist has made. Im pretty sure you havent heard it. Go buy yourself a copy and youll see what Im talking bout.

    I really dont like concerts that much, now-a-days artist dont really rap anyways. The last concert that I went to that was dope was “THE UP AND SMOKE TOUR”. Now thats the best concert ever in my books.

  • fresh

    amen to dat

  • fresh

    amen to dat

  • http://www.msn.com King Ben U Beezy !

    BOL hates hip-hop. I mean I agree with the whole TI thing he should get sued, I just always notice how you go to these concerts and have these raps cds and how you think Jay-Z sucks, with that said fat boy, why the fuck do you write for xxl ?

  • http://www.msn.com King Ben U Beezy !

    And thats what you get for going to a wack ass puff daddy concert anyway.

  • http://xxlmag.com Bol

    >why the fuck do you write for xxl ?

    I heard they looked around and I was the only one with a modicum of talent.

    But I guess that’s my fault as well…

  • RAY

    I agree you should perform to highest level.BUT who are you really writting for cause you don’t seem to really enjoy or love hip hop..

  • sDOT

    YOU realy sold ur soul

  • thoreauly77

    i have seen outkast, roots, mos def, rza, and blackalicious all put on great shows. didnt you say that you went to a mr lif concert last year and it was incredible?

  • Bol4life

    Haters gon hate bol, just ignore the comments, eat a subaway sandwhich?(no carbs of course), and continue the hateration. Who says living in ur mothers basement in ur mid-twenties is a bad thing? Real niggas do real things!

  • Bolislife

    Haters gon hate bol, just ignore the comments, eat a subaway sandwhich?(no carbs of course), and continue the hateration. Who says living in ur mothers basement in ur mid-twenties is a bad thing? Real niggas do real things!!

  • http://xxlmag.com Bol

    >didnt you say that you went to a mr lif concert last year and it was incredible?

    Well, I was generalizing, for rhetorical purposes…

  • Port_o_Prince

    ITS LIKE BUSTA RHYMES SAY MOST NIGGAZ WANT TO WALK AROUND THE STAGE HOLDIN THEY NUTSACK. MOST OF THE TIME THESE RAPPERS ARENT EVEN TRAINED ON HOLDING THE MIC CORRRECTLY, AND U WANT THEM TO PUT ON A SHOW. NOW T.I IS MY NIGGA I BEEN TO A FEW OF HIS SHOWS AT CLUBS AND HE WAS PRETTY GOOD AND HAD THE CROWD HYPED, SO HE PROB WAS IN A RUSH 4 REAL THO.

  • RICK RUDE
  • EReal

    The underground hiphop shows like Peanut Butter Wolf and Blackalicious. Also Talib and Pharoe and Mos Def rocked the house hard. I think it depends on the venue. If its a smaller like club or HOB or Hard Rock, you’ll get better acoustics because its a concert hall. If you’re in an arena or stadium any concert is gonna suck balls.
    I saw Young Buck at one of the most ghetto clubs in 407 and that show was dope as fuck. Sound was ill, drinks were cheap, Buck was accesible and the best part they let you smoke bud in the club.
    Live Rap music dosent suck balls, just the concerts you went to. Then again you have a propensity to judge all things based on a small amount of input on the subject.

  • dreadklove

    The Roots are my fav and they usually back up for some cool acts.

  • Latino Thug

    shit was funny!!!.

  • Malik C.

    I would agree to a lesser degree. There really isn’t that much going on in your average hip hop concert. Artist don’t even say all the words from their songs most of the time. Don’t really feel that involved either. There are still great ones out there though.

    Anyway, there’s a great one coming to NY. It’s going to have Rage Against the Machine, Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, MF doom, and butch of over guys.

    Go to http://www.myspace.com/rockthebells

  • FLIP

    “i have seen outkast, roots, mos def, rza”
    ———————————————
    A) You can see Bin Laden more frequently than some of those niggas
    B) The other ones charge a grip for concert.

  • http://blogs.hiphopdx.com/meka Meka Soul

    how i yearn for the good ol’ days where wack rappers would get thrown off the stage by other rappers.

    lmao @ the broad driving 6 hours to see a 40 minute show.

  • http://blogs.hiphopdx.com/meka Meka Soul

    ^^^ does this mean the website works?

  • http://blogs.hiphopdx.com/meka Meka Soul

    guess not.

  • Malik C.

    Bol just wait for the Rock the Bells concert. You’ll have your Rage Against the Machine. Along with Nas, MF Doom, Wu-Tang Clan, and a bunch of other rappers.

    http://www.myspace.com/rockthebells

  • The DJ Formerly Known as N-CREDIBLE

    to be more exact he was scheduled for 60 mins and did 40…and I went to a TI concert and it was pretty live…the dude has a lot of energy and he gave it to the crowd…TI is one of the best in the game right now so pay your respects…

  • The DJ Formerly Known as N-CREDIBLE

    nothing like intimate concerts (small venues)…the arena ish cheats you unless you are up close like i was for the Roc the Mic Tour with Jay and 50 cent (2nd row…service elevator works wonders)…

  • these posts are racist

    Most live rap I’ve seen sucks. Talib, Common and Mos Def are pretty dope live though…and honestly that Tupac concert at the house of blues in LA, (the last live performance before he was killed) was great.

  • http://dahshyt.blogspot.com Belize

    Bol, did u kill the transient? if so where’s the body?

  • Simms

    Bol you suck at writing….get a degree….or just shut the fuck up because you got nothin good to say

  • DANJA29

    Bol… any show but the Gin Blossoms is prob’ly shitty to you.

    And as usual, you managed to throw in an anti-black woman line… between them and Jay-Z, I don’t know which one you have a bigger inferiority complex about.

  • k0nfidence

    amen to that post bol. rap concerts blow. rage against the machine concerts are so insane. The songs they put on sound just as good as they do on a cd. I remember copping that king cd. (last t.i. cd i will buy, as i only buy artists cd’s who i like or are good and download all others i.e. i buy the new redman cd, and download the piece of shite buck the world) anyways, when that came with a dvd of concert footage i checked it out and all i thought was, I hope people didnt pay for that concert.

  • Bol

    Wow. I must really hate black ppl to be throwing words like “jig” around like candy.

  • OnPoint

    I have always thought rap concerts sucked and Im a big hiphop fan. The only way you can enjoy them is if you a) heard all the rappers songs 100 times before so you can make out whats supposed to be in place of the screaming or, b) its in a club with really good sound. I think all rappers need to find bands that can replicate their sound and stop being so greedy and lazy.

  • david dukes

    why is it a race thing when someone rapes a black person? a real racist wouldn’t even be sexually attracted to a (ba)boon

  • http://junglemission.blogspot.com jimmy starburst

    just watch the hip-hop honours to get an illustration of the falling standards: nelly wheezes out an ll cool j song, and then uncle l comes in the spot and hits that shit HARD. nullus.

  • frank

    can’t say i been to too many hip-hop shows, but i seen the wu in san diego & they didn’t dissapoint.

  • N.O. 4 life

    Certain people are better that others.Last sunday Young Jeezy and Lil Wayne(and many others) had a concert in New Orleans and that thing was poppin.
    But we had things that in New York you would’nt get hype about.Like that suprise appearance of B.G. or the playing of bounce music during intermissions. It depends on where you at. In oklahoma you got have what people in oklahoma like.

  • http://www.plasticsquirtguns.blogspot.com thoreauly77

    flip- it depends. i paid a lot of many for a festival where i saw most of those acts, so the large sum, translated into how many full shows i saw equals a very good deal. as for blackalicious, their show was only around 20 dollars, and personally i dont think thats too much. i forgot to mention i also saw del and heiro recently and that was around 20 and also excellent, though del is hit-or-miss.

  • http://www.gangstergreed.com?ref=5881 Rich Boy
  • Ali

    thats pretty messed up but I disagree with u sayin T.I. sucks….im from tha bay u dont know what bad music is til u lived here

  • Jason Murk

    Live hip hop shows are usually cool in a small club setting, but every arena event I’ve been to has been shitty. The ONLY hip hop artist I’ve ever seen rock an arena was Outkast.

    As far as T.I. goes, yes that nigga does suck at his live shows. I’m from Cincinnati… and he did a wack ass show here about a year ago. The end result was a bunch of angry niggas, three of T.I.’s associates hospitalized, and the death of Philant Johnson.

    Yes Duke should sue. At least they ain’t wildin out like the Nati boys

  • Ali

    Thats right bay music sucks A$$

  • Ali

    I suck A$$

  • Johnny Ca$h

    Jay-Z live showed me he was one of the best, Kanye was the best overall show ever, Snoop and Ice Cube was decent but diappointing, same with the Black Eyed Peas, but Talib Kweli turned a crowd from “who is this guy?” to “who is this guy!” quick. De La Soul was a good show, the dude from Black Sheep gave me a beer, good times.

    I think hip-hop was meant for small venues.

  • EnglandRepresent

    I saw Dizzee Rascal perform live and he fuckin killed it. The dude flowed accapella for 15 minutes at the very beginning of his set to let niggas know the skills. This was when Kanye’s College Dropout was out and he was flowing over a lot of those beats, dude was crazy nice. I’ve seen People Under The Stairs, De La, Blackalicious, Roots Manuva, Nas, Klashnekoff, Lupe and Hov all live and they all rocked it. you ain’t goin to the right places Byron.

  • http://shaytheexec.blogspot.com Shay

    I think it goes back to Artist Development, all the acts that you stated either made it big by -Mixtapes, or building their own company. They didn’t have that period where they perfect their on-stage performance. (Sometimes the ‘Hype-man’ is better than the flagship artist)
    TI is so overrated!

    Shay aka A&R Superstar

  • LOC

    Outkast, when they used to perform together, had the best (not just hip hop) live show ever.

  • Carlito

    I love T.I.

    One of my favorite rappers tbh, but..

    Yeah, hes not a ‘liveshow-rapper’. Its like, at the WMA’s, when he peformed “What You Know” live.. You could tell his voice is made for the studio. With that said, hes a studiorapper. And when T.I. does his studiorapping, he is ‘The King’. A T.I. in the is studio pure greatness personified.

  • jrjomo

    Great live performances, Little Brother, Roots, Young LL Cool J, Meth and Red, Mos Def, when he’s rapping, Outkast w/o the tag alongs, Cee-lo, KRS-1, Doug E. Fresh and the get Fresh Crew w/Slick Rick, Luke, Old Busta Rhymes. Horribly boring performers Jay-Z, 50, TI, Scarface, Jeezy, anyone with more than 2 people on the mic at the same time screaming

  • http://www.xxlmag.com/?p=9058 justin

    yah n this author is a nig ass nigga :)

  • Carlito

    I mean VMA’s * ofcourse..

  • Ace

    Ghostface & Trife: Put It on the Line, bonus DVD: Ghostface performing in NYC at BB Kings, that’s Live Hip-Hop!!!

  • EReal

    though del is hit-or-miss.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    LOL. True as fuck, it all depends on how drunk he is. Last time I saw him he had a bottle of patron in his hand and was spittin with his eyes closed and still killed it. I was like damn, what a fuckin champ.
    Most hiphop shows = 20.
    Nas = 32.50
    I was like, fuck that shit.

    1 hunned.

  • http://xxl.com mac

    Worse is Juelz not showing for a show in NC b/c he said his stomach hurts!!!And won’t even send the money back.Some people just give hip-hop a bad taste. Go back to nickel and dime hustling leave rap alone.

  • haterFoLife

    Up in Smoke Tour /end

  • Chadd Biggz

    My parents aint have the money for me to go to any big name shows. And since I live in a semi-small city. Not too many big acts come out here. I mean we have the pee-on weekend wit Huey, Jibbs, and MIMS soon but I don’t wanna see these guys. Weezy came through before everyone was on his dick. And we are the city made famous by running Jim Jones off stage. Beanie Sigel killed it when he came to my skool. And Lupe Fiasco will be here on friday. I haven’t seen too many concerts in person. I will get the dvd or some shit. Catch them at award shows. But like nobody gets me hyped. Weezy my favorite rapper but he is maybe the worst performer I’ve seen. He doesn’t move, looks way too high (if that’s possible for some of you), and he’s just holdin his dick the whole time. I will you tube a performance before I pay money to see anyone. I’m going to see Lupe….becuz well its on 5 bucks. I don’t think rappers care about being showman anymore. That is why we haven’t had a big ass tour (e.g. Ruff Ryder/Cash Money, Hard Knock Life, etc.). They will rather give us these shitty as mixtapes and thrown together albums. And wonder why any person wit any sense knows that hip hop is dead or at least on life support.

  • Chadd Biggz

    LET ME TALK MY SHIT…

    My parents aint have the money for me to go to any big name shows. And since I live in a semi-small city. Not too many big acts come out here. I mean we have the pee-on weekend wit Huey, Jibbs, and MIMS soon but I don’t wanna see these guys. Weezy came through before everyone was on his dick. And we are the city made famous by running Jim Jones off stage. Beanie Sigel killed it when he came to my skool. And Lupe Fiasco will be there on friday. I haven’t seen too many concerts in person. I will get the dvd or some shit. Catch them at award shows. But like nobody gets me hyped. Weezy my favorite rapper but he is maybe the worst performer I’ve seen. He doesn’t move, looks way too high (if that’s possible for some of you), and he’s just holdin his dick the whole time. I will you tube a performance before I pay money to see anyone. I’m going to see Lupe….becuz well its on 5 bucks. I don’t think rappers care about being showman anymore. That is why we haven’t had a big ass tour (e.g. Ruff Ryder/Cash Money, Hard Knock Life, etc.). They will rather give us these shitty as mixtapes and thrown together albums. And wonder why any person wit any sense knows that hip hop is dead or at least on life support.

  • orangejuicejones

    KRS-ONE is the best live performer ever. However you feel about them, old school cats rock a show better than anyone of your favorite rappers out today. Im big on Jay and Nas, but both of their live shows are gay…..

  • ALI

    Give me an A$$ and I’ll lick the brown stuff out of it.

  • Young G

    aside from 50 & em i agree most live(hip hop) sucks.

  • BREEZE

    i was at this TI concert, it was pretty bullshit what he did, and the speakers sucked you couldnt hear him.

  • wow

    Satan Said Dance is a song by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

    stupid jig

  • Cubano Link

    i like TI, but he does suck live.When he came 2 NY i saw him a few years back, but that was when his beef with Lil Flip was up so I hated him.I thought that was the only reason i thought he sucked live, but at the BET awards he was whack with What You Know, which is a good song

  • Jesse

    Also, Supernatural is great. I noticed his name at the bottom of the Rock The Bells promotional poster as a host. That guy is insane.

  • Chingy

    Byron, why you be hatin on Duke newpaper be callin them cracka ass crakas. All tehy be doin is critisizing some dumb ass nigger.

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