Non-Rap Shows > Rap Shows

Credit or blame the fact I’m closer to middle age than ever, but I’ve grown tired of attending nothing but hip hop shows and concerts all the time. Save for artists whom I’ve never seen perform and the occasional in-house DJ who plays my favorite cuts, I don’t see the point of fighting through the crowd and weed smoke to catch a glimpse of a rapster’s 50-11 piff pocketers either shouting over the actual artist during their set, or worse, rapping artist’s own lyrics because the guy has either ran out of breath on stage or simply forgotten them.

I’m looking at you, Nas.

So, much like I’m forcing myself to listen to radio for at least an hour a day and attend a party more than once a week to get a grasp of what to play at my own gigs, I’ve been making a conscious effort to hit up a non-rap event at least once a month. A smoother, more soulful alternative to the roughened nature of rap shows, the R&B show spotlights the three reasons why I attend them: not feeling like I’m being barked on by the performer, being able to hear the actual performance itself and the bevy of women that easily outnumber the men who attend.

I checked out John Legend and The Roots’ free show last night, which turned out to be one of the better shows I’ve attended. I’d seen John a few years back, and the end result was exactly the same as last night’s show: you’re surrounded by soulful sounds backed by a live band while a gaggle of dime pieces seductively writhe around you.

If only rap sets could figure out a way to get this into their own shows…

Actually seeing an artist sound exactly like they do on wax live is rather amazing to me. Hell, it almost compelled me to get off my ass and buy the album instead of waiting for the leak to drop (that’s the cheapskate backpacker in me). All quasi-homoerotic banter aside (as I’m sure this may receive in the c-section), being able to clearly hear the actual songs without some hired goon screaming them at me made for a better, less headache-inducing show.

Plus, going to an R&B show will almost always guarantees sex from your date, and at the very least you’ll be getting it a lot sooner than you would taking her to a rap show, which would more or less compel her to go home after standing in her heels all night listening to a bunch of guys howling at her the whole night. When you add that into the equation, is going to an R&B show really that bad? Good music, less migraines and an increase in the percentage of successfully getting ass at the end of the night. Trust me, I’m a doctor I’ve been a lucky recipient.

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  • CtrlAltMalik

    Roots shows >

    • c-dub

      dead on. Roots the only hip hop show that I ever REALLY had a good time at, the rest were dope, but the Roots actually got instruments so no beats that drown out the vocals, or bass that drowns out the beat, all around better.

  • Dante

    Rock shows > Rap shows > R&B shows.

  • Jamal7Mile

    An R&B concert over a Hip-Hop concert? Eh, I don’t know about that, Meka. It depends on who the acts are with me. Now a Neo-soul concert over a Hip-Hop concert I might agree with. I’d spend 24 hours in a cramped lounge with the like of Kindred Family/Soul and Eryka Badu. But today’s POPular R&B acts are a no-go for me. Beyonce would be nicer if she sanged more than 3 notes in her songs. No other R&B POPular acts readily comes to mind because I don’t check for them.

  • chef

    it’s a fact that all de la soul fanboys are virgins. that includes you to meka.

  • Sha

    Typically speaking….. Hip-Hop shows suck! Tremendously!!! And that is just the sign of the times. None of these cats know the importance of putting on a live performance. And yeah, some of it has to do with cats going on tour that don’t have a deep enough catalog. But…

    A message to the 50 Cents and others like him. The people didn’t come to see your whole 50 member crew onstage lipsyncing your songs. They came to hear some classic shit!

    Props to the hip-hop artists that know the importance of a good show.

    KRS-One (Probably the best show rocker of all)

    Kanye West (Say what you want but dude puts his soul into his show presentations)

    Gangstarr (At least until Guru died. And Preemo. One of the few top notch producers to actually go on tour with his group.)

    Everyone else? I’m not impressed.

  • stevep

    i agree for the most part.

    i gotta defend nas though! maybe he s been toking with the marleys too much on this tour but the n tour and the stillmatic tour he killed it!

    some other acts ive seen kill it are almost all the rhymesayers cats, busta rhymes which was insanity, red and meth, cypress hill and outkast…

  • J_EaRLy

    ODD as shit! i was just on a mini date with a chic and shes been eggin me to take her to a show, and on the drive to her crib I thought



  • El Tico Loco

    Thing is that most live shows are predictable rnb n hip hop both, but is still a fun experience. The only thing that changes is the city name they shout out. My pet peeves for shows lately are bands for rappers (if you’re not the roots dead it), 10+ niggas on stage and is a solo act, too much hypemen not enough djing(remember the dj’s doing tricks?)that stuff I can tolerate at a club show not so much at major venue.


    I agree. Key to the equation is Good Music. F a genre. Give me good music and a talent mofo that can go. I love live concerts BUT don’t catergorize hip hop my precious baby with half ahole rappers who get on stage and do everything BUT mc.

    I think a blended concert gives you the best of both worlds. I love neo soul because its the closest to hiphop and they improvise so well. its so pure!

    In fact, give me a jazz concert. Thas why neo soul is so ill. its jazz and elements of hip hop.

    Good write tho.

  • j-money

    You gotta hit up some funk show. Pure sexual energy, Dancing, Good music, Sounds even better than it does on wax, and an energy that just fills the room. I saw Dam-Funk this summer and it was amazing.

  • johnson

    i rarely go to rap shows. but when i saw nas on the jones experience tour though and that’s one of my favorite shows i’ve been too, of any genre. maybe it was one of his better performances or something.

  • $yk

    A show ???



    Earth, Wind, & Fire >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Barry White >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Busta Rhymes >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Peg Leg Bates >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    • El Tico Loco


      You mean like a dancehall show? Or sound system clashes? I don’t even mind those guys messing up and starting over. Cho mon pon di rewind, pon di rewind!! Not to mention that they gonna mess up when the song starts to get good.

      • $yk

        ^ yep.

        all of that.

        The best concerts I saw this year:

        Nas & Damien

        Gil Scott Heron

        Wiz Khalifa & Fashawn

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  • Otto

    Tech N9ne is your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper live. The Roots, Kanye West, and Jay-Z all put on good shows too.

  • caino

    l gotta kindofa agree!! l hate rap or hiphop acts performing stadium gigs, l just dont think it works!! bUt l saw Wu-Tang last month and they killed it !!

    my all time fave hiphop gig was Xzibit for Restless, at the Barrowlands in Glasgow with 1000 fans! that shit was tight!

    Best concert l have been to this year has gotta be KISS, those dudes are nearly 60 and the energy etc they had was amazing!!

    Worst hiphop concert ever ?? Has to be Obie Trice, if it wasnt the DJ playing gunshots constantly it was Obie rapping like 1 verse or sometimes a half verse to every song before those hated gunshots rang out!!

  • 6 100

    “All quasi-homoerotic banter aside”

    Really, dude? There was nothing homo about anything in the post until that point besides your picture.

    “dime pieces seductively writhe around you”
    You DO know that the verb “to writhe” generally denotes painful movement or contortion, right?

    Let’s cut the shit Meka. You like dudes. You go to R&B concerts because that’s where homo’s of color(e.g. Meka) tend to agglomerate.

  • Lex!

    i went to a trey songz concert with one of my girls man it was so many woman there and feelin so good and sexy about themselves even my lady was ready to bone

    i went to a az concert at santos club in nyc it was mad niggas there about 4 or 5 chicks peppered into the crown i was mad i was like where the woman at

    thus i rather goto a r&b concert that bring out hip hop acts i wanna meet some ladies after the show not talk to follower rap listeners about who killed the banned from tv verse #justsayin

  • Rmp.

    Jay Electronica puts on an incredible live show. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it before. Never been too a Roots, Kanye or Jay concert but they probably are dope too. Not many r&B acts pass through London, the last was Trey Songz and imo he’s one of the most boring R&B artists ever.

  • Bang^Out82

    I Almost agree with you. You make some good points. But i am, Like most reading this, Hip Hop to the motherfucking core, and id be goddamned if i took getting a piece of ass over seeing an incredible rap show. Pussy comes daily, some shows are once in a life time with artists that would never, or rarely be on the same stage. Theres alot of bullshit shows from bullshit artists i would skip for soulfull Jazz and pussy, but if we talking Hip Hop,truest form, Im there.

  • cedmor

    Totally agree – dont you hate it when the rapper lazily raps over his cd ( with the back up vocals mixed in ) ? talking the back vocals…too many hype men are off cues.. so if you can’t actually follow the beat, please get off stage…. cause we really don’t care about your cameo verses..

    most rap show would be much better if added by a drummer, a bassist and btw, a real dj can do more to do than throw the instrumental and put annoying ( off tempo) scratches or raising his hands … and in just in case of budget issues, forget all the above suggestions and just tag along a competent sound engineer…. cause your voice can’t be heard most of the times.

  • BigRed

    meka your crazy, I dont know what Nas shows you going to but ive seen him twice, rock the bells in seatle 2008, which was one of the best shows ive ever seen, and rock the bells 2009 in vancouver and his performance with Damien Marley and his live band was truley inspirational. its only the fake ass mainstream rap-about-shit-they-never-do rappers (sorry but mostly from the south) that cant put on good shows cus they cant actually rap real. But the real new artists, lupe, cool kids, j.cole, etc know how to really control the crowd and put on a good show

  • Zulu1925

    I’ve seen almost every relevant R&B/Soul/Hip Hop artist (and a few rock bands) live in various venues since going to see the Jackson 5 in 1973 as a 4-year old and the genre of music isn’t the key to a great concert – the production values are. Most hip hop acts don’t have the bread to have top notch staging, so they aren’t tolerable in arenas and stadiums. And, unless the more intimate venues have a good sound system, like the House of Blues or a mega-club, you have to strain to hear over the din of the crowd. I’ve been to great hip hop concerts: Jay-Z/Mary J. Blige, Wayne/T-Pain/Lupe/N.E.R.D, Public Enemy/NWA, The Roots/Erykah Badu and ALL of these folks had the money to have great stages and sound. But, you ALSO have to have a strong catalogue. I don’t care how much of a J-Cole fan you are, his concert won’t compare to one from Prince, EW&F, Luther or even Sade in their primes with million dollar stages, crystal-clear sound and supertight musicianship.

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