Charles Hamilton returned to the stage at SOB’s last night (May 19) with a live band and a sleek piano. The once troubled rapper performed with both humility and a chip on his shoulder, professing his appreciation to the crowd for coming out.

The night started with three local up-and-coming MCs , which were all from the New York area. Y Rome, Spud Mack, and S.K.E. the Heistman warmed up the crowd quite diligently. With several urgings from the host to “Show these guys some love” the audience managed to muster up partial enthusiasm for the opening acts.

Before long, the former XXL Freshman graced the stage. With his family in attendance, the atmosphere was suddenly filled with renewed energy. Hamilton was not shy addressing his bad press and troubles within the rap game. “You don’t need a deal to make your music, make your art.” he said to the crowd. “Be yourself, be independent.”

Next he performed “Loser,” which proved to be telling of the artist’s struggles overall and that night. Hamilton and his band were plagued with technical difficulties that visibly frustrated Hamilton and his two backup dancers. Despite this the Harlem native musical talents shined through, keeping the crowd hyped as he spit bars from behind his piano.

Hamilton’s energy was especially felt during the performance for the song "Down The Line." A powerful solo from one of his female backup singers sent waves through the crowd resulting in a resounding applause. After lamenting his lack of female friends, the comeback kid switched up the mood with his next couple of songs. CH even pulled a female fan onto the stage so he can serenade her.

The multitalented MC brought up his cousin Bridge for “Freshman Party.” After he performed his most well-known song to date, “Brooklyn Girls.” Hamilton noted how weird it was that he was performing the song with a live band. But the difference didn’t take away from the quality as the crowd rocked out with him while he performed.

The RCA signee closed with “New York Raining," which features Rita Ora. It was an appropriate closer for the night and signaling a new triumphant return in Hamilton’s career. The comeback continues—Don Garvin