Joey Badass was building a lot of steam after the XXL freshman class of 2013,

getting featured on Mac Miller’s “Macadelic” (where I heard him for the first time and enjoyed the verse).

Mac Miller, along with Homeboy Sandman (Stones Throw’s NYC golden child), and Run the Jewels (although Mike and El have the unfortunate circumstance of touring with an unlistenable dj currently) are some of the dudes doing the underground/commercial hip hop tightrope walk without falling off. I’m not convinced by Joey anymore. The debut album B4.Da.$$ was a failure to me, mostly because it felt bloated with tracks (mixtape rapper’s first release perpetual challenge), and unoriginal. It’s really hard being a backpack sounding rapper in 2015 and if you’re gonna do it you better have some INCREDIBLE rhymes to deliver over those played out jazz samples.  Alternatively this dude is touring with one of the best DJs and hip hop producers currently active in Statik Selektah. Statik deserves all the praise, he’s awesome live and his albums are consistently dope with all the right features and collabos. Pluse he supports battle rap in his home state of Massachusetts!

Another MAJOR surprise was Miami’s own Denzel Curry. He had a great stage presence and a ton of fans came out to support (he’s from Miami Gardens so they didn’t have far to travel). The combination of nerdiness and rap has always appealed to me, exemplified by the recent DOPE film. Denzel does it with finesse using video game imagery and even starting his set with this incredible Goku Dragonball Z performance where he has sound effects from the show and has the crowd “move the energy” back and forth while he is in a deep squat.The video and track for “Parents” is definitely what appeals to me most among the projects he has posted currently and I hope he continues in this direction and doesn’t go all Meek Mill on us.

Here’s some of the shots from the show. Hit the FACEBOOK PAGE for all of the pictures.

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