Ghostface Killah - M1 from Dead Prez - A Likes - Paradise Rock Club - Boston - 4/13/06
So I got free tickets from my radio station (www.wrbbradio.org, listen to my show there Mondays at noon) to go see Ghostface Killah of the Wu-Tang Clan. Ghostface recently released a new record that I actually quite like (see my review of it down the page a little bit) so my friend and I figured why not check this free show out. Well let me start out by saying that we left this show before Ghostface even came on, it was 11:30, the last opener had just gotten on-stage and we had to make the subway at 12 so we figured "fuck it, lets bounce." But nonetheless, this show was, to say the least, an interesting experience. When my friend Eric and I showed up to the venue the first opener, a rap duo who called themselves A-Likes were about to take the stage. We figured that since the two of us were already sticking out like sore thumbs at this show that we would go up to the balcony and enjoy the show from there, this proved to be good idea, I'll explain that later. Anyway, A-Likes were awful. They didn't really have any good verses, they just seemed to be shouting phrases over and over (most memorably something about lying, cheating, and stealing to be free...I didn't get it) but the crowd in general seemed attentive and into them. The duo repeatedly lead call and responses with the crowd of "FUCK GEORGE BUSH!" and "FUCK THE POLICE!" Now I am no fan of George Bush but this really seemed rediculous to me, I couldn't help but find this hilarious. The duo slopped around onstage for a little more, ranting on how we are all imprisoned, how we are all captive ,and how it is the people versus the president. "HOW MANY OF Y'ALL GOT A FAMILY MEMBER OR A FRIEND LOCKED UP??!?!" one of the rappers asked. An overwhelming majority of the crowd raised their hands. "FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DIDN'T RAISE YOUR HAND YOUR WHACK, CUZ WE IS ALL IMPRISONED!" he screamed as he jumped into the beat of the next one minute track. While I agree with some of their sentiments and give them credit for where they were going with that, they way the presented it (call and response with the crowd, over lame beats) was nothing but humorous to me, but what does the half jewish white guy know? Apparently not too much. A-Likes left the stage at about 10:00 and the next act, a rapper by the name of M1, from the group Dead Prez, didn't show up until about 11:10-11:20. He continued the sentiments of A-likes introducing himself as M1 and requesting that the crowd reply with chants of "FUCK THE POLICE!!" (again). During the course of M1's set, which was almost identical to the set A-Likes put on in terms of lack of actualy rhymes and songs, a few fights broke out on the floor. Bouncers were throwing people out all over the place and this was pretty fun to watch. It got pretty nasty down on the floor which is why I was happy we chose the balcony. During his set, M1 began smoking a giant blunt on stage and suggest that the audience "light up some chronic, that real purple shit" and a good number of people seemed to do just that. The weed smoking soon ended though, as a bouncer went on stage and ripped the blunt from M1's hand. Anyways, halfway through the set Eric and I decided we should leave and that we weren't going to see Ghostface before we had to make the train home. While it was a waste of a perfectly good thursday night, it was certainly an interesting experience. I doubt I will attend another concert like that for a while but I found it to be an interesting insight to the world of live hop. It's a pity we didn't get to see Ghostface (we actually caught a glimpse of him through the front window of his tour bus on our way out) because I love that record ("y'all should cop that shit") but oh well...maybe next time (but probably not).