Curren$y/Fiend/Nesby Philps Old Rock House May 28, 2011
Check out a full slideshow of Curren$y at the Old Rock House
After nearly a decade in the game, Curren$y Tha Spitta has become something of a hero on the underground rap scene. With three albums under his belt in the past 12 months (and a fourth, Weekend at Burnie's, due out in June), his fan base seems to be growing as fast as his catalog is. The New Orleans native easily sold out the Old Rock House last night, as he has done at venues across the country for his Jet Life Tour.
I was accompanied at the concert by friend and fellow writer J. Farand of Owl Asylum. Here are some excerpts from our discussion following the show:
Calvin Cox: Probably the first thing I noticed was the audience that came out. The crowd was a lot younger than Fiend and Curren$y.
J. Farand: It was a young, mixed crowd; I expected that for Curren$y. I did expect more women to be there, though. That was the first time I'd been to the [Old Rock House]; very swank. It's got a very "St. Louis" feel to it. The spot was a definite plus.
CC: The fans seemed to be pretty dedicated. I was impressed by how many people knew all the lyrics, even on some of the newer records.
JF: I thought they were a little too mellow. The crowd could have been more amped.
CC: Yeah, there weren't a lot of big crowd reactions early in the show, but it wasn't like they were being disapproving. I just think the show had a mellow vibe. Most of the openers had a style similar to Curren$y; laid-back, weed-friendly music. I think Jet Life has a signature sound the same way that No Limit and Cash Money used to.
JF: I thought that Nesby Phips was a little different. Curren$y's got a nice flow, but I felt Nesby presented himself as more of a lyricist than a rapper. He made me want to check out his work and follow his music in the future.
CC: I agree. Out of the opening acts, I thought Nesby had the standout set - but I think his music still had the same overall feel to it. A lot of their sample-based production sounds like what was coming out of the East Coast in the '90s, with a touch of southern swag.
JF: Fiend caught my attention. He's got a lot of notoriety in the game, and he came through with the most intense performance of the night.
CC: I was looking forward to seeing Fiend live. His voice doesn't have that same 'raspiness' it did in his No Limit days, so I didn't recognize him until he did his trademark "whoomp whoomp" call. His set could have been a little longer, be he tore it up.
JF: Another highlight was the DJ, Bomshell Boogie; I thought she was fresh. I like seeing women DJ, I guess because it's such a male-dominated thing.
CC: Right. I was also glad to see Kyjuan and Murphy Lee in the crowd shaking hands and whatnot. It's always encouraging to see our local celebs involved in the scene. What was your take the headliner?
JF: I actually liked him better live than on his albums. I dig his style, but I felt like he could have given more. Curren$y had the stage presence, but he didn't have crowd control.
CC: As far as I'm concerned, Curren$y delivered. He gave an energetic performance, and his setlist was on point. I thought he did a good job with the crowd - they were louder during his set than they'd been all night. He's got a relatable kind of 'everyman' quality that the crowd really responded to.
JF: Yeah, that's a big part of why he's so popular. He's more like a "regular guy" than a lot of rappers.
CC: For an artist to create the kind of buzz that he has with no radio support is pretty impressive. I'd be willing to bet he'll be filling up much bigger venues his next time around.