Saturday, September 22nd, 2012
Hopsin, Swizzz, Dizzy Wright, Jarren Benton
12th and Porter, Nashville, TN
Last year, Hopsin came to a tiny little underground venue here in Nashville. The show was almost entirely Juggalos, with probably less than 50 people in the entire venue, and despite not being a fan of his music at the time, the performance was amazing! So when I saw that Hopsin was returning to Nashville, I was more than eager to grab my ticket and head back to another show. Since the first show, I'd become a lot more familiar with his music, so I was excited to see him as a fan this time.
When I arrived at the venue shortly after 8:00pm, the room was already really crowded, with lots more people hanging around at the bar in the lobby. But I politely made my way through everyone, and ended up one person away from the barricade. As I walked in, I noticed quite a few people wearing hatchetmen, or some other kind of something where I could identify them as Juggalos. But once inside, the majority of people didn't appear to be Juggalos at all. One guy even asked me about my hatchetman necklace and what it meant. It was a little disappointing to see that most of the people there were in polos and boat shoes or something similar, but everyone seemed to be having a great time, and that's what matters. A few minutes after I arrived, my friend Krissi arrived, so we enjoyed the show together.
As the show started, there were no local openers at all, so DJ Hoppa was the first person to take the stage. Shortly after, Jarren Benton arrived and immediately commanded the stage. Everyone was bouncing around and having a great time during his set, and he was really feeding off the crowd. He also spent a lot of time directly at the edge of the stage, which was great.
At one point, he pulled a guy up on stage, saying that he'd met him earlier and the guy wanted to come up and rap with him. Well, the guy that he pulled on stage was named Smitty and was wearing a tucked in pink button up shirt with a white collar, white pants and black dress shoes.
The guy looked like he'd walked straight out of a Vanderbilt freshman orientation! It just got worse from there, as the crowd egged him on to attempt to rap with Jarren, and encouraged him when he "busted" the most awkward "moves" I've seen. Really, I was embarassed for him. He even stayed onstage for a second song, which he didn't know any of the words to. So he just gyrated around in his little zone and made some funny faces, while basically everyone watched him way more than they were watching Jarren!
Smitty untucks his shirt with a "devil may care" abandon!
If I didn't know any better, I'd think "Walk It Out" was playing
When he was done, there was almost no downtime before Dizzy Wright took the stage.
At first, he was kind of laid back and not moving around much, but as he got further into his set, he started performing with a lot more energy.
Toward the end, he did one song where he brought out Swizzz and Hopsin to join him for a couple of verses. Everyone went crazy when they were all on stage together, and it was a really great ending to his set. Really, that would have been a great song to end the whole show with, but it was nice where it was as well.
As Dizzy left the stage, DJ Hoppa took over and spun for a while, then it was time for the main event. When Hopsin took the stage, it was such an incredibly different vibe from last year! Last year he was met with a sea of "whoop whoops" but this year there wasn't a single one! :-( Too bad that the crowd wasn't what I expected, but y'know, it was still a great show, and the crowd was fun regardless. Hopsin always brings his A game, so it was no surprise that he was energetic and intense from the first second he came onstage. Swizzz didn't immediately come onstage with him, instead coming out after the first five or six songs.
He made his way through a bunch of his best songs, like Pans in the Kitchen, I'm Not Introducing You, How You Like Me Now and Sag My Pants. Baby's Daddy is one of my favorites, and it was really fun to hear it in person, and hear the crowd sing along. The crowd really seemed to get into Trampoline, which was very fun! And of course, Kill Her was one of his most intense songs. He really seemed like a genuinely pissed off man, and his eyes were wild with anger as he sang it! It was awesome!
At one point, Hopsin pulled three guys out of the audience and asked them to spit 16 lines to one of his beats. All three were pretty good, but the guy who won was great...too bad I didn't catch his name. It was something with "sega" in it. At one point, he also asked if anyone knew all the words to Ill Mind of Hopsin 5. He eventually found someone who was almost as clean cut and conservative looking as Smitty had been, but the dude knew almost every word! As Hopsin sang, the guy was singing the end of the lines with him, and it was pretty impressive that he knew everything! As the show ended, Hopsin left, and despite a pretty hearty demand for an encore, the house lights came on and everyone started to leave.
As we started to clear out, Swizzz popped out from behind the stage and started to greet people. He seems like a genuinely nice guy, and was happy to sign everyone's stuff and take as many pictures as people wanted. As we all made our way out of the venue, we spotted Dizzy hanging around and greeting, so Krissi and I got photos with him as well.
A friend of mine showed up to this show having never listened to any of Hopsin's music, much like I showed up to his show last year. And just like I did, he ended up leaving the show as a new fan! Hopsin really is a rare breed in the game in that he will straight up tell it like it is, and not even attempt to be polite or eloquent with the way that he bashes people. He'll call you a filthy whore, or tell you to suck his dick through a glory hole, and have no qualms about it at all! And the fire that wells up in him during his live shows is so ferociously intense that you can't help but respect the art that he creates. Here's hoping that he can make it back to town sooner than later so I can catch another one of his shows!