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Review: Hopsin at the Bluebird, 11/25/11

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HOPSIN at THE BLUEBIRD THEATER | 11/25/11


Hopsin is a rowdy young man from Los Angeles who is mad at everyone, from the wife of late rapper Eazy-E to Lupe Fiasco. Some, for good reason, others possibly for shock value. No matter, the crazy-eyed rapper stormed the stage at the Bluebird last night with his crew member Swizz for a wildly disorganized, water drenched evening of solid rap, lukewarm beats and a dropped microphone or two.

After milling about in the crowd for a good half hour or so, Hopsin took the stage with Swizz and began a high energy set for the sixteen and up crowd. Joints like, "How You Like Me Now" with Swizz, the comical and animated "Baby Daddy," which had the crowd screaming the crescendo of "Oh hell no!" and "Kill Her" went over quite well with the medium sized audience.

It was interesting to watch the fandom surrounding both Hopsin and Swizz. Everyone knew the words to his most popular songs and seemed to know when to scream "fuck Ruthless Records," as if on cue. As the evening went on, the two MCs alternated back and forth between Hopsin's music and Swizz's solo tracks. Swizz's voice is unique and moderately high pitched in tone, yet he had solid energy while delivering his verses.

The performance began to come unhinged right around the time of "Pans in the Kitchen." Perhaps it was amateurish loss of stamina (the two definitely remarked at the difference in altitude), but Hopsin and Swizz took to sloppy crowd surfing, laying on the floor of the stage and throwing around so much water, it looked more like an adolescent water gun fight than a rap show.

The obvious highlights were definitely "Illmind of Hopsin 4" where the rapper takes aim at Odd Future as a collective, a movement and as a motherfucking crew. The audience loved every moment of it and were easily in the hands of Swizz and Hopsin before a fight broke out, prompting the two MCs to quell the violence with admonishments of "Cut that shit out!"

Hopsin was funny on several occasions as he made references to his ex girlfriend Heather, who apparently lives in Colorado, before launching into tracks like, "Motherfucker" and "Leave Me Alone." He's rhythmically violent in ways that are reminiscent of Eminem, yet just young enough to not be taken seriously, all the while, wanting to know if he's got the chops to really pull it off. His feature with Tech N9NE ("Am I a Psycho") is a healthy example.

Early in the evening, we made it just in time to check out Gritty, an awful performance set by a trio that consisted of Gritty, a female MC named Yoshi and one hype man. The choreography was totally Tech N9NE biting, yet discombobulated and embarrassing.

Dizzy Wright and his hypeman rapped about wanting the pussy when they want it and how they want it. The duo had good energy, and it was apparently Dizzy's birthday, so they were getting merry like Christmas for the better part of twenty minutes.

One of the top moments in the show, however, goes to Hopsin's DJ, DJ Hoppa, who spun and scratched and DJ tricked his face off and had the crowd begging for more.


CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK

Personal Bias: Am I too old for this? He can flow but there was no rhyme, reason, or cohesion to his set, nor his material, it seems like. By the way: I watched the show with Dyalekt of Diamond Bois and he is going to disagree with most of this assessment. Random Detail: The crowd size was pretty solid for a crowd of younger guys on a Friday night.



Follow Backbeat on Twitter: @westword_music


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