On Friday, April 19, The Mid resembled less of a club and more of a house party when Marty Party came through for the latest installment of Trap To The Future. This wasn't your standard, dress shoes, dress shirt, dress to impress type deal the Mid is more commonly known for.. oh no. The normal, strictly enforced dress code was ignored as all kinds of party people came out, to ball out, on the eve of 4/20.
The evening began with DJ's PHNM and Godfather setting the tone for a night chalked full of trap music, before DJ Grandtheft took the decks and turned it up a notch. It was Grandtheft's first time playing in Chicago, and he didn't disappoint - playing trap anthems for about an hour, priming the crowd for the night's headliner Marty Party.
Taking the stage promptly at 1:30, Marty Party wouldn't leave the stage till the lights were turned on and the doormen started pushing people out the door (circa 4). Flashing lights and lasers filled the room as CO2 tanks were unleashed on the crowd. And if you managed to catch your breath, it was sucked back out of you as oversized balls were thrown into the crowd - coming at you like you were the last normal sized person in a game of dodgeball with giants (the balls were big, okay). Highlights from his 2 1/2 hour set included "Pillz (Bitch I Might Be)," "Pour It Up," "Do A Trick," "Throw Some D's," "Higher Ground," and, a song I haven't heard in a minute, "What You Gon' Do."
There's no doubt Marty Party isn't just a producer, but one hell of a party thrower. Chicago can look forward to seeing him again in June, as Panty Raid comes to Soldier Field for Spring Awakening. And with the new Panty Raid album Pillow Talk dropping on May 28, it appears fans of Marty Party have a lot to be excited about in the coming months.
Last week araabMUZIK(one of my favs) came through Chicago for his Professional Use Only Tour at The Mid with React Presents. Check out the footage I filmed and edited for a nice recap of the night — he kills it on the MPC!
I've never seen a line for ANY show like that outside the Mid, Friday night. Circling around the block, some waited well over an hour to get in on the madness awaiting inside. And as they would find, it was well worth the wait. RL Grime took the stage about 1 to a sold out crowd, ready for anything.
From Missy Elliot to Kendrick, the trap-star dropped banger after banger as the crowd juked and jumped amongst strobe lights and CO2 cannons. In addition to the several Flosstradamus songs featured throughout his set (which had the crowd a little extra turnt up) RL Grime also played many of his own personal productions (including my favorite, "Flood"). Of course, we heard Grime's collab with Salva on the remix to Kanye's "Mercy," and were even lucky enough to have heard some tracks yet to be released.
As far as dancing in the trenches goes, you can't beat the Mid. It can get steamy, bumpy, and damn near aggressive on the dance floor, but that's what everybody's there for. You don't wear your Jordan's - you just raise your bows and go with the flow. RL Grime had Chicago in a trance, and we can't wait to have him back.
We're giving away two pairs of tickets to see RL Grime this Friday at the Mid... And winning is easy! Just sign up for our newsletter and reply "I WANT TO SEE RL GRIME!" with your twitter handle for your chance to win. Winners will be announced on our twitter @gowherehiphop this Thursday. Good Luck!
The sound of lyrical rap accompanied by a live band mimicked the fog streaming through the audience. Talib Kweli’s lyrics reverberated within the walls of The Mid and the flashing lights of the stage only exacerbated the enthusiasm of the crowd. The performance began around 1:30a.m. Saturday morning and Kweli was welcomed by the screams of the hundreds of adoring fans that filled the double floor club. The most difficult task was working through a shoulder to shoulder crowd and getting close enough to see Kweli.
Despite Kweli’s strong start, it was not until his three minute a capella that he managed to capture the audience’s full attention. After Kweli’s a capella performance, his lyrics, the live band, and the crowd melded into a synergetic atmosphere. Continuing with songs like “Get ‘Em High” and “Get By” Kweli effortlessly built up the energy. The live band was another highlight; especially the very talented trumpet player whose spirited jazz and Chicago blues inspired style stood out and brought the music to another level (a couple of Kweli's band members were from Chicago).
At the end of the set, the audience was screaming for more and as people started to leave Kweli decided to come on again for an encore. By this time the path to the front and the crowd cleared up a bit, giving the performance a level of intimacy. Ending with songs like “Lonely People”, a sweaty Kweli left the stage to the sound of a roaring crowd.
Chicago got a post-Thanksgiving treat on Friday--and I'm not talking about Spring's drunken return, either. No, sir! That's another conversation for another day.
The treat I'm referring to is Ms. Lo Down Loretta Brown, a.k.a. Erykah Badu, who made an appearance at The Mid this past Friday and broke it down on the one's and two's. As a matter of fact, there were technically difficulties which permitted her from using one of the turnstyles. So she was literally jamming on the ONE!
Even better was Common who brought his delicious self there. His presence is always appreciated.
Unfortunately, her DJ-ing set was nothing more than a treat instead of the full Badoula-apple pie with vanilla icecream I think most of the crowd was anticipating. I mean, I knew she was only going to be DJ-ing, so all I expected was a 1-2 hour set and sweat coming out of my boots.
The crowd on the other hand didn't get that memo, which is fine, if you're a true Badu-ist. But if not, it may have posed some problems. Especially since some folks waited to purchase tickets at the door which skyrocketed from $15 to $40 depending on when you got to the club and on top of that everyone and their momma was there. One girl asked me when if she was going to be performing stuff from her new album--but when I told her she was just going to be DJ-ing she yelled "THAT AIN'T WHAT I PAID $30 FOR!!" and stormed out, before Ms. Badu even stepped foot onstage.
Then it hit me, people didn't come here to see her bob her head and scracth vinyl. They wanted her to get up there and make them call Tyrone! Not to say her fans didn't appreciate what she did come to Chicago to do--her mixes were great! At one point she gave us a "history lesson" where she played songs from 70s, and the older mature folks went nuts. Even better was when she had a neo-soul session where she went from Biggie to Bilal and it was oh so smooth! I definately can't knock her skills, she did her thang!
However, that's not what the crowd expected that night. Hell, the crowd was facing Badu the entire time and didn't move around, mix or mingle, try & holla' for a dolla', nothing. And even then, she didn't get onstage until 1:30AM!
As much as I wanted people to get the hint that Friday night wasn't a concert, her fans just weren't having it, at least that aspect. And I'm not gon' lie, my foot pain almost took precedence over Ms. Badu considering I was there at 10PM so I could get a good spot in the crowd despite my warning from Tibs.
I guess it boils down to how big of a Badu-ist you are. If you love Badu, then you would have loved the set. If not, then....yeah. Don't bother even trying to pretend because you're just gonna piss yourself off. And I'm almost certain Ms. Badu would appreciate it if you didn't ruin the vibe.