Schoolboy Q at Mill City Nights, 4/20/14

Photo by Mark N. Kartarik

Schoolboy Q
with Isaiah Rashad, Vince Staples, and Audio Push
Mill City Nights, Minneapolis
Sunday, April 20, 2014

Schoolboy Q rolled into Minneapolis for two shows on 4/20 for his #OXYMORON tour, bringing excellent openers to round out a blunted night of turnt up hip-hop. This review covers the 7 p.m. show.

See also:
Slideshow: Schoolboy Q wows at Mill City Nights

The night represented a range of West Coast artists, including Audio Push, of "Teach Me How to Jerk" fame (though the song didn't wind up in their setlist). Pricetag came out with a joint lit, encouraged others to light up, and immediately security pulled someone out of the audience. "Smoke your shit on the low though," he said. "Ya'll niggas ain't me." After chiding security slightly about cracking down, he later thanked them for their stage-diving response time. It was a highly energetic set, hindered backing tracks that took something away from the duo's unique vocal presences.
Photos by Mark N. Kartarik
With little time in between, Vince Staples stepped to the stage to "Trunk Rattle", from his latest project Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2.  His low-key menace is best suited to a record you sit with, but he was trying to stretch his voice to fit the room. As a test to see how turnt everyone was, the DJ played "Drop it Like it's Hot" and the crowd's movement intensified as if by science. He made it his personal mission to keep them at that level throughout, and he succeeded thanks to well-written material and a nice handle of the often-times tedious audience participation. After getting their attention by asking the people to join him for the hook "Oh You Scared," he asked the front row to flip off those in the back, and vice versa, and soon it was a venue full of people yelling "Fuck you" several times for the triumphant "Humble." He succeeded in bringing big responses from a crowd that seemed unfamiliar with his work.

There was a bit of a delay afterwards as the DJ set up for Isaiah Rashad's set, who took it upon himself to stall the crowd with some banter and scat beatboxing that eventually led smoothly into his opener "Ronnie Drake." The youngest TDE member brought a tinge of his Southern roots to his Cilvia Demo material, and live his voicing almost has a Tom Waits harmonic roughness. Songs like "Modest" and "Shot You Down" came off huge, and Rashad's laid-back demeanor brought a nuance to a uniquely strong set. Introducing his closer "R.I.P. Kevin Miller" with Master P's original "Weed and Money" as stagehands motioned that he was past his set time, Rashad proved his songs and stage ethic to be in line with the rest of the TDE roster.

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