With some parts of the city still recovering from a snowstorm, St. Louis definitely stepped it up and came out to The Gramophone to welcome rapper Freddie Gibbs to town. Representative of the Gary, Indiana blue-collar work ethos from which he grew up in, Freddie arrived on stage ready to get down to business, launching straight into his set.
Watching him perform, I was probably most struck by his straight-forward/serious tone of delivery, calling forth the unsavory side of gangster rap. This wasn’t about parties or making millions, but more of just trying to scrap enough cash to survive and stay alive in the struggle. His verses and content weren’t pretty, but at the same time, they rung with authenticity from a man who you didn’t doubt knew very well about the life he was rapping about.
-There were TONS of openers this evening, so I’m going to break this into two posts, with the next post focused solely on the local performers.
-One of the goals I had in mind when I first started this website was to use it to try and go to concerts that I normally wouldn’t have tried out. So I’m proud to say that I’ve now attended my first (and hopefully not last) rap/hip-hop show and can check that off the list. My rookie nature was completely evident as I failed two handshakes from rappers in attendance.
-This was also the first time I’ve been to The Gramophone, which has a really nice feel to it. But from a photography-perspective it was definitely rough during Gibbs’ set, with the heavy use of dim green and red lighting. Thankfully, I brought along my Sigma 30mm F1.4 lens to try and squeeze out every ounce of light that I could. People were definitely breaking out the flash photography, but I guess at this point I’ve settled on trying to not use it and make use of whatever light is there.
-OLD MAN RANT: By the time all of the local performers finished, it was just shy of midnight, which was already late enough for me (considering I had to get up for work the next day). That would have been fine if Gibbs headed on stage promptly after that, but instead three more opening acts from Gibbs’ crew (Living Room Productions, Hit Skrewface & D-Edge, with some pictures above) proceeded to perform. I felt pretty bad for the three groups, being put in front of a crowd that was definitely getting restless waiting for Gibbs (who finally went on stage around 1:15 AM). And even though a lot of people stayed until his set, but it definitely wasn’t as packed as it had been earlier, so I’m presuming some just gave up and left. I don’t know if such a late show was intended, whether there were too many local headliners booked, or whether this was just normal for a rap show, but the old man side of me was definitely wishing for an earlier start time.