About Last Night: Hip-Hop at Mr. Smalls / by Alex Young

 Choo Jackson

Choo Jackson

Energy was good inside a concert theatre, formerly an 18th century Catholic church, known to people in Pittsburgh, Pa. and the national music community as Mr. Smalls Funhouse.

Local artistry, as well as legend, on display at the venue moved Pittsburgh community members to support and attend a May 13 rap show.

The atmosphere became particularly festive when Taylor Gang's own, DJ Motor Mane, one of the hosts of the concert along with DJ Afterthought, played a knocking song by Carnage, "WDYW," featuring studs A$AP Ferg, Lil Uzi Vert, and Rich The Kid. Attendees started to dance in the middle section of the crowd and wallflowers and standstills throughout began to loosen up.

Soon after, Jimmy Wopo, a rapper native to the 'burgh streets, hit the stage energetically. Notably, he rattled off a catchy chant, "woponese, woponese, woponese," he said in his last song before leaving the stage.

 Via rbfaresh Snapchat

Via rbfaresh Snapchat

A surprise party came from Chevy Woods, another Taylor Gang member. He stepped on stage, stunna shades in tact, and slid over top a beat, "I just made a play on ya bitch she in love with my watch, yeah, yeah, ooh."  The lyrics open Chevy's newest song, "Forever," which was released and performed Friday the 13th to celebrate the rapper's birthday.

Fans met thorough enthusiasm when local rock star, Foreverkool Records honcho, and signee to Mac Miller's Remember® music label, Choo Jackson began his set. Gold Miller High Life can in his right hand and microphone in his left hand, Choo split one of his jean pant legs down the seam, and his inner thigh showed on stage. Playing through his catalogue, he encouraged the crowd, "before this next song drops, I need everybody to say 'Hell Fucking Yeah, Nigga!'" Many complied and amidst the yelling, the rapper's new anthem, "Back From Texas," a song about getting head while driving and other important things, rained down. In between songs, Choo engaged with the crowd, "I just want to say happy birthday to RB (owner of Pittsburgh lifestyle clothier farESH Brand)." An audience member chimed in, "put titties in RB's face!" "Titties in RB's face," Choo shouted to everyone.

However, despite the merry-making, female attendees started roaring for the next performer in the lineup, "Hardo, Hardo, Hardo, Hardo," they screamed as Choo finished his last two songs. The girls essentially encored the biggest trap star in Pittsburgh onto the stage, and their hearts skipped a beat when he entered. Hardo and his DJ, Christo, also known as Bounceman, had heads nodding as the rapper narrated his Wilkinsburg, Pa. neighborhood experiences to his hometown comrades.

Hardo's new school, gangster sound appropriately warmed the crowd for the night's headliner, Cam'ron, leader of Dipset, proud representative of Harlem, N.Y., and Rico from the movie Paid In Full. The hip-hop legend performed popular jams like "Down and Out," "Hey Ma," and "Oh Boy." Killa Cam thanked the Pittsburgh crowd on numerous occasions for their era long support. He even let an excited, burly man "rock out" with him on stage.

From the fanfare, to the festivities, it was a pleasure to see youth and old heads intermingle and show appreciation for various styles and genuine forms of hip-hop. It is nice to experience and know the purest forms of popular culture can thrive in Pittsburgh.