Chevy Woods

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.

 

Strip District Music Fest Preview by Alex Young

Illustration by  Red Buffalo Illustration

Illustration by Red Buffalo Illustration

In Pittsburgh, Pa., it is not only football season, as the Steelers work their way to a seventh Super Bowl victory in the NFL playoffs this Sunday, but also festival season.

Tomorrow, Jan. 16, 2016, Pittsburgh's Strip District will host the second annual Strip District Music Fest, a one-day music festival showcasing rock, indie, electronic/dance, and hip-hop music from local artists.

The festival's first year, 2015, saw 9,000 attendees flood Strip District coffee shops, galleries, restaurants, clubs, and bars, shattering Josh Bakaitus', Vice President of Drusky Entertainment and creator of the festival, estimation of 1,500 to 2,000 people showing up to view 78 bands in 10 venues.

In year two, presented by Pittsburgh City Paper and Pabst Blue Ribbon, the Strip District Music Fest will feature 170 artists in 21 venues, like Lidia's Pittsburgh, 21st Street Coffee, The BeerHive, Thin Man Sandwich Shop, and Altar Bar.

At Enrico Biscotti Warehouse, folk, metal, and punk rock fans will be pleased to listen to bands such as Tabula Rasa and Creta Bouriza.

Appealing to hip-hop aficionados, the Altar Bar offers an outdoor stage, sponsored by Pittsburgh streetwear clothier Daily Bread and Wiz Khalifa's Taylor Gang label, dedicated to The Burgh's upcoming and established hip-hop talents. 

Artists like DJ Afterthought, producer and Choo Jackson's DJ, and Chevy Woods, a T.G.O.D. affiliate, headline a group of youthful rappers and other DJs. Festival goers will listen to Joel Kellem, aka Chill God, lyricist and crooner Tairey, new T.G.O.D. representatives Knuccleheadz, as well as others. The bill for the Daily Bread/Taylor Gang Beats Stage at Altar Bar is featured below.

The Strip District Music Fest was originally created as a way to draw people out of their homes in the middle of winter. Now, the festival is the event to discover and appreciate Pittsburgh's best and eclectic musical acts set in one of the city's most historic cultural sectors.

Festivities begin at 12 pm snow or shine, and admission is free, although donations can be made to the individual artists participating here.

Altar Bar

1620 Penn Ave

Pittsburgh, PA 15222


DJ AFTERTHOUGHT (4:00-5:00)


JOEL KELLEM (5:00-5:20)


DEVIN MILES (5:25-5:45)


DJ AFTERTHOUGHT (5:45-6:15)


B. MATTIE (6:15-6:45)


DJ BAMBOO (6:45-7:00)


BEEDIE (7:00-7:30)


DJ BAMBOO (7:30-7:40)


TAIREY (7:45-8:10)


DJ SPILLZ (8:10-8:50)


JKJ (8:50-9:20)


PALERMO STONE (9:20-9:50)


DJ SPILLZ (9:50-10:00)


MOTOR MANE (10:00-10:10)

KNUCCLEHEADZ (10:10-10:20)

BEEFER AND KNOCKOUT (10:20-10:30)
                                                                                                                                                 
KH (10:30-10:40)


CHEVY WOODS (10:40-11:00)