Google+ Q Dot: 3 things I learned week 4: Black Gold Tour

Monday, March 16, 2015

3 things I learned week 4: Black Gold Tour

My apologies my friends but I needed a little time off to regroup. After driving, flying, not sleeping and eating like shit all over the western US I needed to chill. That said, it's given me ample time to reflect on the shows past and what I learned while on the road in LA, Oakland and Tempe.

1. Hollywood is as they say... "Hollywood".

"Hollywood" realization #1: It was a Monday night and the club was packed. The only kind of city that can happen in for an independent somewhat-kind-of known rapper NOT from that city is LA because hardly anyone has a job requiring them to wake up at 5 in the morning.

"Hollywood" realization #2: At the show the audience was made up of (at least I think) mostly other entertainers. They could dance and probably act too and they were really really good. It just made for a unique experience to see people doing choreographed dance routines to your music.

"Hollywood" realization #3: Hollywood fucks up really talented people. I see why when people go there to pursue a career in entertainment they become 'Hollywood'. You have singers that then turn into models, actors and dancers. Dancers turn into rappers, producers, models, actors and strippers. Strippers turn into porn stars and rappers. They have to try and stand out from the other 900,000 or so people there trying to make it doing the same thing so they literally do EVERYTHING hoping something will stick.

2. Oakland is nothing I thought it'd be. It's 100x better.

I'll be honest. I had a lot of preconceived notions about Oakland - most of them revolving around ghost riding whips and hyphyisms. I expected the show to be filled with people still hanging on to the thizz nation movement and turf music where 808s are the melody and slang is so advanced even THEY can't understand it.

I was very very very wrong.

Oakland reminded me a lot of Tacoma. The forgotten little brother city across the way that everyone from everywhere surrounding it tries their hardest to avoid. That has created a community of people, small businesses and places that are cool, artsy, welcoming, friendly, creative as hell and open to anyone who 'gets it'. If you don't, well Oakland doesn't need you or want you anyway.

Moreso than anything this is the most Hip Hop centric town i've been in outside of New York City.
They literally live and breathe what it means to be hip hop and while the turf music is still very popular there it's the hip hop scene and it's super dope MCs that's thriving. I admit it... I love me some Oakland, CA.

3. Arizona will mesmerize you.

75 degrees in late February. A cadillac to whip. Forget the show - AZ is where it's at.

Go peep that Black Gold - and let me know what you think!