Ask any Hip-Hop fan what the state of the industry is and you’ll get a reaction similar to the U.S. Presidential Elections. The public usually agrees on one side, but there’s a bureaucratic process working in the background that puts the dumbest people on top.
I look at Hip-Hop like my favorite Mexican food places. If it’s in a good part of town, has a new looking sign and is mainly funded by rich, white men, I don’t trust it. If it came from a hole-in-the-wall on the bad part of town and looks like abuelo behind the counter had to pay off the health inspector, I’m all over it.
The 2019 West Coast High Tour crossed the entire Hip-Hop spectrum and consumed the House of Blues, and like most elections recently, some people were happy and others were pissed the fuck off. The old school styles of Demrick , “X to the Z” – Xzibit, and Cypress Hill were the bread of the rap collective sandwich that had Hollywood Undead meat wedged between them.
Demrick and DJ Hoppa
Stating off the night on the 1’s and 2’s was DJ Hoppa to get the crowd moving with a little mix work before Demrick took the stage in front of him and rocked the crowd. With a good collection of his and Hoppa’s Stoney Pointbeing played, it was perfect relativity for the crowd that came out to smoke and have a good time.
A surprise from Dizzy Wright during Demrick’s stage time set the crowd on fire for “Roll My Weed” off their Blaze With Us mixtape. Followed by a seamless transition to have Xzibit join DJ Hoppa and Demrick to perform tracks from their Serial Killers collective they formed with Cypress Hill’s B-Real. A true treat to the fans that have been keeping up with the newly formed super group.
Xzibit was the hidden gem in this show. Without a U.S. tour in years it was hard to guess how X would perform after years of TV hosting and acting, but I’m here to tell you that the gangster has not left his heart after pimpin' all those rides and setting up shop against Luscious in Empire.
If Xzibit hasn’t been making you move since the 90’s, then you must not have been alive. “Symphony in X Major” and “Paparazzi” can start up an engine with their energy, but if you were standing still during “What’s the Difference Between Me and You”, you’re nothing but a broken piece of machinery.
After X is when the night took a drastic turn knowing that the MySpace kings of Scene Rap, Hollywood Undead, were about to take the stage. I braced myself for something that I was a bit anxious for, but it quickly turned into a fever dream someone would have if they passed out on a West Hollywood grocery store’s loading dock.
Immediately noticeable was the unplugged guitars and mics that somehow made noise through the speakers. The only thing making true sound was the drum set that led these clowns around the stage while they faked guitars, every single high-pitched clean vocal, and eventually the joking skits they played between songs. They didn’t even hide it.
If you wore masks and faked music for your entire career you would think a solid jam would be made for them to act out, but no. These guys somehow obtained fans while talking about 30 year old’s drinking 40’s and how hard Hollywood addict life has been for them since getting a song put on a Madden game.
I couldn’t stand straight after that ear rape. It was hard to even function knowing that people just cheered for trash. These fans are going to have children and there’s nothing we can do about it. We needed a savior, and that saviors name was Dr. Greenthumb.
Starting off Cypress Hill’s set was a special surprise with the man behind the sound of Prophets of Rage, DJ Lord, and LORD does he know the roots! Taking us back all the way to The Sugarhill Gang and up to GangStarr, DJ Lord prepped us for something these Scene Rap kids weren’t ready to come back to the stage, real Hip-Hop.
Cypress Hill have not lost a beat! The hardest working and toughest smoking group in Hip-Hop have blazed stages across the world and up to this moment at House of Blues Las Vegas with full legalization, and they held nothing back.
Toking through the classics like “Hand on the Pump” and “Throw Your Set in the Air” and then into the trio of vato head bangers “Latin Lingo”, “Latin Thugs” and “Tequila Sunrise”, there wasn’t a hip that had a hand on them or an arm folded, just hands in the air waving with the beat or passing a jay to the left-hand side. Cypress even brought out the giant joint for a mix of what seemd ilke every stoner hit with “Roll It/Light It/Smoke It”, “I Wanna Get High”, “Dr. Greenthumb”, and “Hits From the Bong”.
We’re in the A.L. times; After Legalization. The same city that sent Snoop Dog out to State Line after smoking on stage in Vegas now has a state of full legalization where Cypress Hill and all of the smoked out artist can show who they really are.
The year is 2 A.L. We're here to smoke out Vegas, and we're only getting started.
PHOTO CREDIT: All photos ©Courtney Ware - ZRockR Magazine - All Rights Reserved