http://instagram.com/p/kTUVGOFxV9/ – “Sag My Pants”
http://instagram.com/p/kTUyGmlxWV/ – “Ill Mind of Hopsin 5”
http://instagram.com/p/kTNJp1lxeV/ – “Hop Is Back”
Hopsin, the leading artist on independent hip-hop label, Funk Volume, rolled through Chicago on February 11th, 2014. The tour hit the House of Blues and as one of my favorite rappers, I had to make sure I made it to this show. I had my tickets purchased for over 2 months, and couldn’t wait for the day to come. When it did the anticipation grew all morning, as a I blasted Knock Madness in it’s entirety, and especially all throughout the weeks leading up to the show.
My friend and I made it to the House of Blues roughly around 7:30pm. The show was expected to start around 8pm, with random openers of course. After we got a few drinks, and headed to where we wanted to view the show, the show began to start. The opening act was a Chicago hometown rapper named Cadillac Duke. I have heard only one song by him before this night, the remix to Katie Got Bandz hit track “Pop Out”, so I didn’t know what to expect. As he rolled through about 7-8 tracks, such as “Know”, “On That Dro”, etc, he ended with that famous remix of “Pop Out”, and headed off the stage. His set was pretty good, and he was a decent opener.
The sign for the show, as well as the promotional flyers had stated that the show would feature: Hopsin, his DJ, DJ Hoppa, and special guests from Funk Volume. We were all hoping that Dizzy Wright, Jarren Benton, or SwizZz would come out and do a set, but little to no surprise, they didn’t. Once Cadillac Duke had finished, merely 5 minutes later DJ Hoppa came on stage, and introduced Hopsin.
Hopsin is touring off of his new record: Knock Madness. Last time I saw him was in 2011 when he was on his solo tour for his debut album RAW. That show was insane, featuring so much high energy, crazy crowd surfing, and a great set. Going into the show, I knew he would play a bunch of cuts from the new album, and he most certainly did. He opened his set with the leading track from “Knock Madness”, entitled “The Fiends Are Knocking”, opening up the set with a lot of energy and a great track. Once it ended he went right into “Rip Your Heart Out”, without Tech N9ne of course (sadly, but I’ll be seeing him in May for my 22nd time, yes, 22nd), but he spit his verse extremely well, and that track had the crowd going insane.
Leading then right into “Hop Is Back”, the lead single from the new album, Hopsin had the crowd chanting and rapping along (especially to the last verse mentioning Kanye & Kendrick). After this was another new track from Knock Madness, making it 4 straight, with “Jungle Bash”, but SwizZz was nowhere to be found. “I Need Help” was next, making that 5 new tracks, which was by far one of my favorite cuts from the night. His second verse in that song was great to hear live, and he had the crowd jumping the whole song.
Once that track finished, he jumped right into “Nollie Tre Flip” from the new album, another dope track for all of those skateheads out there, which was fun to hear live. I didn’t honestly expect Hopsin to drop 6 straight new cuts from the new album to start off his performance, but I enjoyed it as I personally loved the new album and felt it was a huge improvement from an ever-so-great RAW. After “Nollie Tre Flip” ended, Hop jumped into the crowd and stood on some people’s hands, and proceeded to jump into one of my favorite tracks from RAW, which is “Trampoline”. It was easily one of the best songs of the entire set.
Once he got back on stage, Hopsin proceeded to bring two fans up on stage to perform SwizZz’s verse off of “How You Like Me Now”. Huge ups to the two dudes who killed the verses; they did a great job. Hopsin kept them on stage to perform “Lunch Time Cypher” which was epic and the 2 guys delivered G-Mo & Passionate MC’s verses real well, even Hopsin was impressed. The 2 guys got off, and then Hopsin brought up 2 ladies to the stage to perform “Still Got Love For You”, which was awesome. Once this was finished, Hopsin performed “Bad Manners Freestyle”, “Hot 16’s”, my favorite track “Nocturnal Rainbows”, “Gimme That Money” “Sag My Pants”, and ended the set with “Ill Mind of Hopsin 5”.
Overall, minus the extremely short set, and no guest appearances by other members of Funk Volume like advertised, the show was great and I couldn’t have asked for a better set from Hopsin. I loved the show, and cannot wait until he comes back to Chicago, which is hopefully soon. Though the crowd was small, which is shocking for the House of Blues, Hopsin made sure to get everyone involved, and the big Hopsin stans like myself walked away last night pleased with a great performance.