- Fat Trel and Black Cobain played U Street Music Hall last night. (photo courtesy of the Board Administration)
The Board Administration, the D.C.-based label that counts rapper Wale as one if its principals, took over U Street Music Hall last night. For the imprint's new artists—rappers Black Cobain, Fat Trel, Mz. Sasha and singer Tiara Thomas—it was a coming out party of sorts, and for the established acts that are affiliated with the venture—go-go band UCB, in particular—the event was more of a homecoming. Tre, singer for UCB, said the band has been so busy touring and recording that, before last night, it had been almost two years since the group had played an official D.C. show (save for a couple of 9:30 club dates serving as Wale's backing band). The members must have really missed playing for a hometown crowd, because they gave an incredible set that built anticipation for the group's upcoming mixtape, The Blend.
A few other highlights/observations from last night's show:
After spending an evening listening to Board Administration artists, I'm convinced that: the Board is like a D.C. version of Young Money (but with fewer tattoos).
Mz Sasha, female MC and "first lady of the Board" got the crowd of hip-hop and go-go heads to fist pump, meaning the Jersey Shore-ification of America is complete.
Tiara Thomas, the only Board member from outside of the DMV (she's from Indianapolis), sang and played guitar, doing acoustic versions of the Drake/Timbaland track "Say Something," which worked well, and Young Money's "Bed Rock," which worked shockingly well. While Lil Wayne lyrics + electric guitar equals this crap, Lil Wayne lyrics + acoustic guitar are a revelation.
In between recognizing various production crews and artists in the building, the DJ gave shouts to the Washington Post, Washington City Paper, and... TBD.com. TBD's first DJ shout-out?
Swag swagger: More stuff was given out at this Scion-sponsored event than at any hip-hop show I've been to in the last ten years: various t-shirts, tote bags, tiny footballs, and lots of other little trinkets.
When Black Cobain hit the stage, he greeted the crowd with: a smile, and "Pin Drop," the first track from his debut project, "Now."
Stand-out Cobain track: "Air Force"
Cobain's obligatory VA shout-out: "I'm from VA, 703, and I don't think 703 ever seen a nigga like me."
Number of people on stage with Cobain during his set: 0
Cobain dedicates his last track to: his label, the Board Administration.
When Fat Trel hit the stage, he greeted the crowd with a middle finger, and the title track from his debut project, "No Secrets."
Stand-out Trel track: "Deep Thoughts"
Trel's obligatory Southeast shout-out: "Who know about Benning Road, Southeast?"
Number of people on stage with Trel during his set: 7
Trel dedicates his last track to: his pill man
When UCB comes out, lead singer Tre says the new UCB mixtape, The Blend, is coming October 26
New song from aforementioned mixtape that killed: "Diana," feat. Wale and Colin Munroe.
When Wale emerges, he announces that: "This ain't a Wale show, we wanna do some real go-go shit. We got the 9:30 club crowd in here, but we got the Black Hole in here, too," he said of the mix of hip-hop and go-go heads in attendance.
Real go-go shit that was performed: "VSOP" and new track, "Diana."
Rap that was transformed into real go-go shit: UCB backed Wale on his verse from Waka Flocka's "No Hands," and absolutely murdered the track (the live horns were an especially nice touch).