It might have been his birthday, or the fact he was performing in the same arena that held his last extravagant toast to himself or even the fact he had even more reason to celebrate than years prior. Just know that on his night, Trae Tha Truth let his icy demeanor slip for a moment of joy.
He's has proven to be hard to contain over the past few years; spilling outside of Houston and now into the ears of a new legion of fans whether it be his new deal with Grand Hustle, his "Trae" cartoon or the newly created "Banned" radio with comedian Tony Rock. Tuesday night, the rapper brought himself and a gang of his industry friends to Houston's House of Blues to celebrate.
Though the crowd was thinner than usual, as the floor began to fill famed DJ Mr. Rogers whipped up their energy by using a mix of everyone from legends like UGK to underground street heroes like Z-Ro as a reminder that we were indeed in H-Town.
Any concert that bats lead off with Boss Hogg member J-Dawg should tell you something. Your emotions will be drained, you'll feel like you have a V12 engine strapped to your back due to his ferocity and thensome. The "First 48" rapper leaves both his heart and his pain behind on the stage after each performance; this night no different. Matter of fact, hearing "First 48" like a gospel parable is moving enough.
As the lights dimmed, the curtains opened to reveal the self-proclaimed "King of the Streets," clad in all white while seated firmly in a throne and flanked by a live band to announce his royal arrival. In his distinctively smooth growl, Trae began to take fans on a journey; paying homage to fallen peers Pimp C and DJ Screw in between standouts like "Still Throwed," "Choppa Talk," and "Yea Hoe."
The guests transitioned smoothly throughout the show. Comedian Lil Duval of MTV's "Guy Code" came out to show off his new grill, courtesy of Houston's own TV Johnny and cracking jokes about Trae's notoriously low grumble who took it all in stride. At least for this night, Lil Duval lived. For this night.
After revealing how Trae had communicated and provided support throughout his incarceration, Mystikal showed his appreciation by doing what he does best, putting on a damn good performance; launching into tracks like "The Man Right Chea," "I Smell Smoke," as well as his universally loved verse on Luda's "Move Bitch."
Fan favorite Big KRIT left the crowd slightly disappointed. No, not because of his performance, but due to how short his set was; the crowd wanted more after he launched into "My Trunk" and "Talkin Bout Nothing" off of his well received ''King Remembered in Time' mixtape. It's no secret how beloved KRIT is in Houston, almost like a young son who grew into a man. He may not officially be from the city but he's damn sure an adopted son.
As Trae returned to the front to inform everyone that he had been told that T.I. missed his flight, the Grand Hustle leader sauntered onto the stage with a large smile. "Y'all lied to me!" Trae roared in shock. Tip went on to proudly announce how his newest member has morphed into family; two self proclaimed Kings turned brothers.
As the Asshole By Nature frontman prepares for a new chapter in his career, which includes his upcoming "Banned" album, he for once could just leave his trademark black Locs at home and simply enjoy being surrounded by those proudest of his accomplishments.
video shot by EZ Access & B Coop