Raleigh NC – King No Crown Tour Recap

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I’ve always had a good vibe about Raleigh, NC.  Part of it has had to do with the fact that when Illogic and I played a show in Chapel Hill in the summer of 2013 in front of about 10 people (summer shows in college towns are usually a bad idea), the entire crowd had driven in from Raleigh.  Seriously, not a single person from our show was from the city we played in.  Another part of my love for Raleigh comes from the fact that, even though we had a pretty bad show that night, I met a few really awesome people from the Raleigh scene that I continue to keep in touch with.

After our bad Chapel Hill show in 2013, we had an off day in Raleigh. That night I stopped by an open mic and performed a couple of songs.  The crowd absolutely loved it and I made some new fans.  Then after the open mic, my guy Cesar Comanche took me to the Sunday Cypher at NC State. It’s basically a huge cypher of MCs just freestyling in this small little tunnel on the college’s campus.  I stayed and observed, then shared a short rhyme at the end. Almost nobody there knew who I was, which made it a really pure experience.  It took me back to back when I first started developing my style; going to open mics, freestyle cyphers, and battling.  We all went to grab some food after the cypher to wrap up what was a great off day in Raleigh.

I say all that just to reiterate the fact that I’ve got a lot of love for Raleigh, North Carolina.

My first headlining show there in 2014 was small, but the energy was really dope. Dope enough to where I new we had something strong to build on and should keep coming back as often as possible.

I’m glad we did, because the King No Crown show in Raleigh was the best show of the tour so far. The line-up was super dope.  Cesar Comanche, K-Hill, and Defacto all put on great opening sets.  The crowd showed up early and watched every single performer play. The host, Tucson, was actually a fan of the artists playing so he kept the crowd engaged and knew how to introduce each artist properly.  Even better, he is a dope MC himself, which made his stage presence even more commanding.  Every single performer had a great set and energy in the room was great.

The soundman Jack was, by far, one of the most entertaining soundmen I’ve ever met. When we walked in for load-in he told me point black that he was a bit annoyed by the video shoot they had just finished in the club.  He said that his dad’s name was Al too. Then he told me that he was hammered from drinking at the video shoot all day; which I could tell anyways.  But despite being drunk as hell, Jack was a great soundman.  He complimented us on our professionalism and checked in on us to make sure things were cool all night. I’ve never seen anybody that drunk be that good at sound.  Jack was basically the Ol Dirty Bastard of sound; a drunken virtuoso. It was amazing to watch and a pleasure to work with him.

There were several people who drove into the Raleigh show from up to an hour and a half away.  That’s always good to see.

Supastition put on an epic set. With him being an hour from his hometown, the people were rocking with him, singing the words to all of his songs.  It was the perfect setup for me to close out the night.

Personally, I felt as though the level of the performances before me allowed me to have one of the best performances of the tour.  The strap on my keyboard even broke during one of my solos and I still kept rocking that shit.

Considering it was a Sunday of Memorial day weekend, a day that can either be feast or famine for throwing shows, our turnout was strong.  One of the coolest things about this show was that 90% of my fans in the room weren’t at my first show there and had never seen me play before.  It gave me a great sense of validation about my desire to tour more and how people are spreading the word about my music to their friends.

People bought more merchandise from me in Raleigh than in any of the previous shows on the tour.

Two years after not even being able to get a show in Raleigh (and having to play Chapel Hill during the summer), we were had a great show there.  I can’t say enough positive things about that city.  Thanks to everybody that made it out.

I can’t wait to go back.

Word is Blog.

Harrisburg PA – King No Crown Tour Recap

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Physically, we were at a bit of a disadvantage going into the harrisburg show because the drive to Harrisburg from Evansville, Indiana was about 11 hours. And once you took in the time change and stops for gas we were looking at a 13 hour drive, which was the longest of the tour. This meant that after the show in Evansville ended around 2am, we immediately started driving to Harrisburg.  I did about 2-3 hours of driving that night before pulling over for an hour or so of sleep, then woke back up around 6 am to continue the drive.  It was rough, especially for just the second day of tour, but me and DJ Rare Groove switched out the driving as we normally do to get the long drives done.

We got to harrisburg around 5:30pm thinking doors were at 9pm and we didn’t have to be at the venue until 7pm.  Fortunately, I double-checked the schedule and saw that doors were actually at 8pm and we needed to be there at 6pm.  All of us rushed to get cleaned up, dressed, and out the door as fast as possible.

Last night was our second time in Harrisburg PA, a city that I don’t think many artists bring their tours.  That’s unfortunate because the vibe of the people in Harrisburg is pretty dope.  The city itself has an industrial feel to it that’s very reminiscent of Pittsburgh, but honestly a lot of cities in Pennsylvania have that similar vibe to them.  Cities that you know at one point had an economy that was totally reliant on manufacturing, but have since moved on, leaving some wild looking factories and manufacturing buildings all over the place.  The people here remind me of Ohioans.  There’s just a really blue collar feel, and way of communicating with each other that I really dig.

The sound man at the venue was kind of styling on us last night.  I could probably write two or three paragraphs of all the funny interactions and slick things he said to me and some of the other performers last night, but everybody there had a funny quote from him. From telling me to use a separate mic for my horn (and me politely saying no thank you), to telling us that mixers go bad on tour and our mixer had to be the cause of the static in his system, to telling Kam his was “cupping the ball” of his mic–the man was on a roll. And his nick name was “Chilli” which means he wins automatically.  Years of touring has taught us that arguing with soundmen is always a losing scenario, so we worked with him as much as we could.  But make no mistake–we knew that ultimately you can’t tell a soundman shit.  They are all experts and never wrong.

The artist that brought us out, Windchill, had a great set. He always kills it. Some mic feedback problems interrupted a small portion of it.  I was glad he said something because I sure as hell wasn’t about to say anything else to Chilli about it.

Supastition got up and killed it.  His energy was off the chain, but I’m not sure he will have a voice if he does that every night for a week straight, let alone for 60+ nights.  We chopped it up about that today.  There’s a pace that you have to rock on tour that’s completely different than what you would do at a one-off show because you need to make sure you don’t lose your voice and have something left for the entire tour.  It’s not hard to do, but it does take some practice. From what I’ve experienced, the first week of tour is the most dangerous, so you’ve gotta be careful.  I think he will be just fine with a couple of minor adjustments.

Me and Rare Groove made a gang of mistakes during our set on the first night of the tour, but most of those got fixed in Harrisburg.  But as things usually go during the first week, there were also new mistakes being made.  Small things nobody in the crowd noticed, but things we always try to perfect. It’s always like that, but when you’re doing 60+ shows you don’t really let it get to you.  Plus the crowd was really rocking with us last night, which always helps.  There was a great vibe in the room during our set. It was great to see some people knowing the words to certain songs on King No Crown already.

I sold lots of merchandise last night. Definitely the most I’ve ever sold here.  It cause there to be a decent line for me to get people their stuff, but almost everybody was understanding and patient.

There was one guy who stole two of my CDs because he wasn’t patient enough for me to get my credit card reader working.  The line was backed up for people buying merch so it seemed pointless to go find him and ask for my money.  I saw him walk off and just said fuck it.  Plus it’s always weird when somebody steals your music or t-shirts like that.  I swear it happens once every tour. They like my music enough to want it, but don’t respect me enough to pay for it. Weird shit.

Another guy came up at the very end, after the place was almost empty, and I couldn’t tell if he was trying to compliment me or insult me. But he was moving around real nervously like he was high.  I was confused by the whole interaction. He was basically telling me since I wasn’t commercial I didn’t matter, then would tell me that I was dope and he would introduce me to his “famous” rapper friends.  In response, I told him that I had no desire to make mainstream music and was already successful. I don’t know if it was because he was high or drunk, but he seemed very confused by this.  And his nervous movement made it look like he was on the verge of swinging on me for what I said. Real confusing stuff. But nothing that would ever impact my feelings on playing in Harrisburg.  Maybe I just expect that stuff every now and then so it doesn’t really bother me.

All in all it was a great night, especially for us driving 13 hours and only having two hours of sleep.

Anyways, that’s it for this recap.  We’re off to DC tonight for a show at Heaven and Hell.  I have never actually headlined a show in DC, so I don’t know what to expect.  I’m hoping it goes well.  Come check me out if you’re in the area.

Word is blog.

p.s. Here are the remaining tour dates.  We’ve added about 4-5 more that we will be adding as well.

5/23 – Washington, DC – Heaven & Hell | http://on.fb.me/1Iq1rN4
5/24 – Raleigh, NC @ The Pour House | http://on.fb.me/1N4v0qd
5/25 – Charlotte, NC @ Snug Harbor |http://on.fb.me/1FT8QVD
5/27 – Nashville, TN @ The Stone Fox |http://on.fb.me/1bqhNun
5/28 – Knoxville, TN @ Long Branch |http://on.fb.me/1Cm4Lb6
5/29 – Boone, NC @ The Local |http://on.fb.me/1Hz8e9A
5/30 – Asheville, NC @ Timo’s House |http://on.fb.me/1BoSOg2
5/31 – Columbia, SC @ Back Alley |http://on.fb.me/1HwsJjO
6/01 – Atlanta, GA @ 529 |http://on.fb.me/1y11j0r
6/03 – Gainesville, FL @ The Backyard | http://on.fb.me/1Bgj7Gc
6/04 – Orlando, FL @ The Social |http://on.fb.me/1ENf2gb
6/05 – Jacksonville, FL @ Rain Dogs |http://on.fb.me/1bqinrV
6/06 – Fort Myers Beach, FL @ Nervous Nellie’s | http://on.fb.me/1BKHzP1
6/07 – Dunedin, FL @ The Dunedin Brewery (FREE SHOW) |http://on.fb.me/1FzPxSw
6/10 – New Orleans, LA Hi-Ho Lounge
6/12 – Austin, TX @ Flamingo Cantina |http://on.fb.me/1bqisMh
6/13 – San Antonio, TX @ Fitzgerald’s | http://on.fb.me/1BoT2Uw
6/14 – Fort Worth, TX @ Lola’s |http://on.fb.me/1BoT3Yp
6/17 – Albuquerque, NM @ Burt’s Tiki Lounge | http://on.fb.me/1C7w3Rf
6/18 – Santa Fe, NM @ The Underground at Evangelo’s |http://on.fb.me/1HzafCF
6/19 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Flux Capacitor |http://on.fb.me/19hqZ2z
6/20 – Denver, CO @ Moe’s | http://on.fb.me/1bqiDqQ
6/21 – Grand Junction, CO @ Mesa Theater |http://on.fb.me/1xev2YB
6/22 – Cortez, CO @ Blondies
6/24 – Los Angeles, CA @ Dragonfly | http://on.fb.me/1K6RrZU
6/26 – Reno, NV @ Holland Project | http://on.fb.me/1DQmgzU
6/27 – Santa Cruz, CA @ Blue Lagoon | http://on.fb.me/1bxL8TO
6/28 – San Francisco, CA @ Honey Hive | http://on.fb.me/1OIRLis
6/29 – Lake Tahoe, CA @ Whiskey Dick’s | http://on.fb.me/1DQmCqj
7/01 – Eugene, OR @ Lucky’s | http://on.fb.me/1aTBKsz
7/02 – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Lounge | http://on.fb.me/1d2qeNg
7/03 – Juneau, Ak @ Rendevous Bar | http://on.fb.me/1Plsuge
7/04 – Sitka, Ak @ Bayview Restaurant & Bar | http://on.fb.me/1HuFRZ4
7/05 – Seattle, WA @ Nectar | http://on.fb.me/1G9bGT1
7/07 – Boise, ID @ Shredder | http://on.fb.me/1JeDcVm
7/08 – Idaho Falls, ID @ Sickhouse | http://on.fb.me/1GkcZBb
7/09 – Missoula, MT @ The Real Lounge | http://on.fb.me/1yUz21H
7/10 – Great Falls, MT @ Machinery Row | http://on.fb.me/1EgwQl7
7/11 – Minot, ND @ Souris River Brewery | http://on.fb.me/1Ga6v5b
7/14 – Duluth, MN @ Red Herrig Lounge | http://on.fb.me/1byxeko
7/15 – Sioux Falls, SD @ Billy Frogs | http://on.fb.me/1DDYYKu
7/16 – Lincoln, NE @ Bourbon Theatre | http://on.fb.me/1GlFUYg
7/17 – Minneapolis, MN @ Icehouse | http://on.fb.me/1K7WB87
7/20 – Kansas City, MO @ Riot Room | http://on.fb.me/1bl7gAd
7/23 – Osh Kosh, WI @ Reptile Palace | http://on.fb.me/1Ga7eDm
7/24 – Traverse City, MI @ The Hollow | http://on.fb.me/1Jg44o3
7/28 – Manchester, NH @ The Shaskeen | http://on.fb.me/1DlSSiJ
7/29 – Portland, ME @ Asylum | http://on.fb.me/1d3wLaw
7/30 – Boston, MA @ Middle East Upstairs | http://on.fb.me/1QmZ8j9
7/31 – Buffalo, NY @ Studio at The Waiting Room | http://on.fb.me/1Dg8F1c

Pick up “King No Crown” here: http://bit.ly/1w6N4eK

Experiments in Podcasting

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The past month or so I’ve been developing some podcasting ideas behind the scenes. I’ve always been a fan of podcasts, but because I listen to so many, it’s important for me to really develop my ideas fully.  The last thing I wanna do is start a podcast that either sucks and has to stop, or one that’s good but too difficult for me to do with regularity.  A lot of my current experiments in podcasting deal with the technical side of it: Continue reading

East Coast, West Coast, and Midwest Tour Dates Added to King No Crown Tour

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Is your city on the list? The “King No Crown” tour starts on May 21st and has now added East Coast, West Coast, & Northwest dates:

5/21 – Evansville, IN @ PG | http://on.fb.me/1xetA8x
5/22 – Harrisburg, PA @ Appalachian Brewing Co | http://on.fb.me/1HwouVk
5/23 – Washington, DC – Heaven & Hell | http://on.fb.me/1Iq1rN4
5/24 – Raleigh, NC @ The Pour House | http://on.fb.me/1N4v0qd
5/25 – Charlotte, NC @ Snug Harbor | http://on.fb.me/1FT8QVD
5/27 – Nashville, TN @ The Stone Fox | http://on.fb.me/1bqhNun
5/28 – Knoxville, TN @ Long Branch | http://on.fb.me/1Cm4Lb6
5/29 – Boone, NC @ The Local | http://on.fb.me/1Hz8e9A
5/30 – Asheville, NC @ Timo’s House | http://on.fb.me/1BoSOg2
5/31 – Columbia, SC @ Back Alley | http://on.fb.me/1HwsJjO
6/01 – Atlanta, GA @ 529 | http://on.fb.me/1y11j0r
6/03 – Gainesville, FL @ The Backyard | http://on.fb.me/1Bgj7Gc
6/04 – Orlando, FL @ The Social | http://on.fb.me/1ENf2gb
6/05 – Jacksonville, FL @ Rain Dogs | http://on.fb.me/1bqinrV
6/06 – Fort Myers Beach, FL @ Nervous Nellie’s | http://on.fb.me/1BKHzP1
6/07 – Dunedin, FL @ The Dunedin Brewery (FREE SHOW) | http://on.fb.me/1FzPxSw
6/12 – Austin, TX @ Flamingo Cantina | http://on.fb.me/1bqisMh
6/13 – San Antonio, TX @ Fitzgerald’s | http://on.fb.me/1BoT2Uw
6/14 – Fort Worth, TX @ Lola’s | http://on.fb.me/1BoT3Yp
6/17 – Albuquerque, NM @ Burt’s Tiki Lounge | http://on.fb.me/1C7w3Rf
6/18 – Santa Fe, NM @ The Underground at Evangelo’s | http://on.fb.me/1HzafCF
6/19 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Flux Capacitor | http://on.fb.me/19hqZ2z
6/20 – Denver, CO @ Moe’s | http://on.fb.me/1bqiDqQ
6/21 – Grand Junction, CO @ Mesa Theater | http://on.fb.me/1xev2YB Continue reading

Rappers Are in Danger: Addressing Safety in Hip-Hop

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woke up this morning to see a video in my youtube feed about the rapper Plies getting slammed off the stage at a show.  During an on-stage confrontation, a guy grabbed him by the waist and slammed him off the six-foot stage and onto the floor.  This happened in front of hundreds (maybe thousands) of people.  We tend to laugh when it’s a commercial artist like Plies, but even well-respected artists aren’t exempt. Continue reading

What A Night: Chapter 7 – Kalamazoo, MI

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What A Night
Chapter 7: Kalamazoo, MI

Between 2003 and 2005, Kalamazoo, Michigan became one of the most supportive cities of my music. It all started when Western Michigan University’s student-operated radio station, WIDR FM, began putting the Soul Position Unlimited EP and my production album The Weight Room in regular rotation.  Unlike most college radio stations—whose programming is directed entirely at the student-body—WIDR’s show programming and events calendar garnered the support of the entire community and the surrounding area. Continue reading

What A Night: Chapter 10 – Seattle, WA

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Chapter 10 – Seattle, WA

In 2006, I began working on my sophomore album, Adventures in Counter-Culture. From the beginning, my goal was to make the most ambitious album possible.  I wanted it to defy genres, summarizing everything I had ever learned about music into this one album.  I was tired of being boxed in with terms like “commercial” and “underground.”  I wanted Adventures in Counter-Culture to escape those classifications. Continue reading

Five Things I Tell Myself That Help Me Keep Going

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Anybody that has chased their dream long enough knows that there are days when it gets tiring. Those are the days that you wonder why you do what you do and the thought of quitting enters your mind.  Over the years, I have found myself leaning on several phrases that keep me inspired and help me keep going. I would like to share these with you.  If you have any please share yours in the comment section. Continue reading

What A Night: Chapter Four

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CHAPTER FOUR: NEW YORK CITY, NY

There was a point in my life, between 2002 and 2004, that I became very interested in stand-up comedy.  At first I was a fan like everybody else—renting the most popular comedy specials and watching them anytime they were on television—but soon my interest grew more intense.  Fortunately, I didn’t have to start my comedy collection from scratch; I was a hip-hop producer, which meant I already owned a decent amount of comedy albums on vinyl.  I began revisiting these older albums from comedians like Richard Pryor and Steve Martin, listening to them with a completely different ear and appreciation.  Eventually, my favorite comedians made their way out of my house and onto my MP3 player, just as any great album would. Continue reading

Announcing My New Book “What a Night”

After laying low for the past couple of months, I’m proud to announce my new book, What a Night is finally here.  The book takes the reader on a journey through my twelve-year touring career to tell the stories of the worst shows I’ve ever experienced.  What a Night is part comedy, part tragedy, and 100% entertaining.  I hope you will support me by ordering your copy today.

Pre-order your copy of What A Night here: http://bit.ly/1vVF38T

The book will be available November 18th and available on paperback, e-book, and audiobook formats.

  • Available in Paperback, E-Book, and Audiobook versions
  • First 200 copies of the paperback version will be signed and come w/ 11×17 poster and Blueprint Sticker.
  • Audiobook version is read by Blueprint Continue reading

I Love it Out Here

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This tour, the Respect the Architect tour, will probably go down as one of my favorite tours.  Not because it is the biggest tour I have ever done.  Not because I am making more money than I’ve ever made.  It will go down as one of my favorite tours because, more than any other point in my career, I understand how special this opportunity is.

There are times in life, many times for that matter, when time flies. We are doing things we enjoy, completely unaware of the passing of each moment and event.  Then there are times when we are able to actually slow down for a second, and not just be in the moment, but to also feel as though we can observe the moment as an outsider; as an impartial observer.

That is exactly how I feel now. Continue reading

Four Years Sober Today

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At last night’s show in Winter Haven, FL, somebody in the crowd asked me to perform my song “Blame it on the Jager.”  It’s one of the more popular songs from the Soul Position album Things Go Better with RJ and Al so it wasn’t an unusual request.  In general, I actually like spending a good amount of time during the end of my set performing request from fans, but the request for “Blame it on the Jager” wasn’t going to get granted last night.

That’s because today, May 15th, marks my fourth year sober. Continue reading