I arrived to the Middle East around 10 PM last night for the Geto Boys show and I noticed the line was rather long. I could see it as I walked up Mass Ave. and the last time I saw a line that long it was for the sold out CZARFACE show months ago. As I walked past ZuZu I noticed a crowd forming around a short man with a distinct voice. It was none other than Bushwick Bill breaking down the lineage of what is called Gangsta Rap going back to Schoolly D, Ice T, Just Ice, Ice Cube, MC Ren, Eazy E and up to Scarface for a few fans. I took this picture (shown below) and I was tempted to take video until I remember that I almost didn’t get into the CZARFACE show. I broke for the door to the Middle East Downstairs just as Bushwick Bill had gotten to Eazy E and ran down his significance in Rap history.
I went for the door rather than go to the back of the line. The guy at the door told me “The line starts outside” but I assured him I was media. Eventually he said “Oh. Yeah. You’re always here anyways. Go ahead”. I descended into Middle East Downstairs and it was already packed like a Danny Ainge hate rally. I squeezed my way past quite a few heads before I got close enough to the stage to see & take good pictures but still be able to move and breathe. If you’ve ever been to a sold out show at the Middle East then you’d know what doing both can become a luxury at times. Staxx was onstage performing while periodically informing the crowd about his Android app. That was a new one. He also kept talking about State Property & hinting at having a special guest with him. Peedi Crakk? Omilio Sparks? Young Chris? *Googles State Property* Oschino? Suddenly Freeway emerges from the wings and performs a song with Staxx called “Nuthin’ To Lose”. Afterwards, Freeway launched into “What We Do” solo. Staxx’ time was up and I wondered how many stacks did he put up to get Freeway to come to Boston? I also don’t know the name of any of his other songs since I have an iPhone *Shrug*…
Next up was the Outland Camp, a Rap group that bills themselves as the Hip Hop Zombies from out in Plymouth. They have quite a sizeable and enthusiastic fanbase that you begin to realize are part Juggalos. They rocked their set but towards the end of it they did a song that incited about 5 of their fans to begin slamdancing. Once that happened, the rest of the crowd took one full step back and let it happen. After the Outland Camp’s set was over they announced that the sampler for their upcoming album was at the merch table. The slamdancers and OLC stans immediately made for the back of the Middle East, soon most of the first 5 rows in front of the stage was occupied by people from the hood who came to see Geto Boys finally rock in Boston after more than 2 decades of fandom.
The show continued on with Masstapeace who had the daunting task of trying to rock missing a key member of the group, the second emcee Legendary Axe. Tygastyle was trying to perform both his and Axe’s verses often to no avail but the audience appreciated his effort nonetheless. His set yielded to Stu Cat’s, which was a tad bit confusing to me. First Stu Cat comes out to familiar mainstream songs being played by the DJ and he raps along with them. Why start your show opening up for the Geto Boys rapping “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe”? You’re not Kendrick Lamar and the crowd is just hoping you do your 15 minutes and get off the stage as it is. It’s not a good idea to remind the crowd how many OTHER rappers they’d rather be seeing perform right now other than yourself. To further add insult to injury, two guys with cameras come out with Stu Cat. One was a videographer and the other took action stills. Also, during his set Stu Cat brought out an Eddie Vedder clone complete with long hair and a flannel shirt who sounds exactly like Bizzy Bone. I asked what this fuckboy’s name was and I was told “MC Chucklehead”. It wasn’t until I left the venue that I discovered that the girl next to me wasn’t kidding. His name IS MC Chucklehead. FUCK EARTH.
Eventually, Stu Cat got off the stage and took Shaggy from Scooby Doo and his two cameramen with him. Before we finally saw Geto Boys, their artists from Louisiana named Flight 1636 performed a 10 minute set. After they left the stage, pandemonium ensued and everyone in the audience finally got to see who they came there to see. The Geto Boys, Scarface, Willie D & Bushwick Bill finally hit the stage and the crowd went wild. Willie D led the charge into some classic Geto Boys material followed by Bushwick Bill doing “Chuckie”. Soon everyone was trading bars from classic Geto Boys tracks like “Do It Like A G.O.” to Scarface and Willie D solo material as the audience recited each line right along with them. Willie D’s face showed his surprise at how enthusiastic the crowd was that they were finally in Boston. Willie and Scarface said they circled this date on the calendar because they knew they’d never been here before and they had a rabid fanbase in the area.
The show was amazing. Willie D did “Bald Headed Hoes” at the request of a lady outside The Middle East. Scarface performed “Mr. Scarface Is Back” in what turned into a singalong. This was before he took out a guitar & began playing “Sweet Child O’ Mine”. Before you knew it he was playing & singing a modern Rock standard as Willie D left the stage. As soon as the song ended? Off came the guitar and it was right back to the gangster shit. Later on Scarface beatboxed for Willie D as he rapped about his love of pussy. Between Willie D’s rants about women needing to go to jail for having bad weaves and the high price of tolls, Scarface’s versatility or the energy provided by Bushwick Bill it all culminated in one hell of a show. They was shoving, pushing, a few near fights due to there being so many people in the crowd but no one wanted to do anything that would ruin the night or potentially stop the show.
The night ended with the entire crowd reciting “Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangster” followed by the classic set closing song “My Mind’s Playing Tricks On Me”. Afterwards the crowd chanted “GE-TO BOYS!” for close to three minutes while some people took pictures and others finally made there way to the exits for some much needed oxygen. All of those years of Rap A Lot fandom and numerous copies of “Grip It! On That Other Level”, “The Geto Boys”, “We Can’t Be Stopped”, “Mr. Scarface Is Back”, “Controversy” and “I’m Goin’ Out Lika Soldier” sold in the Boston area resulted in a show that brought out everyone from young Rap fans to cats that were 40+ and had been Geto Boys fans going back to 1988 when DJ Ready Red was the lone original member of the old Ghetto Boys. All of the opening acts and the fuckery in the audience was worth it in the end. I’m still confused as to how cats were able to have enough space to raise a blunt to their lips in the audience though. I could barely tweet a play by play in the middle of everyone!