J.cole 4
Photo by Sunita Dharani

The streets of downtown Houston were packed to say the least as the doors of the BBVA Compass Stadium opened to let in the crowd for the much anticipated: H-Town Beat Down. People of all ages entered the venue excitedly. From teenage girls in flower crowns to adult men, everyone was eager to see what the show was going to consist of.

It all began around 6:55 when Texas established rapper, Paul Wall took the stage. He performed for a total of 10 minutes, but it was enough to get the crowd hyped for what was to come.

To keep the ball rolling, Trae Tha Truth was introduced as he then performed a couple of his hit songs that had the audience vibing with him the whole time.

At around 7:30, Toronto artist: Tory Lanez introduced himself, gave us a bit of his background and then continued to get a gauge of the crowd by asking how many 80’s and 90’s kids there were in attendance. He performed his song “Know What’s Up” and the audience seemed to be feeling him, as their shouts were relentless while he got off the stage.

Tory Lanez 1
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Next, 93.7 The Beat host: Devi Dev and Angela Lee introduced the legendary Houston rappers: Slim Thug and Z-Ro. People could not get on their feet fast enough as they started off with well known songs: “Gangsta,” “Associates,” and “Lovin You (On My Mind).” The two artists had undeniable chemistry as they fed off each other’s energy and kept the crowd moving throughout their 15 minute set.

Z Ro SLim Thug 1
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Z Ro 2
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Slim Thug 1
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Z Ro Slim THug 2
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At around 7:50, Devi Dev again took the stage to introduce Philadelphia rapper, Meek Mill. The rapper immediately threw himself into the thick of things by performing songs: “I’m a Boss,” “Off The Corner,” and “House Party”. To end his set, to the spectators’ exultation he brought out Houston rapper, Kirko Bangz to perform their song “Young & Gettin’ It.” At this point the crowd was completely restless as the anticipation for the next performer to take the stage grew.

Meek Mill 3
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Meek Mill Kirko
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With the sun setting over the Houston skyline the much anticipated J. Cole emerged onto the stage, and in eerie, ominous lighting began with hit song: “Who Dat.” The crowd went wild, screaming his lyrics back word for word. Without hesitation he continued on to perform songs such as “Nobody’s Perfect,” “Work Out,” “Can’t Get Enough,” “Power Trip,” and ended with the meaningful and equally fitting: “Crooked Smile.”

j.Cole 1
Photo by Sunita Dharani
j.cole 2
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Cole’s 30 minute set exhausted the fans but as soon as Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar took the stage, all weariness was forgotten. Even Kirko Bangz enjoyed the set while in the audience. He began his 30 minute set with “Swimming Pools” and continued on to perform, “Money Trees,” “Problems,” “Don’t Kill My Vibe,” “Backseat Freestyle” and ended with the highly climatic: “M.A.A.D City.”

Kendrick 2
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Kendrick 3
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At about 9:30 the audience was taken by surprise when Texas rapper Bun B was presented the 360 Legend Award by 93.7 The Beat. The rapper was caught off guard by the gesture but proceeded to happily accept it as he then said, “If anybody’s gonna get awarded tonight, why not me?” The audience then went wild as the rapper said, “enough of this let’s do some rapping” and proceeded to perform songs known by any Houston native: “Get Throwed” and “Big Pimpin’.”

Bun B 1
Photo by Sunita Dharani

When the rapper got off stage the audience simmered down and waited eagerly for the heart throb: Trey Songz. At 9:50 almost every woman in the venue got to her feet and swooned as the singer opened with Invented Sex. His sultry voice had even the males singing his songs: “NaNa,” “2 Reasons,” “Say Ah,” “Neighbors Know My Name,” “Bottoms Up,” and the “Paranoid,” “Show Me” and “Loyal” remixes. His 30 minute set had the crowd exhausted, sweaty, and hoarse from screaming.

Trey Songz 1
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Trey Songz 3
Photo by Sunita Dharani

 

Finally, at 10:35, the last act of the night took the stage. Last but not least, Atlanta rapper: Future took the stage and brought it home by performing “Chosen One,” “Racks,” “I Won,” “Love Me,” “Same Damn Time,” “Sh*t,” and closed with his hit single “Move That Dope.”

Fututre 1
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Future 3
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It took minutes for it to hit the crowd that it was actually over as they made their way out of the venue. The First Annual H-Town Beat Down was a definite success as it brought in an extremely diverse crowd to vibe and jam with some of the hottest artists in the game right now.

 

By: Candy Rodriguez

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