Concert Review: Le$ at Warehouse Live
Written by Waylon ODay on February 2, 2016
If you missed Sunday’s Le$ concert, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with a complete review of the show. Houston hosted the closing night of the H-Town underground star’s Steak X Shrimp Tour, which saw a lot of hazy clouds, up and coming artists, and some surprising faces.
The crowd was already lined up in front of Warehouse Live’s Studio entrance a solid hour before the doors were supposed to open. The crowd did eventually grow impatient as the time doors opened was pushed back to the original show time, forcing some to resort to drastic measures for entertainment, which consisted of fans partaking in “illegal” acts or freestyling over another’s beat boxing. Once I got inside, I was met with a dank smell that was being emitted from a cloud above the audience of about hundred or hundred fifty. The DJ played Houston classic’s to get the crowd ready to see a new generation of H-Town hip-hop.
Rascal F. Kennedy
The young rapper came on stage with a lot of energy, which would quickly be drained, due to the crowd not getting Rascal’s level of energy. He asked the crowd if they would want to “go to dirty ass Galveston with me,” before dropping a tropical Cardo-esque beat reminiscent of Wiz Khalifa’s Taylor Allderdice. He followed that with the mandatory drug rap that every rapper possess in his arsenal, and what Juicy J has made his career out of. He then told the crowd that his set was going to have to be cut short because of the delay in starting the show and asked the crowd if they wanted to hear some bars, which he obliged them with. He informed the crowd of his new release, coming out in March entitled Diary of a Cool Kid, before going into his last song, which he cut short because he couldn’t garner the kind of energy he expected.
EDF was probably my favorite opening act of this concert; he came on stage donning a huge Astros jersey, established who he was, and where he is from, Hiram Clarke. He then asked the audience where they were from respectively before dropping into “Tell Em,” a song about letting everyone know what it’s like when you come from the H. He went on to play “Everything for Sale,” and “In the Weeds,” EDF’s mandatory drug rap, before ending it all with a quick acapella sixteen-bar, which was met with huge applause. After his set, EDF could be seen near the back of the venue, all smiles, and greeting anyone that walked past him. This guy was just a lot of fun to watch and you could tell he was having a lot of fun, too.
The first thing McQueen said when he came on stage was what a long four days their tour had been, hitting every major city in Texas before ending it in his hometown of Houston. He seemed the most out of place to me; his style was more reminiscent of Kid Cudi and Childish Gambino than Pimp C and Slim Thug. Regardless, he put on a good show, playing an emotional ballad for his grandfather who had passed over Thanksgiving a few years before. Other songs included “World Tour,” “The House that Booty Built,” “Maneuver,” and a song that featured a sample from the New Zealand Afro-Pop band Wild Belle.
The final act before headliner Le$ was regional superstar, Drofe. This guy initially struck me as a Stitches-esque character who made his shows off pure energy alone. He had an extremely gruff voice, and seemed like he was a little out of shape when he was jumping around to his songs. The majority of his songs came from his soon-to-be-released mixtape with Atlanta super producer, Sonny Digital, who came to fame as the producer of ILoveMakonnen’s huge hit “Tuesday.” He also played a song that sampled the theme song from the new Netflix drama Narcos, and a collab between him and the Mo City Don, Z-Ro. He closed out his set with “Circles,” a song about keeping your circle small. Overall, I’ll probably find myself listening to Drofe in the future, his unique voice and stage presence won me over.
Before L-E- Dollar sign took the stage, DJ Mr. Rogers, a Houston legend was giving the underground sensations origin story. Apparently the two met each other at a sneaker store where Le$ gave Rogers one of his tapes with the hopes he would listen to it. The rest is history, or so they say. Out of the back of the stage a huge puff of smoke could be seen, with the young rapper’s head surrounded in the haze, he was met with huge applause as he stood at the front of the stage and smiled while puffing on his blunt.
He opened with the opening track off his successful Steak X Shrimp, Vol. 2 mixtape, and followed it with the swangers-anthem “Caddy,” before addressing the audience and telling them that Houston was home to the Steak X Shrimp lifestyle, which he later described as the way when people first get their money, they go and eat, and what do they eat? Steak and shrimp, of course. He then played “Clean Den a B*tch,” which features a sample from the UGK classic “One Day.” The Cardo produced “Dickies and Gold” was next and really built the feeling that this was crossover of Jetlife and H-Town styles, respectively. Between songs Le$ would say “When I say Steak, you say..” to which the crowd would reply “SHRIMP!,” and “When I say Jet, you say…” “LIFE,” which effectively kept the audience involved in the performance.
This was followed with the extremely energetic “Wanna Be a Baller,” a nod to the late Fat Pat, after which he told the crowd about how his last show at Warehouse was considerably smaller, and expressed his appreciation for more coming out to support him. He took a short break to run through some of his old songs, a way to “test the audience” of the old school Le$, of those songs, I recognized “Smoking Exotic,” which features a 2 Chainz sample from “Spend It,” and “3rd Coastin” which I just discovered is an euphemism for the Gulf Coast, or 3rd Ward’s relation to the coast, I’m still not clear as to which is correct.
Once the nostalgia wore off, Le$ brought on stage his good friend Chasin Cash, who apparently produced some of Le$’s music. Chasin played one song while Le$ walked around the stage dapping up his fans. Once Cash was done, Le$ took the mic and told the crowd his “slightly darker brother” was going to come up and do a couple songs with him. Low and behold, his guest was Maxo Kream, my favorite contemporary Houston rapper. The duo ran through the collaboration “Endzone,” which is how I found Le$, who then let Maxo go through one of his more popular songs “Fetti Fetti,” a collab between Maxo and Playboi Carti, and just like that Trigga Maxo was gone.
Le$, going solo, ran through “Sweet Jones,” a song he dedicated to the late Pimp C, who is a very apparent influence on Le$’s style. Le$’s classic “Candy Coated” started the last part of his set, next was the Chasin Cash produced “Thoed,” which leaned heavily on classic H-Town hip-hop symbolism. Before closing out with personal favorite “Ugk’z,” Le$ took a moment to thank the crowd again and reiterate that his fans are why he’s up on these stages and touring and he couldn’t do it without them, it was a surprisingly humble expression of gratitude for a guy that carries himself like an angry underground rapper with something to prove.