Concert reviews are a lot like that epic party that you missed. It never sounds as good the day after, and really, unless you were there, you just don't have the same experience. Hearing about how Action Bronson scrapped with a security guard on stage isn't as fun as seeing it. Even
doesn't do it justice. Essentially, they are one big "you had to be there." So with that in mind, when I tell you that
is dope you'll just have to take my word for it. Rittz, Tuki Carter and Raz Simone put on one hell of a show. As for the tour life itself, it's best to hear it straight from the
rapper's mouth, so I asked Rittz and Raz a few questions about what it's like to be on tour.
If we're being honest, I was just as excited to see Raz as I was Rittz. I have a personal connection to him, but more importantly, he is one of my favorite up-and-comers (check out
if you haven't already). While I knew of Raz and his work, most of the crowd, decked out in Strange gear, had never heard of him before. When his set began with a soft piano introduction, I saw a few curious glances - Strange fans tend to like their music balls to the wall - but it didn't take long for the magnetic emcee to win them over. One of the most profound ways Raz accomplished this feat was by using the venue as his jungle gym. Throughout the set, Raz would jump into the small yet passionate crowd, high fiving concertgoers, rapping, and jumping off the soundboard table (you should have seen the look on the sound guys face!). He even jumped off the speakers when the beat dropped on "
," making the powerful cut all the more enthralling. A special shout out goes to the girl who hopped on the bannister with him, only to fall off immediately. All in a days work?
This was one of the most interesting, engaging techniques I have ever seen from an opener and it worked like a charm. "It's really like borrowing and stealing as many fans as possible," Raz explained. "Hopefully my die hard people can come out and get up with me, and then I can grow by linking in with the fans that Rittz has and the fans that Tuki has."
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Well, at least last night, it worked. I watched as skeptical Rittz fans transformed into Raz fans. Of course, interacting with fans is a big part of that, but Strange fans aren't like most fans; just ask Raz. "I signed my first ass. That was weird. I did hella titty signings; I think that's like Strange's thing. There were like ten girls in a row who wanted their titties signed. One girl had double nipple piercings and I was like, 'what the hell is this?!"
While things off the tour bus can get a little crazy, on the bus things stays relatively quiet. According to Raz, "The tour bus is like our sanctuary. We keep that chill. We have a rule: no girls and no wives while the tour bus is in motion. Rittz doesn't like girls on the bus, so it helps. And no drugs on the bus so we're not gonna have any issues there."
Who would have guessed that the tour bus, a legendary place for shenanigans throughout the history of music, would be a safe haven for the three artists. I actually got a chance to hop on the bus (it was my first time ever!), after a five minute struggle to open the door, and I asked Rittz about it too.
"Having my own bus is amazing. Normally, right now, you and me would have to be in the parking lot or somebody else's space. Having my own space changes the game; it's amazing. I hope my career goes further so I can keep this up, because if I have to take a step back, it's gonna hurt. It's great not living out of a backpack. You know I have my shit in drawers. So that definitely changes my mindset."
He may have his own bus now, but Rittz remembers what is was like to be on somebody else's, specifically, on his first Strange tour. "My first Strange tour was the Independent Powerhouse Tour; I hopped on a bus with a bunch of Strange artists I didn't know. I never went to college...camp...I never did none of that shit. Then I'm in a bus with a bunch of fuckin' dudes I don't know. It's almost like being in college, like a dorm room and it was weird; I wasn't in that mentality. That was the initial reaction, after you make friends. Anytime you're touring with whoever, even if you hate 'em on the road, they turn into family at the end of the tour, because you spend that moment in life with them." That was the past, but as for the OD Tour, now five stops in, "Right now, these guys that are on here, we are slowly starting to gel".
If you're curious about what Rittz, Raz and company spend their time on the bus doing, on my way out I glimpsed a stack of DVDs, a keyboard, and a Crown Royal pouch. You know, the essentials...
Be on the lookout for more music from all three. Rittz' new album comes out in September (he played two songs for me and, yes, they were excellent), Tuki Carter's aptly titled forthcoming project, "Tuki," is gaining steam (especially with
and Raz told me, "It was called
Cognitive Dissonance Pt. 1
for a reason." While you wait, be sure to check out the Rittz OD Tour,
[Lucas Garrison is a writer for DJBooth.net. His favorite album is "College Dropout", but you can also tweet him your favorite Migos songs at