Murs, The Insects, Fashawn, and Prof, Club Red, 2/5/13
Universatile Music Murs and Fashawn
Murs, The Insects, Fashawn, Prof @ Club Red|2/5/13
It looks like it's that time of the year again, as Murs gathers a select group of rappers to embark on a nationwise tour leading up to his annual "Paid Dues" festival in March. The endeavor this year, aptly titled "The Road to Paid Dues," normally showcases new and rising talent in the hip-hop world, and this year is no exception. He's joined by raw Fresno emcee, Fashawn and the energetic Prof from Minneapolis, both joining Murs for this 43-date adventure. After cracking off their tour in Flagstaff, then a stopover in Tucson, Club Red in Tempe provided the backdrop for the third stop of the tour with the help of promoters Universatile Music. Special guests The Insects acted as the hosting opening act as they also celebrated the digital release of their new album Black Roses, and DJ Foundation, a member of the The Insects, pulled double duty with Murs, and joins the touring party as it works its way to Paid Dues.
I arrived as The Insects took the stage. They went through a medley of updated versions from their first release, Free the Hard Way as well as songs from their newest effort, Black Roses. The new songs have an even darker tone than their previous efforts but make a strong case for the album. As Brad of the Insects wowed the people of the audience with his dizzying rhyme schemes and Foundation kept the crowd excited with quick record and demands from crowd, Dumperfoo impressively painted his trademark skull portrait within the time of the allotted set. The point of a good hype man is to be able to fill in the blanks when you need, and Foundation displayed this talent quite well; he'd pick up the slack each time Brad B's breath began to give way. It's clear these three have a very strong chemistry, something that they are able to harness and then extend to the crowd. With a very strong performance overall, The Insects set the tone for the evening and made way for Fashawn.
Fash opened his set with his popular track, "Skating Down the Block," much to delight of the crowd, which filled the room about three-quarters full. He dipped into songs from his debut release, Boy Meets World, keeping the audience hyped with high fives in the front row and strong stage presence. After casually saying, "No requests" after an audience member yelled out a song they wanted to hear, Fashawn dropped songs from his Champange and Styrofoam Cups, his latest effort. Fashawn then brought out Murs to perform songs from their release together, This Generation including the hit "Slash Gordan".