May 8, 2021
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Swollen Members & Sozay

The Battleaxe Tour

The Rock in Tucson, Arizona

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This week I had the pleasure of attending the Swollen Members show here in Tucson, AZ.  I was really looking forward to the show as I had set up interviews with Swollen Members and their supporting act Sozay.  The day started out normal and I got the call from Sozay around 5 pm letting me know they were heading to the venue and would meet me there to get the interview with him knocked out.  My son aka camera man and I headed out to the venue.  When we got there it was a short wait and the bus rolled in.  We met up with Sozay and sat down to get the interview knocked out.  The interview went great and I was able to get a lot of background, influences, and other tidbits out there for all you Los and Lettes.  The last time I had seen Sozay perform was at the Johnny Richter Freeking out tour.  His show that day was a full live band and sound similar to 311 or Sublime.  In the interview he assured me his set at this show was 100% underground hip hop, which is what his sound is a majority of the time.  The interview should be posted for your viewing pleasure in the next few days.  Once the interview was over we headed into the venue to start the show.  Once inside we had a chance to talk with Gangsta Boo of Three Six Mafia.  She was very nice and it was cool to meet her at the show.

The first performer was a guy named Oops from Phoenix, AZ.  He was a last minute fill in for Sho Nuff who had to back out for personal reasons.  When Oops hit the stage there was a very small crowd there to give him support.  The crowd size did not improve too much all night which was a disappointment all around.  As for the set, it was a decent enough set.  His flow was smooth although at times he tired too hard to chop quickly.  It was those times the set took a step back.  He was confident on stage and he was able to get some decent crowd involvement.  His beats all had the same cadence and that was the one draw back for his set.  It seemed to drag on due to the same tempo, beat, cadence, etc.

Next up was Man of many Faces.  He is a local Tucson rapper that wears a mask on his face while he performs.  His set started out with a lot of promise as his flow seemed decent enough.  Once again his set was dragged way down as the tempo of his delivery, beat of the music, and overall performance seemed very repetitive.  My son said after the set that “The first guy was better.”  That statement sums it up nicely.

The third act was one of the bigger local acts here, Cultivate Creative Sounds.  I have seen them perform several times and they never disappoint.  There set is always high energy and always gets the crowd jumping.  They had the biggest crowd of the night.  It seemed like everyone was there to see them perform.  They performed a ton of tracks from there long history and the crowd ate it up.

Fourth we had a Canadian group called Animal Nation.  This group was my sons favorite of the night (He is 13).  It was two really goofy looking white guys that rapped about things like bacon and eggs, summer love, and girls on bicycles.  If I had to make a comparison I would say they were slightly more goofy that a hybrid of Weird Al and Eminem (Just lose it era).  Their performance did not lack energy and was quite entertaining.  I wanted to hate them but ended up having a really good time watching them perform.  There was barely any crowd out there for them but that didn’t stop their energy or excitement.

The next act to hit the stage was Sozay.  A majority of the crowd had gone to the bar area and was unable to get front and center due to Arizona laws about separation at all ages shows.  During my interview with him he told me this set would be a vast difference from the last one I had seen and he was right!  There was nothing but straight hip hop fire flying off the stage.  He threw down a ton of hard hitting old school feeling beats.  His lyrics were just as hard.  The sound was really messing up a majority of his set and that threw him off a little but he still gave everything he had during his set.  I can see why he is on the road opening for Swollen for sure.

There was a long break and it was time for the headliners, Swollen Members.  As they went on stage I asked the tour manager about the interview and when we were going to do it and was informed it wouldn’t happen because of a miscommunication between their publicist and myself.  I have confirmed with Subnoize the interview will happen in the near future and once it does I will have it for you.  Now back to the show.  Swollen killed the stage for almost an entire hour.  They did tracks from their entire catalog.  Madchild performed several solo tracks in the middle of the set and Prevail knocked some solid freestyles as well.  The crowd at this point had thinned way out but that didn’t stop these professionals.  They emitted enough energy to fill the venue and gave everyone who stayed a show to remember.

After the show Swollen did a small meet and greet with some fans.  At this point I decided to leave and head home.

I left this show both excited and slightly disappointed.  I was excited to have met such cool people (Sozay, Gangsta Boo, and Prevail) they really made the show feel welcoming and we had a great time.  I was disappointed I couldn’t interview Swollen at the show but have hope and faith it will happen very soon.  This show from beginning to end was very dope.  All the performers gave everything they had on stage.  The local hip hop scene here in Tucson is really hit or miss with the fans and it was upsetting to see such minimal support for the show.  There are a few more dates on this tour and I would highly recommend if you are in Cali and have a chance to see the show, don’t miss it!  I highly recommend checking out all the artists online and seeing if you dig what they are doing.  Get out and support hip hop in your communities!

Location:

  • The Rock
  • Arizona
  • United States

Guests:

  • Swollen Members, Sozay, Animal Nation, Cultivate Creative Sounds, Man of many faces, Oops

Tour:

  • The Battleaxe Tour

Record Label:

  • Subnoize Records

Reviewer:

Review Date:

  • 05/27/2014 - 05/28/2014

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