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DJ Clay, Zug Izland

Pandora's Box Tour - Sanford, Fla.

West End Live in Sanford, Florida

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The Pandora’s Box tour kicked off at West End Live in Sanford, Fla. and yours truly was up front for opening night. The lineup was loaded with both new and seasoned artists. The tour continued through July 22, with shows in a different city every night.

 

Ninja Red PsychoNinja Red Psycho

Not too long before he went onstage, I found out that this was Ninja Red Psycho’s first live show. Just gonna put it out there: I’m super proud of this ninja for that. I honestly wouldn’t have known that it was his first time.

The 24-year-old, who has been a Juggalo since The Great Milenko, started rapping as a joke in 2007. “I thought anyone could do it,” he said. “Boy, did I learn different.”

Ninja Red Psycho has confidence not often seen in up-and-coming artists. He took the stage and almost immediately jumped down into the crowd saying, “I can’t do that stage, man. There’s just not enough room.” That got the audience to warm up to him and laugh a little.

His opening song, “Enter My Mind,” was a great choice. This is a deep track that invites listeners into the deepest corners of Ninja Red Psycho’s mind with lyrics like “You can’t imagine the battle with the demons in me.” and “Enter my mind and you can judge what you see.” His style combines hip hop and a dash of metal to create something unique and refreshing.

You can catch him back at West End on Aug. 7, opening for Razorz Edge. This ninja is definitely about his art. He’s already dropped a CD, which you can pick up here.

Forgotten Fallen

Forgotten FallenI was lucky enough to catch Forgotten Fallen’s first show, too, back in May when they opened for Boondox on the Wormwood Tour. I was really impressed with their performance then, but they put on an even better show this round.

SpAz, mAnic and Lil sAint also have a style that fuses hip hop and metal, but theirs is a little darker than some of the other artists in the lineup.

Their track “Self Destruct” ventures into the ‘What ifs” of death and suicide. You know you’re in for something deep with an intro like “You think this world would be a little better if I wasn’t here? If I wasn’t…alive. If I was dead, never born. Yeah, me too.”

They lead into “Dark Fantasies” with a skit where mAnic jumps Lil sAint with a knife. This track follows a character whose mind is so clouded with dark fantasies of death and murder that he cannot even remember killing his friend. “All I can remember is blood. All I can remember is screams. I don’t even know if it’s just a dream. I guess everything isn’t what it seems.”

These guys are definitely a must-see. They will also be on the bill for the Aug. 7 Razorz Edge show at West End. They’ve got a new album in the works titled “Rise of the Fallen,” which they hope to release later this year.

Bo Young KillsBoYoungKills

Bo Young Kills was not what I expected. I don’t know what I was expecting, exactly, but his performance was pretty fresh.

The crowd favorite was definitely his track “Smack Her With a Dick,” from his album “I’m a Friend of Bo Young.” I mean, come on, how can you not bust out laughing when there’s a guy with a microphone flailing his arms and screaming, “Smack her with a dick! Smack her with a dick!” Everybody was getting live for that one.

Bo Young Kills has charisma and seems like a pretty cool dude to just chill out and drink a few beers with. He also performed his set on the ground in front of the stage. The physical closeness of his performance only enhanced the fun factor of Bo Young Kills’ energetic performance.

His group, DSOB, has a show on Sat., Aug. 9, in Winter Haven, Fla. and you can catch Bo Young Kills back at West End in September.

 Koup d’E Tat

Koup d'E TatThis was my second time seeing Koup d’E Tat, also. Just like before, they killed it. These guys are a full band from Lake City, Fla. with vocalist Charles, guitarist/vocalist Brian, bassist/synth Chris and drummer Chris. Their style is more alt-rock influenced, but their music spans across genres.

Koup d’E Tat also made use of the floor space in front of the stage to interact with the crowd. Charles got the crowd riled up with his lead into their track “My America.” His call to “[m]ake some noise if you believe in everything this country was founded for!” elicited a strong response from the audience. He continued, “[F]or the freedom. When I heard ’em say Juggalos were a gang, I say fuck that!” This track is smart. It’s both a patriotic celebration of what America stands for and a call to fix what’s broken in our society.

If these guys come to a venue near you, please don’t miss out on that show. They’re doing big things. Koup d’E Tat will also be back at West End for the Aug. 7 Razorz Edge show, followed by some shows in Lake City leading up to their first tour and recording a full album.

 

The next few artists (In House Productions, Non Prophetz and Ayron COE) traveled together all the way from the Midwest for their first appearance in Florida.

 In House ProductionsIHP

In House Productions is T.C. and RagEy BaBy from Chicago. The duo’s music has more of a classic hip-hop feel that is definitely influenced by gangster rap. My favorite thing about IHP is that they have fun. You can see that they have a good relationship just looking at them. At one point while they were performing “HaaaaH,” TC made RagEy BaBy laugh so much she almost messed up her lyrics.

They seem like pretty chill ninjas to hang with off-stage, too. We got to the venue early, so before the show started we were walking around checking out merch tables. Ayron COE, Non Prophetz and IHP all kinda had their stuff set up together. Ayron called us over and introduced himself. Before I even knew anybody was standing next to me, he pointed out TC as the one doing all the driving and he just starting talking 90-to-nothing about the drive and how excited they were to be there.

Like RagEy BaBy said, they are “on the come up” with three CDs currently in the works.

Non Prophetz

Non ProphetzNon Prophetz describes their style as alienotic hip hop. As their name suggests, they claim to be here not to spit prophetic words of wisdom but to throw down some good time party music.

Big Gr33n and Str8 Jack-It have the potential to do big things. Their flows are solid and beats are catchy, but their stage show was a little lack luster in comparison. Don’t get me wrong, their set wasn’t bad by any means, but some of the artists before them were a little tough to follow. Str8 Jack-It was jumping around the stage all into it, but Big Gr33n just kinda looked angry to me. It could have had something to do with the fact that these ninjas hadn’t slept in three days driving down here.

These guys have some of the coolest marketing techniques I’ve ever seen. They have flyers that look like dollar bills, but with their Reverbnation profile and a zombie George Washington printed on them. They had Non Prophetz glass at their merch table. These are some creative ninjas. Long story short, I’d definitely see them again.

Ayron COEAyron_COE

Ayron definitely had something no one else had for his show. He opened up with “My City.” I was watching, thinking, ‘Okay, cool, this guy’s representing his city.” But out of no where, he walks over past his merch table and brings out a ladder, sets it up, and climbs up to the top. This dude was all over the stage, the ground in front of it and that ladder. I was a bit worried for his safety, but it was cool.

His track “Savage” has a bit of a sound similar to Bukshot’s music. He transitioned into it with, “I’m about to get a little more evil on you sons of bitches.” There’s definitely something creepy about a muscular dude in a wife beater and eye black running around yelling, “I’m a beast. I’m an animal. I ain’t one to clash with. I’m a savage. I am highly adapted.”

Ayron’s performance was strong. He put out a ton of energy, interacted with the crowd, acknowledged cameras without missing a beat, used props. This dude has the entertainment portion of being a rapper down.

While the tour is in Indianapolis Monday he’ll be doing an interview with CNN, so keep a watch out for that. After the tour, Kentucky ninjas can catch him at the Kentucky State Fair. He’s also just dropped a mixtape entitled, “Love Shown is Love Got.”

 

 Fisty Cuffs

Fisty CuffsFor being so close to the end of the bill, I was surprised at how short Fisty Cuffs’ set was, with only three tracks. It was also the hardest to record and photograph because of how low the lighting was. At times it was even a little hard to see him right in front of us. But, hey, if all I’ve got to complain about is the lighting, I guess dude’s doing something right.

Fisty Cuffs really puts himself out there in his rhymes. His track, “Til the End” starts off with a story about the struggles he went though growing up and spins them into his motivation and drive today. Pretty smart. You’ve gotta respect somebody who’s willing to put out something so deeply personal, and especially someone willing to put it out on stage.

Putting himself out there is pretty much Fisty Cuffs’ focus right now. He dropped his new album, “West Bound East,” earlier this year. Pandora’s Box is the fourth or fifth tour he’s been on this year already, he says.

“It’s rough on the road, especially being the new guy trying to make a name,” Fisty Cuffs said. “It’s always a good feeling going to a Juggalo show, though. Feels more like at home with the homies. Means a lot to me!”

 

Razorz EdgeRazorz Edge

Mad Red and Timmy B brought a good mix of new and old this go round. Their set was mostly fan favorites, such as “Spiral” and “Hatchets and Razorz,” but they played two songs from their upcoming album “Jaws of Life.”

The new music is fresh and is definitely taking the duo in a new direction, but that’s not all. After six years of the trademark red and white, the guys debuted their new blue and white jerseys and facepaint for the first time.

Their album “The Evolution of the Razor” was released earlier this year, but the progression is far from over.

“We have full intention of continuing the evolution and trying new things and experimenting with new shit, seeing what the people like and what they don’t like,” Mad Red said. “I am really excited for this era of Razorz Edge, I feel like it’s a long time coming!”

Razorz Edge isn’t slowing down any time soon. They will be headlining a show at West End on Aug. 7 and releasing the new album on Aug. 30.

The guys are also planning to do more tours this year and will be releasing a music video for “Clouds,” from the new album, sometime within the next month.

 

 DJ Clay

DJ ClayFull disclosure: I never much cared for DJ Clay. I never had a reason why. With that said, his set kinda blew me away. DJ Clay was getting pretty live on stage. He was hella into, playing tracks like ICP’s “Chicken Huntin'” and Tech N9ne’s “Worldwide Choppers.” The crowd lost their shit when the beat dropped during the Rydas’ “Duk Da Fuk Down.” DJ Clay even jumped down to mosh around in the crowd during “Worldwide Choppers.”

Watching a DJ’s set isn’t quite like watching another live show. With a DJ on stage, the show is the crowd. Watching other people get so into the music and feeding off of their energy. I never thought I would be at a DJ Clay show, but after this one I’ve gotta say I’d hate to miss another one.

 

Zug IzlandZug Izland

Zug Izland is another band I never cared for much. I never went out of my way to listen to them, but I enjoyed their music when it came on. Their live show was pretty good, though.

I’m not sure if it was because their set was so long, their were so many artists on the bill, if it was too late or what but everybody started to seem a little tired towards the end of Zug Izland’s set. Nevertheless, the guys never let up. They kept rocking out til the end and I can respect that.

Their alt-rock style was a good contrast to the large number of hip-hop artists that played before them. They played a pretty long set list with songs like “Chemical Girl,” “Suicide” and “Always.”

 

Last Words

Okay, I know that was pretty long, so to summarize:

The Pandora’s Box kickoff show in Sanford, Fla. on Wednesday night was a dope ass show. The lineup was great. I met some awesome new homies and saw some cool ninjas again that I haven’t seen in a while. Nobody put on a bad show, at all. That was great, in and of itself. I was introduced to some new artists I hadn’t heard of before and got to watch the next installment in the evolutions of some that I already loved. The crowd was great. They were full of energy and love for the artists. No one disrespected any of the artists, that I heard about, anyway. There was even one little birthday girl who got to go up on stage with Razorz Edge as their youngest fan. We left with that awesome feeling of family love and, in the end, that’s the most important thing.

Location:

  • West End Live
  • Florida
  • United States

Guests:

  • Razorz Edge, Fisty Cuffs

Tour:

  • Pandora's Box

Record Label:

  • Psychopathic Records

Websites:

Reviewer:

Review Date:

  • 07/16/2014

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