Alright Juggalos and Juggalettes…as I begin to write this, it’s Thursday afternoon, and I’m sitting here on a plane with about 2-1/2 hours to go until I’m back home in Dallas. I’m riding on 2 hours sleep and a 5 hour energy, but want to get a review written up ASAP!
First off, let me thank George Vlahakis and the entire Majik Ninja Entertainment team for flying me out to the show. I wouldn’t have dreamed of making it out there for the Freekshow 15 year anniversary, but after talking on the phone about some unrelated things with George one day, he offered me the opportunity to come out to Philly to cover it! It’s truly an honor to be thought of as such a staple of the underground and get that invite. I’m extremely thankful!
The other ridiculously fresh part about this 24 hour trip is that it was in Philadelphia, and I have dozens of homies out here that I only ever get to see at the Gathering! I was now being invited to their turf and into their homes. There’s no way I could have turned this down!
I took both Wednesday and Thursday off of work this week to make sure I had ample time to get there and back. After booking the flight a few weeks ago, time flew by, and before I knew it, it was time to pack for the trip. I of course waited until the night before leaving to do that. My wife Amanda got Pierce ready to go on Wednesday morning, we dropped him off at daycare, and then it was time to head to the airport. I totally forgot all of my toiletries (deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc), so we made a quick stop inside of Walmart, got a travel kit, and made it with just minutes to spare. I even got one of those little yellow “LATE” tags on my checked-in bag, but saw it make its way onto the plane while I was getting settled in.
While on the 3 hour flight, I worked on my Marvelous Missing Link Tour Review the entire time, so it went by quickly! After getting my bags, my gracious host Rachel Paul (of the DC Tarot / Lette’s Respect) scooped me up from the airport, and we headed to her neighborhood. We made a couple of stops to say what’s up to all my Philly Scrubs, and just kick it for a while. By then, it was getting close to 3 PM. Someone had asked me how I was doing, and my response was “FOOD!” I hadn’t eaten since about 7 that morning, and I was hoping to get my hands on one of these famous Philly cheesesteaks!
We decided on a neighborhood cheesesteak place called Joe’s (formerly Chinky’s), and I have to say that it was a bomb ass cheesesteak! I kept referring to them as “Philly cheesesteaks” being from Texas and all, but was scolded by Rachel and told “Scottie, you’re in Philly now. It’s just a cheesesteak!” Touché.
Joe’s was PACKED full of Juggalos at that time! Krissy aka Mom from the Scrubs crew stated how strange it seemed to have their neighborhood shop filled with ninjas from throughout the states. It was a welcome site, and we documented it with a fresh pic:
After getting my fill of cheesesteak and cheesy fries, we went back to Rachel’s place where there was already a crew of ninjas chilling on the front lawn. I went inside to change into some shorts (luckily it was like 78 degrees on Wednesday!), and got ready to head out. Along with Rachel, a ninja named Tommy from Wicked Wisco and Hippie Joe came with us. Rachel didn’t know either of them, but I know I had met them at prior Gatherings. It was around 4:30 or so, but doors weren’t until 6:30, and I was in Philly for the first time in my entire life. So Rachel, being the badass hostess that she is, took us to the Philadelphia Museum of Art where the Rocky statue and infamous steps that he ran up are located. We of course had to run up the steps and pose for a pic with the statue:
Check that one off of the bucket list! After showing us some other landmarks, it was time to head to the Electric Factory for what was lining up to be a historic night! When we got there, that bitch was PACKED! A parking lot party was already in full effect, and so was the SCRUBS crew!
I got hit up by quite a few ninjas who didn’t know I was making it out to the show who were genuinely surprised to see me there! Again, there was nothing but love being shown for me and the entire Faygoluvers crew!
On a side note, a few weeks prior to the show, the Scrubs had designed a white t-shirt that had “SCRUBS” on the front of it, “SCOOP POOP” on the back, and a little poo logo on one of the sleeves. I don’t know how many were ordered, but I DO know that after everyone put them on, there was a SEA of white SCRUBS t-shirts in the audience and eventually inside the venue.
I texted George V (Twiztid’s manager) to let him know I made it, and he told me to come on in. I went through the backstage area and kicked it with him, Prozak, Dustin, Jim, and even Fritz (who produced the Freekshow album, among many others)! It was cool to get to talk to all of them and chill for a few minutes before things got started.
I didn’t catch the dude’s name, but some ninja made a complete bust of the Freekshow album cover with the stitched up faces. He said that he paid for someone to do it initially, but didn’t like how it turned out. So he started carving away at it and came up with this final product:
Unbelievable! We’ll see if anything comes of it in the near future. Much props to you for putting in all that work!
While back there, I saw my old homie DJ Chris Crisis who is Rittz’s DJ. For those who don’t know, he also used to be the DJ for REHAB! We reminisced a bit about REHAB, talked about what he’s got going on after he’s done touring with Rittz, family life, etc. He brought me over to see Rittz who perked up when he saw me. He was in the middle of being interviewed for his tour VLOG, and brought me into the camera. He introduced me to future viewers, and thanked Faygoluvers for giving him his first and ONLY award for Hip Hop Album of the Year for the FLH Music Awards this year! He said that he sees it every time he’s home and it makes him extremely proud! Hopefully you see that on his tour vlog soon!
While backstage, I unfortunately missed the opening sets by Trilogy and Stitchy C. I later saw Stitchy in front of the barricade and apologized for missing his set. He hooked me up with his latest album though so I’m definitely gonna give that a spin soon!
I came out from the backstage area just in time to see Whitney Peyton hit the stage! She wasn’t on the rest of the Welcome to the Underground Tour, but almost the entire show was a different lineup with it being a one-off. Plus Whitney’s home town is Philly, so why not have her be a part of it?
As with every other set I’ve ever seen her perform, Whitney killed the crowd! She was all over the place! On the stage, off the stage, in the crowd, and of course she brought out an inflatable pool toy (this time an alligator) to crowd surf on as she rapped. At one point when she was making her way back through the crowd, Ms. Lette’s Respect herself, Rachel Paul, followed her back to the front of the barricade and saw me there and just posted up with me. A security guard was watching the entire thing and started to grab at Rachel to get her back into the crowd. She pointed at me with my All Access pass and I confirmed that she was cool up there. The guy started getting an attitude saying that she was NOT to move from a line of tape that was on the floor or he would boot her out of the building. Seriously, big dude with a power trip over 4’10” Rachel. I talked to the guy after Whitney’s set, being the pacifist that I am, and everything was cool. She just seems to always find herself with the hotheads of security.
Back to Whitney’s set…It was dope, and her 20 minute set flew by! I’m sure you Philly Juggalos are used to seeing Whitney in your town, but if you have never caught one of her shows at the Gathering or elsewhere, make it a point to go see her!
Even though the show moved along really quickly, I was still able to go around the Electric Factory between sets and schmooze. I kept running into people that I had either seen at past Gatherings, or just via social media and chatting for a bit. I got pictures of a lot of ‘em so make sure to check out our photo gallery when we post it!
Next up, it was time for Prozak! Now when this Freekshow tour date was originally scheduled, Prozak wasn’t included on the bill. Here’s a little behind-the-scenes info though. Flip, Prozak’s hype man, was asked to play the part of Jason Voorhies during Twiztid’s set. So since he was already going to be there, George asked Prozak to go ahead and do a quick set! A Prozak set of any length is always welcome in my book, so I was happy to see him slay another crowd!
Prozak brought out all of the heavy hitters! He didn’t spend as much time on the stage as he did interacting with the crowd. First he came into photo pit in front of the barricade and rapped his verses to the front row of Juggalos in attendance. It wasn’t long though before he got INTO the crowd and moshed with everybody there! Prozak is a big motherfucker, and he’s been in the pit for every date on this month-long tour! After his set, he came backstage where I already was, and he told me how sore he was around the pectoral area from all the moshing. He said he loved every minute of it though! He was only scheduled to go for 15 minutes, but I’m pretty sure he got an extra song or two in.
In no particular order, Prozak went through the following bangers in his catalog:
- Good Enough
- Go To Hell
- Psycho Psycho Psycho
- Keep Grinding
- Last Breath
- Bombs Away
- Wake Up Your Dead
Here’s what the set times were originally scheduled for:
Yes, Rittz was originally only scheduled for a 30 minute set here too. I know for a fact that he confirmed with George that he’d go 45 and there was no issue. I’m sure that this paperwork is just what they had to show the Electric Factory. Even for a Wednesday night, having an 11 PM end time for the whole show seemed extremely early to me.
Speaking of Rittz, it was now time for his set! It’s pretty fresh to see how far he’s come already since being signed to Strange Music just a few years ago. I have been down with this dude since White Jesus dropped (thanks to a tip from one of our FLH readers), and in my opinion, he just keeps getting better!
Rittz came out with DJ Chris Crisis who was behind his turntables and a laptop, and the shit got started with the track “Turn Down”! That track got Juggalos’ turned all the way UP! That led to him performing “Explode”, and then another fan favorite: “LAF”! He continued with “White Rapper”, getting everyone hype as fuck before slowing things way down with “Bounce”. Rittz had expressed how thankful he was about his career, and the fact that he was able to get Twista on that track with him. He’s truly a humble dude.
We had been escorted out of the photo pit area by that time, so I setup shop at the corner of the barricade, just out of reach of the security. Rittz played a good mix from his first two releases on Strange Music including “Wastin’ Time”, “Call 911”, “Switch Lanes”, and more! The fact that he’s got such a good stage presence while hitting every one of his rapid-fire rhymes just goes to show how talented he is. Mix in DJ Chris Crisis dancing and spinning in the background, and it makes for one hell of a show! Rittz ended his set with one more crowd pleaser: “High Five”! I didn’t see anyone that didn’t enjoy themselves in the Electric Factory during this set. Even security was bobbing their heads along to the beats!
With Rittz finished with his set, it was now just about time for our headliners of the evening. After the success of last year’s Mystery Show where Twiztid performed Mostasteless from front to back, it was now time for the follow-up: Freekshow! I know that many other groups/artists have performed full albums in a single set. Some even take it out on tour! I personally love the idea! Each album resonates differently with fans, and this is one of the only times you will get to see every track performed live! To be here for Freekshow was far beyond amazing!
After a few minutes of setting up, the entire venue went dark, and the Freekshow album intro pumped through the Electric Factory’s sound system. As soon as “Mutant X” started up, Jamie Madrox and Monoxide appeared, and Juggalos and Juggalettes went ape shit!
“Watch as I change and mutate into a FREEKSHOW Twiztid Serial-Killin’ Juggalos!”
It was on! In between watching the pit get started, I snapped photos alongside Nik of MonkeysOnCrack as Monoxide and Madrox spit with precision! “We Don’t Die” was next, of course, and that’s when everyone REALLY got moving! I saw a plethora of white “SCRUBS” shirts moshing in the crowd as everyone else jumped in unison!
Three tracks into Freekshow, we were asked to step away from the photo pit, and I got back into what I would consider one of the best seats in the house! This is the point of the album where we start hearing tracks that you typically don’t get to see live! Jamie and Paul busted out “Fall Apart”, and one of my personal favorites: “FuckOnTheFirstDate”!
We came to our first short break of Twiztid’s set as we would two or three more times over their hour-long performance. If you’ve never seen a Twiztid show, they love to interact with the audience, have a little back-and-forth, and just cut up with each other. I’m glad they still made time for this little bit of extra flavor during this special show!
After the break, we got a few more live rarities in “Do You Really Know?,” “Leave Me Alone,”, and “People Are Strange”. I know that a lot of ninjas were curious as to how they would handle the tracks with collaborations on them. When it came time for “All I Ever Wanted,” they simply cut out Violent J and Shaggy’s parts. Easy enough! It was still incredible to see this track and others performed live!
Juggalos sang every word to the ode to Batman: “I Wanna Be…” and even though I have never smoked weed, I rapped along to “Bagz” in its entirety!
Just like “All I Ever Wanted”, the features were cut out of “Wut The Dead Like”, but that didn’t slow the demented duo down! After performing “Empty”, we got a welcome and unexpected surprise! The beat for “Where Itz Goin Down” started up, and not only did we get to see this rarity, but Blaze Ya Dead Homie came out to perform his parts too! As an extra piece of flavor, Blaze was dressed circa 2000 when he wore the pantyhose on his head and nobody thought he was a white dude. Here’s one of many Blaze pics that I caught:
Blaze stayed out during the next song break, and into another one of my all-time favorites: “Broken Wingz”! I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed myself while Blaze, Madrox, and Monoxide continued killing it onstage! What was next? Another delicacy that only those in Philly that night got to witness in recent history! We got to see the Triple Threat perform “Maniac Killa!”
“I need a cigarette before I go ballistic!”
This is the part of the night, and album, where things started to wind down. “Different” is the last fast-paced track of Freekshow, so it was time for any last pent-up energy to be expelled. Most in attendance danced and waved their hands from side to side, while others got their mosh on!
You can’t end an album with a much more depressing track than “I’m Alright,” but if we were to see Freekshow in its entirety, that’s the way it had to be. I love the song, but it’s not one that you typically want to close a show with. Twiztid being the true showmen that they are sensed this and started talking to the Juggalos and Juggalettes in the audience, thanking them for the past 15+ years and promising another 15 and beyond! They showed nothing but love and appreciation, and I don’t know how much more you could ask for from a performance as a fan!
This show was an OG Juggalo’s wet dream! It was hard not to reminisce while they were performing track after track from Freekshow about listening to it while driving to and from college/work in my early 20s. This was also the first Twiztid album that I went to a midnight album release party for. Those were such great times in my life! I’m just happy to have been one of the lucky ninjas in attendance. Thanks once again to George and the entire MNE family for having me out!
That about it as far as the show goes! After getting a few pieces of merch, the Scrubs crew was off to Rachel’s house for a ridiculous house party! We stopped and I got my first taste of WaWa, which is basically like the QT stations we have here. I think conservatively, well over 100 people showed up to Rachel’s house for the party, and those who didn’t crash there stayed until upwards of 6 AM. It was definitely good times!
Much love to everyone I met there, all of the artists who performed, and all of you reading this right now! If Twiztid decides to have yet another special show, I highly recommend that you get your ass to wherever it is somehow!