On August 5th 2017, Blaze Ya Dead Homie did an ultra rare performance. He performed his 2001 full-length debut album 1 Less G n da Hood, from start to finish. This was a rarity show, as Blaze has not performed an album in its entirety prior to this. To make things even more special, Twiztid and Anybody Killa also appeared throughout the show to perform their respective parts; thus, with the exception of two tracks, there was minimal cutting of verses.
To start things off, there were multiple local and Native World acts prior to Blaze headlining. Due to time constraints, none of them were seen and thus is not mentioned in this review. Due to the decent-sized crowd by time the last act played, there was obviously a strong showing for them, as the venue got densely packed quite early.
The first and only advertised opener was Insane E. If you’re at least a bit familiar with MNE, you would know that Insane E is the head of graphics and design of the label; however, you should also know that Insane E has an extensive music catalog, and has been performing live steadily for a number of years. Ranging from The Gemini Projekt to Twisted Thoughts to The No Clue Crew, to his own pair of full solo albums, Insane E has a wide range of musical output, with many selections to choose from.
Insane E shuffled through his extensive music library to deliver a solid performance, and was paired with DJ Felony to provide a fuller live experience. “Brainwashed” is a standout track from the Gemini Projekt days. With the groove-oriented beat and Insane E‘s consistent flow, it increased the crowd hype early on, and was a good selection. “Keep It Real” is a lyrically charged song about the shortcomings of the music business, and trusting people overall. It shows Insane E‘s consistent message to be independent, straight-forward, and trustworthy. He closed out the set with the fan favorite remix of “Let’s Do This!” and is always a fun song to see. “Let’s Do This!” has an almost dance-like atmosphere, with the crowd engaging at maximum.
Between songs, Insane E will give short speeches on being open-minded and overall living an optimistic life. If one thing is for certain, he does not hold back on his message, and always has words of wisdom, so to speak. Pair that with a catchy setlist and a solid DJ, Insane E delivers a superb performance.
Before you know it, Blaze Ya Dead Homie appeared as the headliner, and as guessed by now, performed his debut album 1 Less G n da Hood in its entirety. Using the lengthy and a bit overdramatic intro “The Eulogy”, Blaze blasted into “Grave Ain’t No Place” afterwards. Of course, since Twiztid were special guests, they first came on stage during this song to a huge ovation. The obvious inclusion of Twiztid (and eventually, Anybody Killa) performing these songs with Blaze made it seem more special, and almost had a throwback vibe. A perfect example of this would be during “Str8 Outta Detriot.” Anybody Killa came on to do his verse, and was almost like as if he was Blaze‘s hype man yet again. That song in particular was one of the hardest sounding songs in the setlist, and got the crowd to do a small yet energetic mosh in the middle of the pit.
“Here I Am” was not included on the album reissue; however, it was still played during this show, and for good reason. Probably one of the few times that both Blaze and Twiztid has performed the song live together, it was an awesome sight to see. “Given Half a Chance” was another rarity. Essentially a Dark Lotus song, both Twiztid and Blaze did their verses with ease, and was a standout track without a doubt.
Blaze also independently did fan favorites such as “Casket” and “Nasty.” With or without the special guests, it was quite clear that Blaze was having a blast, as was the crowd; afterall, this could have been a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see this particular performance. To close out the show, Blaze, ABK, and Twiztid all did their verses for another reissue cut, “Hatchet Execution.” Most likely one of the last times to see this song live, it provided a good closure to the setlist, and was awesome to see.
Overall, this was quite clearly a special show, and the packed crowd is proof enough that the show went off great without a hitch. All 15 songs were played in the correct order as well. Both Twiztid and Blaze will be returning next month to the Agora to perform Mostasteless and the Blaze Ya Dead Homie EP, respectively. Insane E will also be returning as well. By all accounts, that show is going to be just as good as this, and of course, just as rare.