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    Earlier this week, both East and West Coast hip-hop were represented on stage at the Louisville Palace when ScHoolboy Q and Joey Bada$$ came to town for Q’s Blank Face LP World Tour. This was Q’s first time headlining in Louisville, and I think I can speak for everyone when I say I hope he comes back – soon, and with Bada$$.

    Brooklyn’s Joey Bada$$ opened the show, performing popular songs like “Big Dusty,” “Survival Tactics.” and “Devastated.” Bada$$ was only 17 when he debuted his mixtape 1999 in 2012, and now, four years later, he rocked the stage with colossal stature, proving that Jay-Z is right to show such interest in his talent. Did I hear, “the next big thing?” You bet.

    Joey Bada$$
    Image: C. Michael Stewart

    Repping a ScHoolboy Q hoodie, our headliner came on stage to raucous cheering and “Gangsta” from his 2014 BET Hip Hop- and Grammy-nominated album Oxymoron. “I'm starting to think there's some real ScHoolboy Q fans out in this crowd,” he teased as he played some of his first hits, including “Hands on the Wheel” and “There He Go.”

    ScHoolboy Q
    Image: C. Michael Stewart

    Q shook the Palace walls for over an hour, performing songs from several albums, including almost the entirety of Blank Face LP. He captured us all with his energy and charisma, getting us to laugh along with him and bragging about his pride and joy – his 7-year-old daughter. At one point, he shared his optimism – a theme that has been running through many hip-hop and rap artists’ performances recently. “Whatever you're going through in life, there's always better days, because we're always blessed,” he said before playing “Blessed” ft. Kendrick Lamar from his 2011 album Habits & Contradictions.

    ScHoolboy Q
    Image: C. Michael Stewart

    There’s a uniquely Louisville feel to the Palace, and the performers picked up on it. “It’s mad awkward in here,” DJ Mackwop said, looking out at the no-standing-room venue (aside from in the pit, of course, but don’t even try to get past security.) What can we say? Keep Louisville weird. ScHoolboy Q called us out on it too. “I go by the name of ScHoolboy Q and s**t like that, and I'm not used to doing shows with seats. How we going to turn up with seats?” We still did.

    That night, East and West Coast joined together as we witnessed two of hip-hop's fastest rising stars give Louisville their all. Both artists are legends-in-the-making just beginning to leave their footprints in hip-hop history. I can’t wait to see what they’ll each do next.


    Photos by C. Michael Stewart

    Alexis Messmer's picture

    About Alexis Messmer

    2015 University of Louisville graduate. All things social media, marketing, writing, sneakers, photography, music, and a whole lot of coffee.

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