Rapper Tame One commands respect with local show
New Jersey, in the form of rapper Tame One, was in the house Thursday night as the OG Bobby Johnson Tour, a four-group road show named after the title of Tame One’s upcoming album, made a pit stop at the Off Limits.
The opening Dusted Dons caught the word that in Chico shows start at least an hour late and, after setting up punctually, squandered enough time to meet expectations. Consisting of live samples, drums, a DJ, two rappers and a female vocalist, the Dons challenged the sound man and enthused the crowd. The interplay between the two male rappers and Rachel Ann Webster’s soulful singing was complemented by the gritty keyboard samples and live drums.
Along for the 3,000-mile road trip was Brycon, a rapper from North Carolina. He quickly won over the locals by announcing Chico’s most hyphy DJ, Lord Facials, would be playing his backing music. Brycon continued his acknowledgment of Chico’s burgeoning rap scene by inviting MC Oroville on stage to do a song. Brycon’s thought-provoking, witty North Carolina freestyles were juxtaposed by rural tales from Butte County’s high-pitched Clamper-turned-MC.
The energy in the crowd picked up as San Francisco’s Z-man took the stage with a bottle of Carlos Rossi in hand. Sharing wine and song, as well as a few new dance moves, Z-Man performed alongside Chico expatriate Thug-E-Fresh. The two livened things up for the headliner, Tame One.
Tame One brought the crowd into his zone. Beginning with a hazy a cappella abstract about drug use and hyper-consciousness, the older Jersey rapper commanded respect. Once the beats dropped, his prescience remained heavy and his rhymes bold. The small but enthusiastic crowd responded with their fingers pointed in the air as Tame One worked through some of his better-known material from his Leek Brothers and Artifacts albums.
The set reached its climax near closing time, with the Dusted Dons joining Tame on stage in a fitting finale to the night’s great performances.