Modern hip-hop performers bring musical flow


freddie gibbzOver the past 100 years, San Diego gained a reputation as a transplant city— The US Navy has called it home since 1918, attracting service men and women from across the nation. Prospective college students eagerly flock to San Diego’s campuses, looking for an endless supply of sunshine and ocean waves.

Last Sunday found two new transplants in San Diego— Freddie Gibbs and Shante Franklin, AKA Curren$y. Gibbs recently found fame for his gritty, passionate tales about the streets of Gary, Indiana. Meanwhile Curren$y coasted to underground stardom as the smoked out, mellow cousin of Lil Wayne.

The two united at the North Park Observatory, where the stars figuratively aligned and displayed in anticipation of their upcoming projects. Gibbs and Curren$y possessed an obvious passion that made the audience cheer along, hoping they’d find some success in the future.

When Gibbs began his performance, the eager audience rushed in from the adjoining bar, filling the floor. Gibbs performed nonstop, going acapella between songs, urging the audience to join in before starting each new song.

Although it disrupted the flow of the concert, Gibbs’ technical skills and versatility were shown as a rapper. His charisma shone through his fantastic interacting with the crowd, even inviting an eager fan onstage before security intervened. About halfway through his set, he hushed the crowd for a special moment— his uncle, “Big Time Watts,” was granted about a minute of drunken attempts at rapping. The two exchanged some easy banter which was an entertaining experience.

After about half an hour of performing, he made his exit, urging audiences to support his next project. Surprisingly, it was Curren$y who stole the show. For someone with a reputation as a mellow individual, he had a way with the crowd. His energy level was higher than Gibbs’ and he was constantly jumping about or charging back and forth, to amp up the crowd.

Most impressively, he covered at least one song from the majority of his material, which spans over 20 mixtapes and five albums.  He began with “Famous,” a fan favorite, which audience members sang along with jovially. Slowly working through his discography, he amped up the crowd on “BBS” and mellowed them out towards the end with “Address” and “Fo.” To conclude the show, he even gave the audience a sneak preview of his upcoming project, playing two songs which were likely unheard outside of his record label.

Afterwards, Curren$y hopped into the crowd, providing autographs and fan pictures for about 15 minutes. As he left the building, he invited some audience members to check out his vintage lowrider in the adjacent parking lot.

It’s clear to see why Curren$y and Freddie Gibbs are a couple of the most popular modern hip-hop performers. From their superb, energetic performances to their genuine interactions with fans following the show, they proved themselves to be overachievers, willing to go the extra mile to support their fans. Although they came from different corners of the nation, they seemed to be right at home transplanted here in San Diego.