Rarely does a night occur when all things fall into place and all performers on a show bring their A game. Rarely do the twerkers invade a stage before 9:30 pm and rarely does a 6’4″ werewolf kick off the nights activities. So lets just dive into the night that was Lunaface Promotions presents Lil Debbie. Lunaface is a promotion company that has gained a solid reputation as a consistent concert/event promoter, that caters to the more grown and mature true-school hip-hop fan. Recently bringing acts like Raekwon, Action Bronson, The Pharcyde, Dead Prez and more to some of Houston’s top concert venues. While Lunaface has dived into the world of the ratchets a time or two with shows like Riff Raff at Fitzgerald’s & Lil B at WareHouse Live, they found themselves once again in the middle of Ratchetville, USA as they brought us the return of Lil Debbie to Houston’s landmark venue Number’s.
Lil Debbie is a pint sized female MC with a flare for the ratchets, who is currently navigating herself through hip-hop’s national landscape. Making her mark with an intense cult like following, millions of Youtube hits and strong musical affiliations with the likes of Riff Raff, Kreayshawn & V-Nasty. With hits like “Bake a Cake” and “Michelle Obama” where she brags about Paul Wall’s dentistry and her “Presidential Titties” we where sure to see something special. To say the least the Oakland native delivered, but not before Houston’s new generation of young artist had their say.
So lets just rewind a bit and return to start of the night. A night that started for me with an email from Lunaface CEO Hector Del Valle asking if I could help with attaining items for Lil Debbie rider. You know those miscellaneous things the star has to have before they take the stage. A simple list consisting of innocent things like red grapes, green apples, sparkling water and white towels. Not on the list were things like bowls for the fruit and bubble gum, which anyone can use in crowded room. I also thought i’d take it upon myself and purchase Debbie a dozen white roses, because white women love white roses. As I parked my car in the maze that is Numbers parking, I quickly noticed a line forming at the door. Day Light Saving be damned it was actually before 7:30 pm and the patrons forming the line looked as if they would soon need to be home before curfew.
Yes, tonight Lunaface had reached an audience that was still studying for the TAAS test and preparing class rings for high school graduation. As the doors opened and the fresh faces began to pour in the door mans sharpie was hard at work. Marking over 75% of the venues female attendees with the dreaded XX. Gentlemen when you see that XX that does not mean she wants you to buy her a Dos Equis. No sir, it’s simply a roman numeral for the number 20, indicating the number of years you’ll spend in jail for pimping in the high school parking lot. The eager young crowd rolled in extremely excited for what was many of the youths first concert without parental supervision.
The evenings first performance started as a bit of a surprise. A surprise in the sense that I wasn’t sure the show had started when a 6’4″ werewolf took the stage. It wasn’t clear wether the venue was providing a dancing monster to go with the Halloween decor or wether this was someones hype man falling into the October spirit. Nope wrong on both. It was stand alone MC Van Solo making his second appearance at a Lunaface event. Recently performing with SPC legend K Rino at Lunaface breeding ground showcase “The Local Theory”. Van Solo did an effective job of warming up the crowd in what is surely the toughest time slot. Bravo to Van Solo for setting the tone of the evening.
Before the next act took the stage the crowd was treated to a surprise DJ set by 2013 Houston Press Music Award best solo rapper Fat Tony. Still celebrating the success of his recently released album “Smart Ass Black Boy”. Fat Tony seemed very relaxed turning the young crowd up. The rapper turned one night DJ weaved in and out of new and old school southern classic. From the Hot Boy’s “Set it off” to Migo’s “Bando”. Fat Tony kept the bass lines low, the high hats high and the mixes smooth. Making a perfect intro to the nights next performers J Sean followed by Harmony The Kid.
J Sean is a fresh face to the scene, but the kids got charisma. Using little to no gimmicks the young MC actually surprised many when performed his own version of Tupac’s “I Get Around”. Showing he is much more in touch with the music that came before him and the peers in his age bracket. J Sean ended his set with a tribute to his brother who he recently lost. Calling on the assistance of his little sister Asia the two siblings poured their heart into the evening most touching moment. There’s a real genuine quality to J Sean’s music and approach to business. I personally believe this kid has shot of building a big fan base as long as he continues to surround himself with the positivity he exudes.
Now we had come to the most unexpected part of the evening. A massive fellow by the name of Harmony The Kid took the stage raising many eyebrows as to what would come next. Harmony approached the stage with a visual image reminiscent of one Side Show Bob meets Andy Milonakis. Sporting a neck full of tattoo’s the kid came out swinging. Tongue twisting instrumentals and even throwing in a little vocal performance. Accompanied by a hype man that probably drank 16 red bulls, these two put on a show that had many of my fellow hip-hop heads raising the ole “look at him go” eye brow to one another. Just when Harmony The Kid had turned the crowd his way, he decided to end his set with a song directly aimed at one of Houston’s top rappers. A song in which he claims said rapper took money for a feature and never came through on the deal. Calling the artist by name and even including a direct “you a hoe” in his hook. Harmony thoroughly entertained the crowd in front of him. The crowd behind him however wasn’t to fond of such disses. Seeing as many of the industry folk back stage mumbled words like “I can’t get down with this fool dissing my boy” and “man that dude’s really exaggerating”. Though no physical or verbal confrontations took place after the performance of the diss track, I’m sure Harmony The Kid will find that he closed a few doors on himself right as he had won his peers over.
Next to the stage was the evenings only veteran player. Veteran in the way that Lebron James has been dominating the league for over a decade, but is still in his mid twenties. Hollywood Floss and Kidd The Great were once again on a stage they are both very familiar with. So what could they to do spice things up and keep things new? How about an eager group of turnt up teen twerkers??? Yeah that should work and no these twerkers were not paid for their services. These ladies hopped their way on stage as Kidd the Great sang out “She a dime piece I think I love her, she a ten finer than a motherfucker”. True when you mix the venerable age of the teen twerkers and explicit lyrical content, Hollywood Floss and Kidd put on a show that bordered on criminal.
Before the next act hit the stage it’s worth noting a climatic event in the nights festivities. One simple song played by the DJ that elevated the nights energy to its peek. What song could I be talking about? Im shamefully admitting it… Miley Cyrus “23” ft. Wiz Kalifa and Juicy J. I mention this for two reason. First because the song completely took over the teenage crowd. It was like they could only hear one voice in their head that chanted repeatedly “twerk Miley twerk”. Second in retrospect to the nights headliner it appears that Miley has actually taken page out of Lil Debbie’s book. Knowingly or not Miley has found herself both embraced and shunned for ratchet behavior. From shift in image to a change in musical taste, Miley is now playing a role more Lil Debbie than Hanna Montana.
After the madness of “23” took place a rapper cut from a different cloth took to the stage. Anti-Swagg rapper Ill Laid who’s vocal tone sounds something like embattled rock star Axel Rose. Ill Liad took the stage with banging production and a stand alone stage presence. Their was no turning down when he performed the memorable “Night Night”. A song that takes Kevin Harts famous comedy routine for the sample on the hook. Ill Liad has full plate of shows on his table. The month of December will surely be big for the hometown antagonist as he opens for Riff Raff December 1st at Warehouse live present by 365 Live.
So now that the crowd had gone all the way in it was going to take a special performance to keep the energy going. Wether planned or not the next act took the stage at the perfect time. Stockzilla accompanied by Brad Gilmore. As it turns out it was Stockzilla that had much to do with the attendance of the turnt up teens. As the flat topped MC took the stage with a swagger much like the Fresh Prince of Bellaire, the young female attendees continued to flaunt their excitement. Stockzilla and Brad Gilmore showed a true charisma on stage, often playing games with the crowd to see which side liked each one of the showmen better. Stockzilla even mixed in a live drummer and a special guest appearance by Rai P of “Swagged Up & I’m Killing” fame. Stockzilla has a bright future ahead of him and of all the nights acts, I walked away most impressed by his performance. Im sure Stockzilla will find himself on many more of the city’s top show line ups.
So now the time had come. Stepping out of the smoke filled green room Lil Debbie waits patiently as host Reko Trill spends some time passing the mic to members in the audience. Who take turns singing the popular cuts the DJ is pumping out. There was even a group of white boy wasted teens who took control of the mic and began to spit freestyles. Freestyles that sent the young crowd into a frenzy. When Debbie took the stage the crowd was electric, at least in the beginning. Between the rapping werewolf, Miley Cyrus’s “23” and the white boy wasted freestyles, the crowd may have turnt up a bit to earlier in the evening. Debbie screams repeatedly “come on Houston last time i was here it was too live”. She even told the young crowd “stop fronting on my beats, I know i don’t pick wack beats”. After coaching the first time partiers back to life Lil Debbie’s set would soon be over. Ending her set with her biggest hit “Bake a Cake” Debbie heads back stage. Soon after her exit the young crowd finds a second wind and calls for an encore. Adam Rapp of Sports Rap Live steps out to the stage with free Debbie t-shirts. He informs the crowd that they are really gonna have to take it up a notch, if they want to see their ratchet role model do one more song. The crowd follows suit and Debbie soon takes the stage to bake another cake. Houston we have to step it up at events. Too many times I see national acts ragging on us. Calling city’s like Austin and Dallas way more fun to perform in. These city’s look to us to set the trend in Texas and we are too busy playing the cool kids in the cafeteria.
I’ve attended many Lunaface shows, and from my perspective this was the most fun I’ve ever had at a Lunaface event. I was also very impressed by every opener that took the stage. I saw a new generation of young artist that are going to be hard to keep up with. I must also note that the night saw two other local acts. Unfortunately journalistic duties pulled me away from the stage at the time of their performance. I am told that one of the groups was Franchise & Yung who celebrated the release of a new mix tape. So y’all go check them out they say its “the best mix tape of the whole damn year”. Shout out to Lunaface for stepping outside of its comfort zone and bringing a fresh show with fresh flavor to town. You can log onto to truesole.net for information on any future Lunaface events. I got a sneak peak at the Lunaface calendar and boy do these guys have some great things lined up. Houston Hip-Hop is all around you, and you can count on truesole.net to be there to cover all the action.