Last night we got an invite to attend the PUMA-sponsored Meek Mill event at Sigma Sound in northern Chinatown. Shit was real.
1. Can we just get all these details out: Puma and Meek Mill are a team, they put this thing together with Villa and DJ Booth where they auditioned emcees with a 5-minute tape in the cities of Cleveland, Chicago and Philadelphia. Meek and his committee, consisting of reps from PUMA, Villa and DJ Booth chose two to open last night – Lyn Charles and Thurz opened up for a pretty short set by Meek himself.
2. Lyn Charles is from Philly. His Soundcloud is solid, Philly-reppin’ flows over curated and sophisticated samples. It doesn’t sound like everything else that’s Maybach Music-touched.
3. Gotta say, his appearance didn’t really match the modest class his songs sound like. He wore an unbuttoned button-down shirt with jeans belted around the top of his thighs. He looked not wholly unlike Dice at the “US Music Awards” from Glitter (it was on HBO yesterday).
4. They had a cash bar to start, but that didn’t last long before they opened up the bar. It was a private event, people were able to buy tickets by copping PUMAs. At the beginning, Coors Lights were $4, well drinks were $7 and the premium stuff, like Ciroc and Patron, was $9. But the bar opened around 9:15pm and when I asked for a whiskey ginger and then a vodka soda, I was told they have pineapple juice, cranberry juice, Coke and Sprite for mixers. That made things less awkward for me.
5. Thurz was real good – good energy and tons of it, engaged the audience (or tried) and hyped up the audience significantly. Check in on his SoundCloud and find a Black Thought collab. He’s from L.A. and did a fair amount of Cali shouting out which was pretty lost on everybody. But on “Riot,” he raps: “Too many rappers in the closet, like Narnia.”
6. It was pretty instantaneous that when Meek took the stage, the room started getting a little blunted.
7. The space is beautiful. Beautifully-finished wood floors, some tasteful modern furniture peppered in the back 2/3 of the space, a well-protected sound booth in the back next to a little VIP area and a stage big enough for a few rappers and a DJ. Tracy, their charming manager, was a show-stopper in a stunning, silky, super-short shirt dress and flesh-like tights that made it seem like she was just wearing a short dress. Sigma’s got a cool history – check it.
8. Confession: I had to Shazam most of the DJs’ sets between rappers. There were two 2 Chainz songs, “I’m Different” and “No Lie” (featuring Drake), and a Lil’ Wayne song, “No Worries.” Just to give a you a snapshot.
9. Meek put on a pretty short and tight set. Doing all the songs I’ve heard and expected: “Amen,” “Young n’ Gettin It,” “Burn,” and “Dreams and Nightmares.” He did lots of shortened versions of songs, naturally, which is pretty standard from most big name emcees at this point. Do a shorter set but get in as many songs that people would know. Which isn’t hard to do for Meek fans, most likely, ‘cus he’s been all over that Maybach money. You know this.
10. Not to end on a Debbie Downer note. But Meek was slated to head out on a few gigs in Chicago and London to keep on keepin’ on after the success of Dreamchasers 2. Looks like that might not happen after an arrest that violated his probation. But if you’re down for a Boardwalk Hall Atlantic City Sandy Benefit featuring Meek, Maly Money, French Montana, Tyga, Lil Chuckee, Honey Cocaine and DJ Drama, tickets are anywhere from $38 to $112 for the Friday night super concert.