The Last Week by Bryan Lackner

it's May 28th.
we've been home for three weeks.
kinda dropped the ball on the last of these posts.

the last week of the tour was when my body started shutting down. not in an any dire way, really, but it was just...before the last week, there was no end in sight. i didn't know what the end of the tour really meant. we had been performing practically every night for a month and a half, new city every day. that was the new normal. when we hit Manchester, it started dawning on us that, yes, this time next week, we'll be sleeping in our own beds. from there on, i was sleeping harder, the shit food i'd been eating finally was 

unfortunately, three weeks after the fact, my memories are a bit fragmented, but i typed down bits of notes from the last handful of days, which i'll expound on briefly.

- in Manchester, Brent had to deal with a drunk racist at the bar prior to the show, which put a damper on the entirety of the night. that being said, Rap Night (both in Portland and M'chester -- that's a terrible abbreviation but i'm keeping it) is a beautiful thing, and i'm glad we were able to participate in both. New Hampshire emcees are on their shit. shouts to Eyenine, Mike Wing, Cody Pope, Seth On Gray Street, and the countless others we rocked with.

- New Haven saw us performing at Crunch House -- a hole-in-the-wall DIY space located behind an industrial laundry operation. not too many people at the show, but, my personal favorite performance of the tour. afterwards we ate pizza at a joint that had over half of its parking lot covered by a mountainous woodpile.

Brooklyn was a lot of fun. we always have fun in Brooklyn. Eze joined up with us for this show, and it was good to have his energy back in the mix. sound dude was a dick. we found a 24-hour bagel shop which made my heart dance, and i woke up to the sound of a dog both humping Height's sleeping back and making a wretched hacking sound. Desmond the cat was far more pleasant and i held him briefly.

- leading up to Trenton, a lot of people said, "Trenton? Why are you going to Trenton?!" and i would calmly reply that we're on tour, and you go to places when you're on tour, and in our case, Trenton was one of them. really enjoyed the show. after the show we were all trying to sleep, but everyone else at the house we were at were trying to get fuuuuucked up. one guy shook my hand very firmly and said, "Hey, let's go upstairs, do some drugs, and talk about hip-hop." the term "let's do some drugs" is a little disconcerting, no? no specifics, just, some drugs. i politely declined and slept upright in a recliner. we left promptly in the AM.

- i saw my brothers in Philadelphia. we played in a very tight basement. stinky, sweaty, lovely. there was a cat named Pudding upstairs that slept in the same spot all night. Gavin Riley is one of my favorite performers. Cosmi's has very good cheesesteaks.

Baltimore. the end of the tour.
the show was pre-curfew due to the unrest over the Freddie Gray case. despite that, the people of Baltimore were great -- calm, positive, optimistic. Sam from Future Islands was a last-minute addition to the show, and let me know that he was rocking one of our shirts in a recent F.I. press photo at Abbey Road. it's weird playing a show at 7pm. and while the tour didn't have the last grand hurrah that all of us (somewhere in our minds) felt that it would have, it ended the way it was supposed to. we were content. we left Baltimore just as curfew struck, and just as a sea of people took to North Avenue to protest. we drove through the night and were home by sunrise.

we cannot thank Dan/Height enough for believing in us and giving us this giant opportunity to travel the country with our raps. i highly recommend reading this article that he wrote about the DIY hip-hop scene last year. the Zen emcee.

also, major love and thanks to Eze Jackson, PT Burnem and B Rich for being solid tourmates with invaluable advice and killer music. 

thank you to every kind soul that let some stinky rappers into their houses to shower and use all their wifi, for every venue/promoter that opened their doors to us, and for all the dope artists we met/performed with along the way. 

and lastly, thanks to everyone that bought a cd or a shirt, took a sticker, liked us on facebook, tweeted us, followed our instagram's...all of the support was/is incredible, and we're grateful to have you on our side. hope to see all of you again soon.


Boston by Bryan Lackner

prior to this show, the only time we'd played Boston was in 2012 with Jamaican Queens and a local speed metal band that i guess was put on the bill for a "local draw"? from my recollection, they might have drawn three or four people. 

anyway, this time, Boston/The Burrow treated us real well.   Leo Albatross greeted us with hard ciders, there was an Adrienne Marie Brown quote above the doorway and Jacob pulled out his copy of Octavia's Brood. the basement was narrow, but we fit three stages down there, and the good thing about small basements/venues is, you don't need many people to have a hype show. real fun lineup. afterwards, we dove into a comical amount of guacamole and pita chips that Jacob's roommate took from MIT (by the looks of it, they would've just thrown away, i don't know, 5 pounds of guac? that's a lotta guac, brah.)

in the morning, Colin and Brent came up with the unofficial/never-to-be-recorded tour banger, Fuck It, I'ma Pee In This Cup

Providence by Bryan Lackner

we walked into AS220 at the end of another show, and we all honed in on the cheese tray. touring rappers flock to free food, so before loading in, Brent went over to the spread, only to be greeted by a stiff that wasn't trying to let him get in on the goods. Brent charmingly told the dude to shut up and came back to the van with a paper plate full of cubed cheeses.

this has nothing/everything to do with the show we played that night, but what's up with dudes being over-the-top sexist in their raps? i feel a little bit like an old man when i ask that, but it's more of a curiosity than a complaint.
who is it for?
for women? so they can hear about your exploits and think, boy, if I play my cards right, maybe he'll write a rap about me! 
are dudes supposed to be jealous?
is the idea that people will love to hear about how much sexing you do to all your hoes or whatever?
do you, but that shit is boring.

the next morning, i drank coffee milk. did you know coffee milk is a thing?

Rhode Island's official state drink y'all. like chocolate milk, but coffee. i don't even drink milk, but i had a glass and it was goddamn dee-licious. thanks to Mike East for showing me the way.

Portland by Bryan Lackner

in Portland, we visited Bomb Diggity Studios, a community art space serving adults of all abilities. we shared videos. inspiring stuff. here's two of my favorites:

i also bought my new favorite shirt at Bomb Diggity:

we performed at the monthly Rap Night at The Asylum, which reminds me of the Blue Collar Gentlemen monthly we have in Detroit. built-in crowd, all there for the love of hip-hop, which makes for a fun, high-energy show.

we shared our stage with Eyenine, who has got some goddamn chops, man. jesus. if we were to have a fake award show for the tour, he'd win, Rapper Who Can Spell "Deteriorating" Faster Than Anyone Known To Man.

our equipment took a spill at the end of the night due to some drunks, but everything remained in working order. the cyphers were live, the b-boys were getting it in. Portland was what's up.

Dover by Bryan Lackner

after our stop at Suzy Q donuts, we headed to the border for our show in Dover for the third leg of the tour. super thankful that Brent and Dan drove through Quebec -- no GPS, no phones, just a map and gut instinct. 

the border patrol took their time going through the van, and then questioned us about our confetti. we calmly told them it was just spring-loaded paper.

we linked up with PT outside of Spun Records in Dover. after being on the road 6 weeks, PT's energy was a good way to re-energize all of us on this last leg.

we stayed with Seth On Gray Street and watched an hour of Lucha Underground, which was great. i'm a wrestling least i once was.
it all got to be too much for me when Vince McMahon merged the three major federations. Lucha Underground was a breath of fresh air...same goes for Seth's music. peep the links.

Ottawa by Bryan Lackner

Jesse Dangerously is the man. on top of a dope set, him and his lady Kira (and their little pup, Hazel) hosted us, and the following morning, he hooked us with some of the illest donuts i've had in a minute.

Ottawa was our last show w/ B Rich. wish we were able to rock more shows together, but hopefully we'll be able to do so in the future. fahck yeah, bud!

FINAL POUTINE COUNT: i had 3 poutine stops, Height, 4. i'm good on poutine for a few. even the shawarma joints had poutine, dang.

Kingston by Bryan Lackner

Eze headed back to Baltimore, and we headed to the border to link up with B Rich in Ontario. B is in Height's side project, Shark Tank, and had a viral hit in Canada with "Out For A Rip" (7+ million views as of now)

this was the first thing i saw when i walked into his house, which more or less assured me we'd be getting along just fine.

after a few days of hanging out, eating poutine and watching MacGyver, we got back to rap business. my breath control was fucked up because my blood was about 40% gravy, but Kingston was live!  

post-show, we stopped at Coffee Way, our home away from home away from home, as it were.

Buffalo by Bryan Lackner

man. buffalo.

well, first, we performed with Jack Topht, and stayed at his place after the show. his newest band is with his girl Ana (aka Little Cake). ever since the show, i can't stop listening to their project, Dasani Nites. such infectious tunes.

Jack has a lot of cool shit on his walls:

we got to the venue at sundown, and similar to Pittsburgh, playoff hockey was on the tv's, which made it feel like home. but then, i don't know. it slowly became a shit-show.
the "soundman" was more of a "sound overseer", and he didn't do a good job of overseeing anything, except maybe how much blow he could consume over the course of the night. Eze has felt the brunt of bad soundmen (see: Billings), and this was the worst sound of the tour. bit of a bummer.

also, this was the first time on the tour that people would dip when it wasn't their friends performing (meaning, when we were rapping). i ran into a couple these sniffly people in the bathroom, politely turned down their offers to, you know, and went back to rapping. over the course of the show -- and this has been the case in many of the tour stops -- people started warming up to us, but it didn't take away from the night feeling like a trap music-infused fever dream.

it was the last night that Eze was on the tour with us, so we bid him farewell before heading to Jack's.
Eze is a stand-up dude, immensely talented, charming as a motherfucker, and i highly recommend purchasing his album, L.I.V.E. N.O.W. such a pleasure rocking with him for a month and change.

Pittsburgh by Bryan Lackner

years ago, i went to the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor to see MC Chris perform (Sealab / [adult swim]). before MC Chris, i saw two acts that changed things for me. the first being Downtown Brown, who have become friends and collaborators with an unrivaled work ethic. i highly recommend checking them out, but i want to talk to you about Grand Buffet.

Grand Buffet came on and it was one of those, Where has this music been my whole life? moments. razor sharp wit, wildly entertaining, something that -- at the time -- i wasn't used to seeing at rap shows. it was thanks to GB that i discovered Height, who toured with them in 2007.

cut to: present day, Howler's, and performing with Jackson, b/k/a Mrs. Paintbrush.

i was goddamn stoked. Pittsburgh was a lot of fun, one of the livest crowds on the tour, and i got to chop it up with Jackson and Lord Grunge, which, for me, was a big, big thing. here's some Mrs. Paintbrush banter, talking with a drunk dude who appears about halfway through the vid.

also, shouts to AA Arm for having this wild-ass setup. had my first Eat 'N' Park experience with them after the show. good dudes.

Youngstown by Bryan Lackner

Youngstown started by us being locked out of Richie's place. well, Richie fell asleep, and his phone was off, so we ended up getting a hotel for the night. in the morning, Richie apologized over a half-eaten burrito bowl.

Richie used to be in Gil Mantera's Party Dream, and come to find out, he was my favorite part of Shark Tank's "Don't Shoot" video.

he performed with us at Knox, under his moniker THE GREEN GOBBLER. his performance was a speech on How To Eat. below is the intro to his set.

my camera died, but for the rest of the rounds, he led his lectures over the opening guitar loop of Pearl Jam's "Jeremy".

we also performed with a man named Scott Fry, who works with Weird Paul, a prolific Pittsburgh artist that i've listened to for some time. peep game:

a very large drunk man couldn't keep his balance, so he tried to steady himself on one of our speakers, so Eze and i had to give this look of, Dude, what's..what is this?, while Brent was watching from behind the stage.

i went back to Richie's to sleep, and at some point in the night he and Eze came back, along with a friend of theirs who slowly petted my face. ain't mad at her.