The Smoker’s Club Fest Hot Boxed The Queen Mary In The LBC HOME PAGE: THE SMOKER'S CLUB FEST APRIL 28-29, 2018
LONG BEACH, CA- It was a full blown smoke out at The Queen Mary in Long Beach with a line up catered to all the hip-hop loving stoners. Wiz Khalifa performed Kush & OJ, Kid Cudi is still alive, and Schoolboy Q finally got a lit crowd for his set in L.A. Smoker’s Club emerged from a group of friends sharing common interests in music and weed. Over the years, the brand has dedicated itself to becoming the spot for smokers who enjoy listening to fire mixtapes. They have hosted a number of shows but this year they organized a festival that their followers will never forget.
I have never been to an event at The Queen Mary and as a 420 lover, I was in heaven. Dank smoke filled the air along with the aroma of bbq, hot wings, pizza. They had all the munchies ready, although the prices were weighed they came clutch when we were hopping stages. It was truly a Smoker’s Club, with Swisher Sweet and Optimo booths for anyone that forgot blunts. Security was letting people smoke and chill. At one point they hit our joint but you didn’t hear that from me. The only thing that I noticed go wrong was the typical amount of people passing out. You would think after all these festivals the organizers would provide water directly to the crowds. By Sunday they figured that out and they did have multiple water refilling stations so I can’t say much.
It was nothing but peace and love in Long Beach, people from different backgrounds came out to support their favorite artists. Everyone was repping their band merch and enjoying what I thought to be one the dopest festivals I’ve ever attended. From Hip-Hop to Trap, and whatever it is Lil Xan does. My personal favorites were Isaiah Rashad, Rapsody, and Dezzy Hallows who we got a chance to speak to. I was taken back at how many people lost their shit for Shoreline Mafia, I guess I’ve been asleep. Honestly, the line up was back to back, fire. The only main smoker I thought was missing was Berner, but he was backstage chilling with Taylor Gang supporting Wiz and Juicy J.
Overall the festival was a success, they did a great job setting up the vendors and despite the terrible parking arrangement, I believe many had a great time. Girls were throwing out weed vapes into the audience and handing out wraps throughout the venue. The merch booth was packed almost everytime I passed it and by the end of the weekend everyone was wearing the line up on their back. Of all the 420 friendly shows I’ve attended, this one accurately embodied the laid-back lifestyle L.A. smokers live.
Day One got off to a slow start until Rhymesayers rapper Prof hit the stage with his typical wild performance. The Minnesota MC brought alter ego Pookie Baby to introduce himself to the Smokers Club audience. After taking a quick poll of those who haven’t heard of him Prof let them know with “Prof Gampo” and said he “hopes to be the rapper you’ve been sleeping on.”
Although Prof acts like he lacks confidence he is a captivating performer with high energy that fans can’t help but respond to. After refreshing the audience with a few water bottles he brought out Cashinova to help him perform their single “No” from Prof’s latest album. I was surprised to see the crowd enjoy his slower song “Criminal” but knew they would get hyped for his track “Yah!” I definitely think Prof gained more fans at Smoker’s Club, if not you can check out our interview with him to learn more about his music.
I’ve seen A$AP Twelvyy live before but in a small venue and everyone was sleeping on him. However, at The Queen Mary for Smoker’s Club these fans knew what’s up with the “Last Year Being Broke!” movement.
The A$AP Mob member brought all the heat when he performed “Strapped” and my favorite Cozy Tapes track “Walk On Water.” He even made a comment about all that has been happening in the media saying “fuck oppression I’m from the projects, I’m with Y’all.”
As a hip-hop lover, I appreciated Twelvyy’s rawness; he had the crowd lit when “Hop Out” and “Hella Hoes” dropped. Smoker’s Club put everyone on game with A$AP Twelvyy he let everyone know that “every year is my last year being broke and every year is my first year being rich.” With that said, he left the crowd on a positive note and closed his set with “L.Y.B.B.”
The crowd at the second stage was light for Smoke DZA’s set at The Queen Mary, but the “Kushed God” came out like a winner, with a fighter belt hanging off his shoulders and his die-hard fans fully engaged. I don’t understand what reasoning Smoker’s Club had to schedule him at the same time as Curren$y but we made it work.
Despite the poor set timing, we had to show love to Smoke DZA because he is a Smoker’s Club OG. Although he noticed the small crowd, he still rocked his set and gave shout-outs to fans rocking “Don’t Pass Trump the Blunt” shirts. One of my favorite tracks he performed was “Ashtray” his flow is unmatched and more people need to hop on the Smoke DZA train.
I’m not sure if you have listened to Curren$y’s latest project “Parking Lot Music” but it’s fire, and listening to him spit it live was a whole other experience. I have been following Curren$y since his “How Fly” mixtape days with Wiz. His soothing voice and chill flow have been my go-to cruising music since high school.
Spitta Andretti brought that Jet Life to The Queen Mary and had fans smoking out the stage. I was happy to see fans nodding their heads and appreciate his flow. Although he is from New Orleans, his music resonates with the laid-back Los Angeles lifestyle. Unfortunately, we had bad timing trying to catch Smoke DZA that we missed the pit for Curren$y but either way, his set was dope.
The only knowledge I had of Joyner Lucas prior to this show was the “I’m Not Racist” video my sister in law showed me before. Thus, I was very excited to see what he had to offer live.
Although I was expecting overly conscious music, I was pleasantly surprised by the energy he gave his fans. First, he enters the stage with a Jason mask on and eventually joined the crowd. At one point he was rapping in a circle surrounded by everyone trying to get a video next to him. When he returned to the stage he performed “F.Y.M” and demolished it. His live raps were flawless and I look forward to seeing him on tour for his debut album (508) 507-2209.
SOBxRBE brought the bay area out to Long Beach at The Smokers Club Fest. My most anticipated group performed far beyond my expectations and had the whole crowd getting hyphy.
The trio got down to “Calvin Cambridge” and “Slidin.” I thought the crowd was going to lose it for their latest hit from the Black Panther soundtrack “Paramedic” but they didn’t seem to catch on until the hook. Maybe they were just high. Either way, it was one of my favorite sets because I love bay area rap and hope to see more from them in the future.
I have been to my fair share of hip-hop festivals in the L.A. area and fans tend to be overly laid back. However, the Smokers Club Fest crowd was unlike anything I’ve ever seen in SoCal. This crowd was on top of every song, to the point where 2 Chainz had to stop his set to tell photographers, “Y’all need to be taking pictures of this crowd singing my songs.”
The host of Viceland’s new show “Most Expensivest” did all his hits and everyone was losing their minds. Some of the livest moments happened during “No Problem,” “Different,” and “Watch Out.” As played out as it is, I’m a sucker for “4 AM” and grooved out to “Good Drank.” 2 Chainz is on tour so try to catch him while you can, his set is definitely a must see.
There were so many people on stage for Shoreline Mafia’s set I didn’t even know who to look at. According to XXL, the group consists of four friends; Fenix, Ohgeesy, Rob Vicious and Master Kato. While I have never heard their music before the show, I knew they were a phenomenon.
Previously represented on the news as lean heads, they took the footage and used it in their following video. The group opened up with a clip from their news debut and led into a banger “What’s The Deal?” Girls in the front row were screaming at the top of their lungs and the crowd really fucked with their party lifestyle.
Their rhymes are simple and to the point but with strong punchlines like in “Power Rangers” from their last project “ShorelineDoThatShit”. You can catch the group in Los Angeles at The Novo on May 19th, get your tickets before they sell out!
If you know anything about Schoolboy Q’s live performance, you know he feeds directly off of the energy his audience gives him. Every time I’ve seen him live he talks shit about how laid back fans are in Los Angeles.
Real 92.3’s Big Boy introduced him as “an artist that responds to his fans’ energy” saying “if you want his energy you got to give it back.” When “THat Part” started playing the crowd exploded and Q ran out in a bright orange beanie and Emily Oberg’s pink optimism hoodie. Throughout his set fans were moshing, yelling requests, and the TDE artist was loving it.
He delivered all his energy for “Man of the Year” and “Dope Dealer.” Took requests like “Tookie Knows” and my personal favorite “Blessed.” When he took a moment to stare into the crowd he laughed at how high everyone was and told them to drink water. Saying “ya’ll look like you about to die!” and started chucking bottles into the crowd. Although people were overcrowded in the barriers they were not holding back and Q closed the set off with “Break The Bank” and “Hell of a Night.”
Wiz Khalifa may have been closing out the main stage for Day 1 of Smokers Club Fest, but Rich The Kid stole the show for the night. Atlanta continues to infiltrate the rap game and Rich The Kid is another gem from the city.
Although originally from Queens, New York, you can feel the ATL influence in his debut album “The World Is Yours”. The project features some high profile artists like Kendrick Lamar, Future, Lil Wayne and more. Some say he is the fourth fallen Migo but it is clear he is meant to stand on his own.
Fans ran from the main stage to catch Rich the Kid perform his latest hit “Plug Walk.” He continued with tracks from his album like “No Question,” “End of Discussion,” and “New Freezer.” My favorite was his 2015 song featuring Kodak Black and 21 Savage “Plug.” As an emerging artist, Rich The Kid seems to be settling in just fine and fans are heavily gravitating toward his music.
I’m fairly young, so when I was in high school Wiz Khalifa’s “Kush” and “Orange Juice” were the anthems of my teenage experience. However, when Wiz began to gain traction as an artist, the only performance I could get to was for his third studio album “Rolling Papers”. While it introduced Wiz to the mainstream with tracks like “Black and Yellow”, many said it wasn’t the same rapper they heard on “Deal or No Deal”.
For years Wiz faced the challenge of maintaining his fan base and evolving as an artist. Thankfully, he listened to what his fans have been waiting for and performed his most beloved mixtape at the perfect location.
I heard so many people say they couldn’t believe they were witnessing him perform these classic songs. He went through the entire mixtape walking out to “Waken Baken” in front of a huge inflatable orange and two talented backup singers. Taylor Gang members came out to throw blow up RAW joints and as “Mezmerized” began to play fans knew they were in for a set they would probably never see again. He even performed “We’re Done” feat. Demi Lovato, my least favorite of the mixtape. Everything else blew my mind “The Statement,” “The Kid Frankie,” and “In The Cut” had me in some serious nostalgic feelings. I will forever be grateful to Wiz for performing this mixtape because it’s still T.G.O.D. (Taylor Gang Or Die).
Everyone looked visibly exhausted on the second day of Smokers Club Fest but Dezzy Hallow came through from Oceanside to set the vibe right. He opened up with “Level Up,” a perfect song to keep fans going with the same energy they brought on Day 1. Then following up with “Gangsta Shit,” “Nothing Easy,” and the track that caught my ear “Saucy Me.” His most popular song and moniker for his alter ego “EBT Boi” was a hit among the audience who haven’t heard Dezzy before Smokers Club.
We got a chance to speak with Dezzy after his set about how he was feeling the crowd and what he has coming up in the future. Check out that interview!
Brooklyn based duo The Underachievers set the bar high for the following acts on Day 2 of Smokers Club Fest. AKTHESAVIOR and Issa Gold brought high energy and their top songs to turn up with the crowd at The Queen Mary in Long Beach. Starting with throwbacks from The Art of Duality like “Allusions” and “Moon Shot.” Then threw it further back to Indigoism performing “Gold Soul Theory” and “The Mahdi.”
AK and Issa have a perfect balance with one another. Each does a great job at bringing their individual uniqueness while complementing each other as a group. Their best performances were “Al Capone” and my favorite “Play That Way” from their 2016 album It Happened in Flatbush. Keep an eye out for The Underachievers’ upcoming album Renaissance releasing May 19th.
Pro Era rapper Nyck Caution put it down for the East Coast at the Super Clinik Stage on Day 2 of Smokers Club Fest. The 24-year-old Brooklyn MC brought all his energy for the crowd and even joined them on the ground for a “Pro Era Era” chant. I’ve had the chance to see Nyck Caution perform live before and he never fails to turn the crowd up.
I was shocked to see how many fans already knew him and it was dope to see the MC vibe with a crowd that previously heard his music. For those that haven’t heard of Nyck Caution, his high energy music is car approved with occasional motivating messages. While his performance or “Show No Love” and “Dial Up” weren’t as exciting he executed his quick rhymes flawlessly. Other than that, “Look at Me (Remix)” was my favorite track from his set.
I am ashamed of myself for sleeping on J.I.D as long as I have. The Atlanta artist came out representing Dreamville and brought out label mates Earthgang to perform “Meditate” from their 2017 album Rags. Although fans were unsure of who Earthgang was, J.I.D’s “Ed Ed and Eddy” won the hearts of every 90’s kid in the venue. His high energy and acapella freestyles were unforgettable. He did a great job engaging fans who didn’t know him, especially when he had them all rapping his mantra “Never Had Shit.” You can catch J.I.D on his European tour this summer.
What kind of smoked out festival would it be if Juicy J weren’t there to make things ratchet? The Taylor Gang signee and Three 6 Mafia OG let the kids at Queen Mary Long beach know how to get down with the big dogs. He performing hit after hit like “Slob on My Knob” and “Get Higher.” But the highlight of his set was when he pulled a fresh 18yr old on stage for a lapdance as he rapped “Bandz a Make Her Dance.” The poor kid didn’t know what to do with his hands but nonetheless, he will remember this moment forever.
Throughout the festival, I noticed many acts performing without instrumentals. Although no one seemed to notice, it was clear when Ty Dolla Sign came out with a malfunctioning microphone for the opening of his set. Despite the technical difficulties he kept the energy going for fans and eventually his beautiful voice radiated through The Queen Mary.
The live band perfectly complimented his vocals and he redeemed himself singing “Irie” and “It’s a Vibe.” I was surprised to hear him throw it back to “Toot It and Boot it,” I’m pretty sure I heard some people say they didn’t even know he was on that song. The multifaceted Taylor Gang artist was able to showcase his raw talents for a crowd that knew who he was but I think underestimated his live act.
As a female hip-hop head, I was a little disappointed in the lack of diversity they offered in the lineup but I was eternally grateful Rapsody was there. I had never seen her perform live and her set was one of my favorites from the weekend.
Other than my own fangirling, the ladies in the crowd also appreciated Rapsody’s presence and showed up for all her songs. She turned everyone up with “Pay Up” and all the women in the audience were getting down to her funky track. Everyone lit up when “Sassy” came on and while she felt the love she let them know “if they ask you who’s Rapsody tell em I’m a motherfucking beast!”
People were passing out left and right by the time Flatbush Zombies took the stage. The highly anticipated group walked out to a crowd that had been waiting for their performance the entire weekend.
Flatbush Zombie merch saturated the audience and the trio went hard for their fans. They when hard for “M.Bison” and “Vacation” but their most beloved tracks really turned the audience up. Everyone who was there for the Brooklyn based group helped with all the words to “Palm Trees” and my personal favorite of their set “Bounce.” Many traveled to see them perform tracks from their latest album Vacation In Hell and catch them on tour to witness the madness that is a Flatbush Zombies show.
I was really looking forward to seeing Isaiah Rashad perform “The Sun’s Tirade” and it was more than I ever imagined. The sun was setting behind The Queen Mary and the entire venue was singing all the songs together.
For being the shy one in the TDE fam, Rashad has a strong on-stage persona. His captivating energy was contagious and the crowd loved him. Even after he dipped into his older songs, they stayed with him throughout the set. Although he walked out to “Wat’s Wrong” he had to start the show with his favorite song “Menthol” from his 2014 mixtape Cilvia Demo. He followed up with “Free Lunch,” a banger from his debut album and continued to vibe with the crowd until the sun went down. Rashad then brought out Dreamville artists Earthgang and J.I.D. to the stage until they got cut off by their time finishing the set up with “4r Da Squaw.”
Smoker’s Club has consistently presented their annual 420 event with relevant names in hip-hop. Most of the acts on this line up have performed at their events before. However, Kid Cudi was an artist I did not expect to see as the headliner of their first festival. In fact, throughout Day 2 I kept expecting him to cancel or not show up for his performance. By the time Kid Cudi’s set started, fans were running from the second stage after seeing Dom Kennedy make sure they didn’t miss out on this moment.
For many, Kid Cudi was the voice of every “lonely stoner” in high school just trying to get by. His music connected with everyday kids and when he performed a variety of songs from “Marijuana” to “Memories” the crowd reverted to their teenage selves. At one point everyone was chanting “Cudi” Everyone finally settled at the main stage as he was singing “Up Up and Away” and smoke continued filled the air until his set was over. After sharing some deep cuts like “Save My Soul” and “Mr. Rager” he started to wrap up his set with Kanye’s “Father Stretch My Hands.”