Lil John and the East Side Boyz
'The Grey Goose Music Tour'
(St. Andrews Hall – Detroit, Michigan 09/26/02)
Hailing out of Atlanta, Georgia, Lil Jon and The East Side Boyz played the part of the torch that would light the fire for their headlining tour mates Bone, Thugs and Harmony last night at St. Andrews Hall. Delivering their blend of “dirty south” style hip-hop mixed with over the top chantey raps, they were trying to convey a message from their soon to be released full-length album Kings of Crunk. Their message may have escaped the average listener, but the energy was definitely felt.
Arriving from out of the shadows, Lil Jon was reminiscent of an early day Flavor Flav, sporting a glowing white ball cap, bootsy-esk shades and a mouth full of metal. “We about to get loud here!” he shouted as he and his crew took to the modestly lit stage. They immediately cut to the chase and let the bass drop, leaving the crowd in a whirl-winded frenzy. With no chance for thought, the tide shifted into ‘Rep Yo City,’ with so many shout outs to the city of Detroit that it would swell the heads of even the most distant metro Detroiters.
As the short 24-minute set pressed on, Lil Jon continued his expletive-laden show with very few words or even complete thoughts between “F-Bombs” (’Don’t Give A F***’) leaving the all ages crowd raucous and rowdy. The group did finally slow down for a shameless plug of the Vodka sponsor that was putting on the show but really seemed unnecessary given that the sponsor did have the entire interior plastered with banners, posters and a huge billboard on the back wall of the stage. This really undermined the already short set and left some fans alienated but entertained just enough to overlook the drawback.
Closing out the show with ‘Put yo’ hood up’ from their first album of the same name and their hit song ‘’Bia Bia,’ one couldn’t help but notice the repetitive nature of most of their songs. Many of the lyrics were repeatedly screamed out and would not move into a noticeable hook or chorus and seemed rather unimaginative. Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz definitely filled the shoes of a “warm up” act by getting the crowd going, but their music would be difficult to watch as headliners, at least for now.
Reviewed by Eric James and Ron Waring Jr. for Exclusive Magazine
Check out Li’l Jon and the East Side Boyz website at: www.liljononline.com