Thursday night at the Fillmore Detroit, underground rap kingpin Tech N9ne brought his Hostile Takeover tour to the Fillmore Detroit.
N9ne, one of the hardest working rappers in the business, was received warmly by the Juggalo-heavy Fillmore crowd. The Kansas City rapper has always been held in high regard by the Juggalos, and N9ne gave that love right back, shouting out the familiar “fam-i-ly!” chant to the crowd.
N9ne’s exhaustive show found him and his on-stage partner, Krizz Kaliko, speed-rapping through selection after selection, from “Midwest Choppers” to “Happy Birthday” to “I Need a Drink.” The songs aren’t hits by any measure, but the obsessive fans knew every word to every song, and shouted along with their ringleader.
That’s because Tech N9ne is a true underground success story. He played to his core for years and built up a fanbase that grew steadily larger until the mainstream had to take notice. Last year became a breakout year for him, with his album “All 6′s and 7′s” debuting at No. 4 on Billboard’s Top 200 albums chart and Lil Wayne inviting him to guest on “The Carter IV,” alongside rap titans Andre 3000, Nas and Busta Rhymes. At last year’s BET Hip-Hop Awards, N9ne appeared in one of the highly talked about cypher sessions, and was finally allowed to play with the big boys.
The Hostile Takeover outing is no small venture. Thursday’s show comes on the back end of the tour, which launched in late March and will wind up hitting 90 cities in 99 days. The tour wraps next month.
Spicing things up on the bill was opening act Machine Gun Kelly, the “Wild Boy” Cleveland rapper who is signed to Diddy’s Bad Boy Records. MGK is a crazed ball of energy on stage, flailing around, jumping in circles and waving his arms in the air, but his material at this point is thin; outside of his mixtape output, he has only an EP to his name. He was forced to round out his 30-minute set by playing Blink 182′s “What’s My Age Again” while shooting squirt guns into the crowd, but if he gets some meaty material to match his wild on-stage demeanor, he can be a strong force. He finished his set with his hit “Wild Boy,” which namechecks both “Jackass” stunt boy Steve-O and Kurt Cobain, appropriate points of reference for the manic MC. He was joined on stage by his pal Mike Posner, who was in town for the night, and helped make the evening’s takeover a little less hostile and a little more hospitable.