By D.J. OCHOA
Hotel Congress hosted the sixth annual “Paid Dues” tour on March 30, headlined by independent hip-hop artist Murs.
Eager fans flooded the club to see Murs blaze the stage with songs about love, heartache, humor and the occasional one-night stand. The all-age event attracted a diverse crowd ranging from rap fans to rock enthusiasts.
Three opening acts started the night.
Ab Soul, a California native, rapped mainly about sex, drugs and alcohol – the bread and butter of most rappers. The audience seemed receptive to his music. They were especially enthusiastic for marijuana use, putting their lighters in the air as he played Bloodstone’s “Natural High.”
The second set consisted of the band known as Whole Wheat Bread, a punk rock group with a reggae influence. Punk rock at a rap show might seem out of place, but the crowd responded well. They started a mosh pit midway through the set that encompassed the dance floor. Murs also joined in on the fun by rapping a song with the band, as the crowded shouted the emcee’s name.
Tabi Bonney went on after Whole Wheat Bread, but couldn’t match the crowd response.
The audience finally received its hip-hop fix when Murs entered the room. The emcee had the crowd rapping along to his hits, “Silly Girl” and “Dark Skinned White Girl.”
Murs also played “1st Love,” a heartfelt song describing how his female companion was tragically killed by a drunk driver.
Though some of the opening acts were below average, Murs showed that true hip-hop is still appreciated in the Old Pueblo.