What started off as a really small crowd of people with a chill vibe, turned out to be one of the best KICKBACK SUNDAYS yet!!
Even with the BET Awards on, that did not stop our show from pulling a great crowd!! I was already irritated because Stuffferz would not be serving the burgers we have come to love but the Houston heat had taken it’s toll on me!
So we started with a friendly cypher and by 8pm, we were underway! The talent was really good tonight, a few new faces made it to the list and they held their own! We saw a lot of great performances by some consistent KICKBACK SUNDAYS artists. From Sir Splexxx, Young G, Don Linen, we saw stage presence and confidence. From Daniel Alexander and Nick B. we saw the definition of turn up. But tonight was the night, we would see 4 great artists face off for the chance to open for Devin The Dude on July 5th at The Toc Bar in Houston.
The 4 finalists were Duck, XO, Big Fatts and Retro Kash. This was not going to be easy. All of these guys were very capable of winning. All of them had stage presence and crowd appeal, which is why they made it to the finals.
I told the crowd we were about to begin the finals and called all 4 artists to the stage. Susie suggested to have the artists to pick a number, which she wrote on 4 pieces of paper, to see the order of performances. I then announced the number for each artist so the crowd would know!
Up first was Duck. This guy has been consistent with his performances and it shows. He is already a crowd favorite. The question was, will Duck do the same weekly routine or will he put forth the extra effort making tonight special. Well, Duck responded with “too turned up to go home”! He set the bar very high. At one point he had people on the stage as well going crazy! All I could see was a sea of people rocking “Duck Or Die” shirts!! That was real! Any promoter in the room could actually “see” the fan base!!
The second artist to hit the stage was Retro Kash. I believe Retro has performed about 5 times at KBS, but one thing for sure, he improves every week and is a real contender. He walked on stage with a LV duffle bag and an Old English 40oz! It was gonna be one of those nights!!!
Next up was XO. I wondered what tricks he had up his sleeve! But actually XO, took his famous KBS favorite, Dead Bodies, and turned it up a couple notches! At one point, XO had the crowd put their lighters in the air and they did! That was so dope. Reminded me of a rock concert.
The last finalist to perform was Big Fatts. After winning numerous Golden Passes, killing performances and cyphers, we would see what Fatts would do for a finalist performance. I was curious because Fatts is really good. He didn’t disappoint either! He commanded the attention and got it.
So now, it’s time to select a winner. We had a few people whom we trust on stand by in the event of a tie. We had the 4 artists stand next to each other on stage as we called each name, the crowd would vote by applause. We informed the crowd that they could only make noise for one artist. We say this because whether the noise is positive or negative, it still counts as noise! We also cleared the stage of any extra people and let the crowd know they could not pound on the stage to increase the noise factor for anyone. Now, it was time to pick a winner.
All performers got a really loud response but the first to be eliminated was Retro Kash. So now there were 3 artists left. I called for the crowd response again. Susie was at the end of the stage monitoring the crowd so that there was no double voting. Who would The supporters of Retro Kash vote for now?
We called the names in the order of performance. Ducks’ name was announced and it was loud. No doubt this was going to be difficult! Then I asked the crowd “if you want to see XO open for Devin The Dude, put your hands together”! The response was deafening. We calmed the room and asked “if you think Big Fatts should open for Devin, make some noise”!! The crowd responded. Due to the no double voting, it was hard because Duck and Fatts are label mates and we had to make sure the folks that screamed for Duck didn’t make noise for Fatts. But, it was still loud because a lot of The supporters of Retro Kash cheered for Fatts. However, one more had to be eliminated and this time it was Big Fatts. So now, there were 2! Before I could even call for the next vote by noise situation, the room erupted between the supporters of Duck and XO!!!!! All you could hear was the screams and chants of “Duck! Duck! Duck!” And “XOOOOOO, XOOOOO”. Then they 2 sides broke out into song!! Screaming “Dead bodies on the Floor (XO’s signature track) and Too turned up to go home (Duck’s KICKBACK SUNDAYS anthem)”!!
Even with myself on the mic trying to calm the room so we could get the final vote, it was not happening! The crowd took over Club Numbers, they were literally too turned up to go home!
Now the final moment was here. It was Duck and XO left standing. After finally restoring order to the room, and it wasn’t easy, we had the 2 artists move to the front of the stage. The time had come. I reminded everyone that this was an opportunity to open for Devin The Dude, without having to pay or sell tickets. This was serious business and we needed the crowd to understand that these 2 artists were both deserving, but only 1 could win. We called Ducks name and it was crazy! We heard screams, roars, I even heard hooting noises coming from the corner of the room! It was so loud I needed the mic turned up to calm the crowd down. Then I called XO’s name. It was another deafening blast of noise. By this time everyone from the outside patio, in the back and by the bar was making noise. There was no way to accurately call it. I received the word from my people who were on stand by in the event of a tie. They too were divided!! This was a first at KICKBACK SUNDAYS! What would we do now! Susie and I discussed for a moment and it was determined that we would have to split the room and actually vote.
We informed the crowd, that we would see who actually supports who! Duck had his supporters and so did XO, but what about the people who were there supporting Retro Kash and Big Fatts? What about the other artists who were participating in the earlier part of the night? What about the consistent folks that come every Sunday and had built relations with both artists? No fence straddling would be allowed tonight! We would see who you actually supported and/or believed to be the best performer!
The crowd was split. We couldn’t get anyone to stand still for a moment to start counting! Finally the process started. I announced “if you want Duck to open for Devin, stand on the left side of the stage in front of Susie and if you want XO to open, come to the right side of the stage”. Susie gave me the news, the winner was XO!!!! The entire Club Numbers went absolutely insane!!! Every sound imagined was heard! The guys congratulated each other, and were pumped up with excitement. So many cameras filming and taking pictures, it was awesome! We snapped shots of Duck and XO, and called the other finalists back to the stage to get pictures of all of them together. The room was buzzing and there was no sign of it stopping! Before I could say another word, Duck asked me for the mic. We are always a little reluctant to allow anyone to speak on the mic, from lessons learned in the past. But I could see Duck wanted to speak from the heart, and that’s exactly what he did. A real professional and good dude, Duck thanked everyone who supported him and the others.
This was another night for the books. Congratulations to the winner of the night, XO The Limelight Prince!!! Hard work pays off and you will be opening for Devin The Dude in Houston July 5th at The TOC Bar!!
Special thanks to the promoter, Cutta for extending the giveaway to KICKBACK SUNDAYS and the underground artists of Houston.
Follow the winner on twitter @XOthaPrince, @ILOVESF2, @iam_Susie and of course as always follow us @KickbackSundays.
Our official hash tags are #realresults and #WeAreTheUnderground.