The Outlawz (now comprised of E.D.I Mean, Young Noble and Hussain Fatal) have recently embarked on a European tour appearing in Russia, Bulgaria, Ireland and London’s legendary Jazz Café. Initially when I was asked to cover the show I was apprehensive as admittedly I have only really heard smatterings of the Outlawz, either as features on Tupac tracks or slightly more prominently on the Tupac posthumous album Still I Rise. I was understandably worried that the Outlawz (post Pac) had perhaps amassed an underground following that were fans of their solo outings whereas I had never heard an Outlawz track without Tupac.
During the preamble DJ Mo Fingaz had the difficult task of navigating a rather diverse crowd and at times boos of disapproval could be heard during his set, however I felt his set managed to encompass enough old skool with some classic joints from Dre’s Chronic: 2001 to Capone N Noreaga all the way through to the new skool with the likes of Joey Bada$$ and Kendrick Lemar. After the multi generation spanning DJ set on came West Coast rapper Louis King who burst on to the stage with incredible energy and really lifted what had became a rather dormant crowd. Although many of the crowd may not have heard Louis King before, he made sure his performance was noteworthy as he enthusiastically rapped and even sang directly to one fan, his short but great performance was topped off with him throwing copies of his mixtape into the audience.
The Outlawz then stormed the stage to the hard hitting bassline of Tupac’s swan song Hail Mary and the crowd erupted as everyone began singing the famous hook. They then kept up the tempo by following up with other classic Pac tracks like This Life I lead, Last Muthafuka Breathin and a cut from the Gang Related OST Lost Souls. All of these tracks had the crowd going wild as we all were clutching on to little snippets of Tupac’s legacy. E.D.I Mean then treated us to one of his solo tracks which honestly went pretty much unnoticed as the majority of the audience just wanted to hear more Tupac. Of course the Outlawz obliged and we were given some dance floor friendly tracks with Its All About You and Thugs Passion. However the moment we had all been waiting for was soon upon us as Hit em Up began playing and absolute pandemonium ensued and the once dormant crowd was transformed in an instant as the crowd began jumping all over the place while simultaneously rapping the entire track word for word with intensity that would of made Pac himself proud. The show was closed with a positive message as the Outlawz paid their respects to Nate Dogg, Notorious BIG and the man himself Tupac.
I think it shows just how extraordinary (if you had any doubt) Tupac’s legacy really is. Although the Outlawz are indeed living off this legacy I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing, as by doing so they are also helping to keep his legacy alive.
By Seth Pereira