Photos by Ben Oliver and Mark Ambrose
Flying under the wing of Alabama hip-hop artist Yelawolf, Rittz has been gaining fast popularity on his own as an emerging hip-hop artist with lightning fast lyrical style. We originally discovered Rittz back at the beginning of 2011 after he performed numerous times at SXSW, and then this year released his newest mix tape, White Jesus: Revival; the album is available for free via stream or download here. Still out in support of his newest mix-tape release, Rittz came through Texas this past week on the Revival tour for a performance at the world’s famous Trees club in historic Deep Ellum. We were fortunate enough to catch his first trip to Dallas.
Supporting the tour along opening for Rittz were the League of Extraordinary Gz. We arrived during the Austin’s entourage last few songs, and were instantly bombarded with the chronic smoke and smell of fresh herb engulfing the crowd and stage; that’s when you know it was a good set if both the artists and audience are baked! Having never heard L.E.G. before, we did not know what to expect but were quickly exposed to their Wu-Tang clan-like performance of multiple emcees taking their turn on the mic. They took command of the stage in their short time on it, capturing both the respect and attention of the small but growing crowd. They sounded crisp and clean, and were thrilling to watch. This is definitely an exciting crew that aren’t yet on too many radars in the blogosphere. We are looking forward to following their future progress.
After a short break and stage reset, Rittz made his way to the stage along with DJ Burn One backing him, who produced both White Jesus & White Jesus: Revival along with Yelawolf. The Georgia native opened up with his single “White Jesus”, which instantly got everyone moving. He continued playing songs off both of his mixtapes, including “Crazy”, “Fulla Shit”, and “Blowin My Mind”. At one point, he even brought out Dallas’ own Big HUD to perform “I Dont Give A Fuck”; as you can see from the photos and video, Big HUD was representing by wearing a “Slumerican” shirt while performing on stage. We had actually bumped into him upon entering the venue and had almost mistaken him for a bouncer, just shows how many times you may have passed artists in venues and not have even knew it….they are regular people too, remember that.
After performing almost all the tracks on the Revival album, Rittz closed out the show with his hit “High Five”, and was actually trying his best to give the crowd all high-fives before, during, and after his performance. His entire appearance was energetic and riveting. We also saw the rapper at this year’s SXSW, but he wasn’t feeling well. He was sick but still managed to struggle through and not give up. This night at Tree’s, he was back bringing his A Game.
After his set, Rittz joined the crowd in the back of the venue to autograph merch and also promote all that was available for purchase. All in all, this was a great performance by Rittz and definitely one that most will not forget; we look forward to catching him again when he returns to with Yelawolf on tour this fall. Stay tuned to Music Emissions for more on both artists.