Last updated on March 26th, 2023 at 09:10 am
Malik Curtis, better known as Juice Lord, is not just any local hip-hop artist and poet from the Rondo neighborhood of St. Paul.
He’s been pursuing his dreams as an artist for eight years, and with his latest album release 8th Inning : Luv Vs Passion, Juice’s expertise was on full display as he headlined a sold-out show at the historic 7th St. Entry.
But this was no ordinary show. Juice hand-picked five diverse, top-notch acts from around the Twin Cities to open up the night – and they did not disappoint.
Each artist brought their unique style and energy to the stage, keeping the crowd engaged and hyped for the main act.
The show kicked off with the Minneapolis-based rap collective, Basement Gang, who took us back to the golden era of hip-hop with intricate wordplay and tight vocal performances, setting the bar high for the night.
A group of musicians from the local Cherry Pit collective took to the stage, providing support for Svanoe, a soulful singer from South Minneapolis.
The music was beautiful, with lush keys and mesmerizing harmonies from the trumpeter. Svanoe’s vocals commanded the attention of the room, leaving the audience captivated.
With songs centered around growth and finding inner peace, she was no doubt a crowd favorite.
Then came St. Paul’s elusive Aubrey King, who brought a modern twist to the stage with heavy AutoTune and grimy, hard-hitting beats. His signature energy had the room buzzing as he brought fellow artists Tristan Price and 33Maxx to the stage.
DJ Sole2dotz spun soulful instrumentals that set the tone for Nakara Forjé’s performance. She made a powerful entrance, bringing an authentic and sultry hip-hop flavor to the stage and showcasing her impressive ability to rap with the best of them.
Forjé then brought out her partner on and off the stage, Tae Spears, and they delivered a captivating portion of the set. The duo effortlessly went back and forth, exchanging metaphors about their love for each other.
Tailor Briann really set the stage on fire with confidence and swagger. The crowd engagement was at an all-time high as she let loose with heavy-hitting punchlines and aggressive beats.
Essjay the Afrocentric Ratchet joined her on stage, and the duo synced up and passed energy back and forth, delivering some of the night’s most memorable moments.
But the moment everyone was waiting for was Juice Lord’s debut of his new album 8th Inning: Luv Vs Passion. DJ Mac-Tims set the tone as the anticipation built for the headlining act.
As the packed venue filled with a growing chant of “Juice, Lord, Juice, Lord,” Juice walked out to command the stage. The fresh production on his latest project added another level to this performance, and it was evident that Juice had climbed to new heights.
Juice brought on his featured acts to perform their respective songs, and the chemistry between the artists was palpable. The crowd sang along with undeniable energy and cheered him on as he reached this new milestone.
This was more than just a show, it was an experience that the crowd will never forget. Juice Lord and his hand-picked lineup of artists proved that the twin cities’ hip-hop scene is alive and thriving, with plenty of musical talent to experience.