Concert Review: Gunplay Celebrates his Acquittal at SOB’s


Despite Cam’ron‘s insistence that 50 Cent was a snitch, for the most part, rappers and the legal system have never gotten along. When a rapper is up for trial, it’s almost a guaranteed fact that the penalties will rain down. In fact, the history of rappers getting the slammer is so bad that when Jay-Z got 3 years of probation for stabbing a man, that was a triumph. Considering this history, Gunplay‘s recent acquittal for a crime with a possible life sentence is a genuine anomaly, a pure singularity that will never happen again, for any rapper, especially one caught on camera. Gunplay clearly knows this, so at his recent SOB’s performance, the mood was unceasingly celebratory.

Before Gunplay performed, however, the crowd was serviced by Indiana rapper Nyzzy Nyce and Gunplay’s Triple C’s compadre, Torch. Looking like members of Omega Psi Phi, Nyce and his hypeman graced the stage in camo gear, diving right into the set with “Brand New.” Energized beyond comprehension, they gave each song their all, even “Nyce Like This,” which Nyzzy somewhat sarcastically introduced as a “crossover” song. Notably, Nyzzy didn’t say much between songs, but his facial expressions made it clear that he was happy to be there. Among his few non-musical words was a thank you to the crowd for rocking with a rapper from Indiana, a state that isn’t particularly known as a breeding ground for rappers (even though there are probably tons of them, waiting for a shot). His set ended with his new single, “I Just Rather,” a sedative ode to marijuana that he somehow infused with energy despite its somber vibe.

Nyzzy was followed by Torch, who performed a brief set before Gunplay was brought to the stage by local radio hosts Charlemagne tha God and DJ Envy, who had interviewed him earlier that day. Gunplay came out smiling and kept that smile for most of the night. Beginning his set with “Salute Me,” the first track from his latest mixtape, Gunplay came out blasting, no pun intended. He then performed his verse from the “Hold Me Back” Remix, notably letting Rick Ross’ verse play in full before he began rapping. This is a move that he would go on to repeat throughout the night, indicating that Gunplay really appreciates the support that Ross has given him.

Notably, appreciation wasn’t limited to the king of the “Untouchable Maybach Empire.” On multiple occasions, before an instrumental could make its presence known, Gunplay would abruptly motion to his DJ to halt the track. He’d then proceed to thank the crowd for attending and thank a higher power that he was there. These thank yous felt genuine. Gunplay is  the embodiment of “yaowa,” Joell Ortiz‘s weird catchphrase, which means, “you’re actually one world away.” With that in mind, it was appropriate that Gunplay ended the night with “Bible on the Dash.” After all, despite his recent triumphs, the rage that we saw when he accosted his former accountant isn’t entirely vanquished; he has to fight it every waking moment. That night, the fight was in his favor. Accordingly, he celebrated.