In an era dominated by streaming services, it’s no surprise that power players like Spotify are capitalizing on their 60 million subscribers and 140 million overall users in more ways than one. This past Thursday marked the beginning of a run of shows hosted by Spotify appropriately coined “Rap Caviar Live” after the wildly successful and influential Rap Caviar playlist on Spotify. Websites like Vulture have even classified the playlist as “The most influential playlist in music.” With so many users tuning in every day, Rap Caviar has become a hot bed for rising stars, all hand-picked by curator Tuma Basa.
The “Rap Caviar Live” tour, anchored by Atlanta icon Gucci Mane, will make its rounds throughout the United States in the coming weeks and pick up local rappers for each stop the tour makes. For the Houston leg of the tour, the evening included performances by local legends Bun B and Trae the Truth, mid-level acts such as Trill Sammy and Maxo Kream, and other notables such as Tory Lanez, YBN Nahmir (a wildly successful, rising YouTube star) and local disc jockey, DJ Mr. Rogers. Because tickets were only $5, the concert sold out almost instantly upon opening the box office and offering tickets online.
The evening in Houston began with a few opening remarks by hometown-hero Bun B and quickly transitioned into a rapid-fire evening of energetic performances. Following the first performer, Maxo Kream, were Dice Soho and Trill Sammy, known for their collaboration on “Just Watch,” which has garnered nearly 3 million listens on Spotify.
Shortly thereafter, a group of much younger performers took the stage and showed how Internet fame can catapult a rising to star to live performances faster than ever before. Upon releasing their track and accompanying music video “Rubbin Off The Paint” to the site Worldstar Hip Hop and YouTube, the group gained tens of millions of views which ultimately translated to listens on Spotify.
Following the “opening” portion of the evening, DJ Mr. Rogers prepared the stage for the final four performances of the night by Trae Tha Truth, Bun B, Tory Lanez and Gucci Mane. Up first was pioneer of the Relief Gang here in Houston following Hurricane Harvey, Trae the Truth. A local Houstonian and philanthropist for those still in need from the disaster, Trae ensured that his social media following knew just how strong Houston was during live Instagram feed and Snapchat story.
Shortly thereafter, Bun B, now a rising YouTube star himself for his “Trill Meals” videos, performed classic Houston hits like UGK’s “International Players Anthem” and brought a few rising stars from Houston trying to make a name for themselves.
Closing out the night were two phenomenal performances by Tory Lanez and Gucci Mane, one very interactive with the crowd and the other not so much. While Tory Lanez interacted heavily with the audience, making his way out to the crowd and riding atop the hands of fans, Gucci Mane remained calmly on stage and chose to let his music do all the work. Four hours after the night begin, Gucci Mane cleared the stage around midnight and left fans fully satisfied from a jam-packed evening of rap music, both local and from across state lines.