Slaughterhouse at Paid Dues Festival 2009

25856-SLAUBIGPD2009-thumb-400x581.jpg(Photo by John Valenzuela). To the left is Joe Budden, in the straight jacket, and to the right is Royce da 5’9″ with the crazy mask on. This was before Slaughterhouse performed at the Paid Dues Festival. Besides Budden and Royce, Joell Ortiz and Crooked I are also a part of the hip-hop supergroup Slaughterhouse.

Each member was able to perform separate songs outside of their group material, their first song together was “Slaughterhouse,” but outside of the dramatic opening you see in the photo, the set sort of dragged and could have been rehearsed better.

Budden, who I personally like along with Crooked I, Royce and Ortiz, seemed to sadly overshadow the other members with what seemed like an extra long performance of “Pump It Up” and his ramblings about “I smoke too much” or what hip-hop means to him.

On top of this, the guy next to me in the crowd wanted more Crooked I and constantly shouted out “Long Beach,” “Crooked I” or “hip-hop weekly” when Budden, Ortiz or Royce performed.

The Crooked I chants were in reference to the Long Beach artist performing new freestyles over famous hip-hop instrumentals every week on the Internet for a year from 2007 to 2008.  

Brother Ali at Paid Dues Festival 2009


(Photo by John Valenzuela) Brother Ali, as usual, brought the crowd to their feet with all of his material. Songs like “Forest Whitiker,” “Uncle Sam Goddamn” and “Truth Is” were all crowd pleasers. Brother Ali is probably one of the most charismatic, and honest, emcees today and why he is not more well known is beyond me because audiences love the guy and many Saturday wore his T-shirt. Ali later joined labelmate Slug for the early part of Atmosphere’s set.

Murs at 2009 Paid Dues Festival

25850-MURSPDBIG2009-thumb-400x266.jpg(Photo by John Valenzuela) Murs, co-organizer and founder of the Paid Dues Festival, had to have been the busiest man of the night. 

Besides taking care of all the business (behind the scenes with the artists and in front of the scenes as an artist), Murs actually ran the iPod of instrumentals for New York artist Cage earlier in the day. Cage’s stream of consciousness set did not go over well with some fans near me (one guy was loudly telling him to get off the stage).

During the performance, Cage refused to perform any of his older material (“You’re wasting your time, folks”) and said his DJ was stranded at the airport.

Nonetheless, thanks to Murs for getting him out there and also for freestyling with host 2mex when Blu and Exile did not show because of a car accident.

Paid Dues Festival 2009 and Slug Part 2

25846-SLUG2PD2009.jpg(Photo by John Valenzuela) Another photo of Slug from Atmosphere. When he and Murs performed their Felt material at the Paid Dues Festival, they kept joking back and forth. Murs actually took off his shirt at one point and threw it into the audience. Slug, with a look of total disbelief, then said “Yo Murs, why are you NOT wearing a shirt?” to laughter from the audience. “This hair on your chest … this is NOT sexy,” Slug said to more laughter. “This is a man shirt,” Murs shot back.

Slug of Atmosphere at Paid Dues Festival 2009

25845-SLUGBIGPD2009-thumb-400x473.jpg (Photo by John Valenzuela) Slug, of Atmosphere, started off his set with “God Loves Ugly” which caused some of the women next to me to loudly rhyme along word for word, overshadowing the men. Just before Slug and producer/DJ Ant got on stage, a lot of people sitting around the fountain at the National Orange Show got up and rushed to see their performance. What I really liked about Slug’s performance, outside of the picture perfect vocals and crowd-friendly material, is how he honestly seemed to be enjoying himself performing with Brother Ali and Murs.

2mex at Paid Dues Festival 2009

25843-ON30-PAID_DUES_Jv-18-thumb-400x262.jpg(Photo by John Valenzuela)
2mex, of the Visionaries, was the host of the March 28 2009 Paid Dues Festival in San Bernardino. He would freestyle, talk or shout out artists from the stage during set breaks. When newcomers Blu and Exile failed to show because of an accident on the freeway, 2mex and event organizer/founder/hip-hop artist Murs engaged in an entertaining freestyle. Why 2mex is not as well known lyrically for his freestyles, content and word usage (like hip-hop artist Big Punisher) has always been a mystery to me.

Paid Dues Festival set times

Here’s the set times for the indepent hip-hop Paid Dues Festival scheduled to start at 3 p.m. Saturday at the NOS center in San Bernardino.

Go to or for more information.

I wish the sets were longer (especially for newcomers Blu & Exile and headliners Tech N9ne and Atmosphere) but to get all of these acts on one bill is tremendous. Maybe Minnesota’s Atmosphere will have a longer Coachella set.

Set times are as follows:

ATMOSPHERE 11:05 – 11:45 PM
TECH N9NE 10:10 – 10:55 PM
LIVING LEGENDS 9:10 – 10:00 PM
BROTHER ALI 7:25 – 8:00 PM
B-REAL 6:45 – 7:15 PM
GROUCH & ELIGH 6:05 – 6:35 PM
CAGE 5:25 – 5:55 PM
BLU & EXILE 4:15 – 4:35 PM
LMNO 3:50 – 4:05 PM
THE BAYLIENS 3:30 – 3:45 PM
VerBS 3:10 – 3:25 PM

First Fox Theater concerts announced

Pomona’s 1931-era Fox Theater reopens in late April after a $10 million makeover to restore much of its lustre and prep the space for a variety of uses, including concerts.

The model is places like the Wiltern, El Rey and Orpheum theaters in L.A., where mid-level artists can perform, as well as big-time artists who like a more intimate venue with an ornate flair.

Ticketmaster has announced two concerts so far:

* May 21: Gogol Bordello, the gypsy-punk band.

* May 28: The Jagermeister Music Tour, featuring the punk band Pennywise and the alt-rock act Pepper.

Welcome to Music Now

This is a new music-themed blog about the 909, to which multiple Daily Bulletin newsroom staffers will contribute.

Who’s playing where and when, especially at our major venues like Ontario’s Citizens Business Bank Arena and Pomona’s Glass House and Fox Theater, will be the major focus. We’ll throw other stuff at you as well, including links to our interviews with performers, and we’re kicking around the idea of an occasional What the Newsroom is Listening To roundup — we’ve got eclectic tastes here.

Let us know what you think of Music Now as it develops and what you’d like to see.