By Jack M. Angelo, managing editor.
Diversification is often the key to financial success in an industry as tumultuous as the entertainment business. Having many skills and ventures can soften the inevitable blow of irrelevance that comes with time. Having a brand beyond the music can even strengthen the music itself. Jay-Z, the late Nipsey Hussle, and even artists like Wiz Khalifa use their businesses and positive dealings outside of music activities as lyrical material. The latter planted himself firmly in the marijuana business early on with his signature strain Khalifa Kush. Others have ventured into the same industry, including other rappers often associated with the plant like Snoop Dogg and Dizzy Wright. Dizzy Wright’s partnership with businesses like Stoney Point and the Kush Company led Dizzy on tour, where he stopped at Songbyrd Music House in Washington D.C. on May 15, 2019.
The air in the DC house was thick with smoke. Heavy curtains separate the inside of the basement venue from the stairwell. Walking down the stairs, it seemed they were doing little to curtail the smell emanating from the concert, but upon moving them, it was clear they were preventing the entirety of the district from honing in on the potent marijuana smell seeping from those at Songbyrd. For the record, the recreational use of marijuana is legal in the District of Columbia, and people participating in the plant were well within their rights to do so. The legal grey area that often surrounds weed often drives it into the shadows, but the basement of the music house was full of those sporting their loud proudly. Several full blunts were lit in the middle of sets, coming from the audience, those backstage and even the performers. It seemed no one was missing out on Dizzy Wright’s favorite past time on the evening of his performance.
The numerous openers entertained the crowd for a while before the headlining set, including highlight Demrick, whose speedy flows and stoner anthems kept the audience moving. Arguably the most interesting part of the show came in the form of some actual record scratching. The braided DJ performed the scratching over an EDM track that allowed for plenty of cut outs and drops to style over. Palpable DJ talent on display is a rare sight in the current hip-hop landscape, and does not go unappreciated.
Dizzy Wright arrived to the venue at some point most of the way through the final opening set, and was escorted through the crowd by his enormous bodyguards. Not long after, Dizzy ran onto the stage through the same curtain he had recently been ushered through, beginning his set on a high-energy note. The momentum did not slow through the rest of the set, as no song lasted longer than three minutes, often under two, and between time was kept to a minimum.
Dizzy Wright’s low-key and stoner-friendly demeanor was present throughout the show. “Put your hands up if you think weed should be legal,” Dizzy repeated several times that evening, though later amended to “legal everywhere,” perhaps after realizing it technically was legal on this particular tour stop. Dizzy of course took some hits of a blunt while the openers performed some verses during his set, making sure not to take too much time away from the crowd. The long set list was run through with few breaks, leading to a seamless show experience, despite the copious amounts of marijuana involved at every step of the way. Dizzy Wright’s experience in the game is clear. He’s still the same stoney, hazy-eyed, lyrically sharp dude he was when named a XXL Freshman back in 2013.