Roc Marciano Reminds Bars and Chopped Loops Are Alive and Well at The Howard Theatre

            Hip-hop is a diverse genre, from the people it attracts to the sounds it produces. One can find any sound they are looking for if they are willing to do some digging. Even lyricism is still alive and well, despite what some may purport. Artists like Roc Marciano not only bring bars into their music, but keep the classic beat chopping, loop sampling and grimy New York style intact while doing so.

Roc Marciano at the Howard Theatre on December 18. (Photo by Jack M. Angelo for StayUp.News).

Roc Marciano, whose real name is Rahkeim Meyer, has garnered a healthy fan base with his many albums since early in the decade. His latest effort Marcielago sees him follow up his incredibly prolific 2018, where he released three separate albums, by releasing one solid project, spitting sharp punchlines over hard sampled beat loops. Supporting the latest album, Roc Marciano went on tour, stopping in Washington D.C. at The Howard Theatre on December 18, 2019.

Occasionally, Roc Marciano, has to remind the audience about that time he starred in Shakespeare in the Park. (Photo by Jack M. Angelo for StayUp.News).

            First were the handful of openers scheduled that night. All of the openers managed to get the crowd somewhat hyped for the next set, but also kept the energy low enough that the crowd eagerly anticipated its headlining act.

This rapper’s name is Fly Anakin. Maybe, but we can’t tell if you wear that red jacket over it. (Photo by Jack M. Angelo for StayUp.News).

A highlight from the openers was the final opening set from DC-native ANKHLEJOHN, whose interactions with the DJ, his friends on stage, and the crowd in the venue managed to pump up the night to its highest level pre-Marciano.

DC native ANKHLEJOHN realized he was just this short of full-Marciano level crowd pump, but his time was up. (Photo by Jack M. Angelo for StayUp.News).

            Roc Marciano finally took the stage afterward, and began to rock some joints off of the new record, Marcielago, which went over well with the crowd. Many members of the audience even rapped along with Roc Marciano, despite his verbose, sliding flows making that more difficult to accomplish than the average rap song. The about half-full venue had a couple hundred people head-bobbing to the beats Roc’s DJ played and the stylings of Marciano himself.

Roc took a moment to signal which of the John Wick movies was best. (Photo by Jack M. Angelo for StayUp.News).

Highlights of the set included his new single “Richard Gear,” as well as “Emeralds,” an older song of Roc’s that caught the audience’s attention before the beat even dropped.

Somewhere 2 Chainz is not happy. (Photo by Jack M. Angelo for StayUp.News). Just kidding, 2 Chainz is always happy.

            Overall the show remained fairly low-key, though the crowd seemed to have an excellent night. No mosh pits but plenty of head nodding and bars for the evening. Roc Marciano has clearly garnered a fan base full of real hip-hop heads, as he deserves. Keeping it real for over 10 years, now, Marciano continues to wow fans and serve up good performances through his touring.