Once bitten Trice shy 

Review: Obie Trice

Sunday, Feb. 29, Garfinkel’s

We get our share of conscious hip-hop and past-their-prime retro rappers, but rarely do the biggest here-and-now MTV stars come to Whistler. So last Sunday’s Obie Trice event at Garfinkel’s was a bit of an event for the local hip-hop nation.

The nature of the genre means shows are hit and miss. Production effects and superstar contributions are impossible to recreate live. Performers are notorious for arriving late, throwing down a tune or two and vacating the premises.

But Sunday night’s show had instant promise when Trice came to the stage in good time after an energetic set by Toronto rapper Juice.

There was no sign of album contributors Dr. Dre, Eminem or Nate Dogg at Garf’s but Trice did bring along Proof, Kuniva and Kon Artis of rap collective D12, another Shady project.

The tattooed Trice proved himself a skilled MC but unfortunately, set himself up with the hip-hop handicap of drunkenness, chugging at least half a bottle of Hennessy at the show’s start.

He held it off with an energetic opening series of tracks off his debut album Cheers , and had the capacity crowd bobbing along, waving their hands, collectively giving the middle finger, all the usual tricks. In the unlikely case the room might forget who he was or what record label he was representing, the D12 reps were there with a reminder.

All the usual suspect themes of gangsta life and shout outs to the rap mentors were in effect before Trice turned to another staple subject: women.

Stopping cold to issue the declaration that he wanted some girls onstage to shake their booty Trice was greeted with an onslaught of volunteers. Fine-looking females pushed their way through the throng and threw themselves onstage for their moment in the hip-hop hoochie sun.

Now the girls here are an active lot. Skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding, yoga makes for tight, toned behinds and not the jiggly ghetto booty that has acted as muse for many a contemporary hip-hop anthem.

Trice was not impressed.

"I’m not looking for hooters, I’m looking for ass," he slurred, unceremoniously banishing several lacking volunteers from the stage.

With the diss hanging in the air, a few more girls undertook the arduous process of pushing toward the stage, but their efforts were also disregarded. A couple of girls were deemed ample enough, but even so, Trice seemed uninspired by their fitness.

The process lasted a painfully long time.

By the time the onstage crew rallied their frontman to resume the energy in the room had waned and Trice was drunk, interested more in the substandard booty girls than the mic.

Things picked up somewhat when he threw down his catchy hit Got Some Teeth, but after that the show took a bizarre turn into a tribute of sorts to Shady Records kingpin Eminem.

His Eminence was given reverence bordering on cult worship from D12 and with Trice’s sobriety fading fast the DJ threw on a series of Eminem tracks with Trice throwing in the odd "ah-yeah," like he was at some sort of Detroit hip-hop circuit karaoke night.

The crowd, obviously all Em fans, responded but confusion was in the air. If Whistlerites want to come to Garf’s to hear Eminem they can stop by any given Saturday and pay a lot less cover.

Another bizarre episode occurred when squat D12-er Proof made a half-serious call for a sample of B.C.’s biggest cash crop and was rewarded with a serious nug. Fair enough, glad to share the wealth.

But the calls kept coming and the handing over of the stash was more reluctant the second time. Whistler works hard for the money and hip-hoppers, well, you don’t have to listen to Nelly’s Air Force One to know that they really don’t.

Late in the game the crowd had to dig deep for the obligatory, "make some noise!" routine, then was mocked for not being loud enough.

But come on now, you come in here, you diss our chicks and you snake our weed. I don’t know about Detroit, but in Whistler, that’s no way to make friends and influence people.

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