Prof Outdoors 3 was underwater themed, but the skies wouldn't show that. On a bright sunny day with picturesque clouds painting the sky, the worlds of local and national hip-hop acts came together at the Cabooze Plaza in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The show kicked off with a local talent in Why Khaliq. He started his set off with a song named after his latest hashtag movement, #whywednesday. The crowd was quick to respond as he played more hits off this movement.The set ended with what I believe to be his most powerful song to date. “Track 8” is a tribute to the late Philandro Castille. “One more shot he ain't testify, two more shots it ain't justified, three more shots keep it classified” was the chant to end his set and kick off the show.
Up next was another local act, Dwynell Roland. Everything from his energetic voice to his fun, upbeat dance moves increased the intensity of the already amped up crowd. Bringing out acts like Devon Reason and local favorite Finding Noyvon only pumped the crowd up more. Finishing off the local acts was J Plaza, a twin cities transplant from Georgia. Playing hit after hit to a crowd hungry for more was an experience he would later call the best of his career. With hits like Dat Boi, where he brought out fellow local artists Lyric Marid and Baby Shel, and Metro Boomin' a cover from critically acclaimed producer Metro Boomin' and *** featuring Why Khaliq, the crowd was still restless. Chants of “F*ck it”, the latest song dropped by J Plaza, were ringing throughout the crowd during his set and he would finish off his set with the song they had been chanting for.
Up next would be two Rhymesayers artists that are treated like family in the Twin Cities. Sa-Roc, the newest member of the RSE family showed off her lyrics that local fans have been raving about. Dressed in a rainbow colored dress, she was raving about the antique style of Twin Cities thrift shops. After Sa-roc left the crowd feeling little bit smarter, Grieves showed up to take them on a fun emotional ride. Playing a healthy mix of new and old songs, he flashed his smile and had a higher pitch squeal being released from the crowds’ female members. He would show his appreciation for them with a slow motion thrust and explosion of sexual energy.
Hopsin came out next to bring a bit of dark energy to the show. The sun had set and the night began. Hopsin showed off his speed and lyricism before letting someone else take over for him, bringing two lucky crowd members on stage. One was his vocals, needing to know old and new Hopsin songs; the other his hype man, needing to know nothing but how to get a crowd moving. On the count of the trio leaped off the stage and surfed the crowd. Hopsin would end his set off with a personal favorite, "Sag my Pants."
The main event of the evening was Prof who spent the first few minutes of his set shouting at the crowd as loud as he could, and the patrons mimicking him in a sing-song of shouting. After what could already be described as an emancipation of energy, the crowd was somehow able to dig deep and match the excitement of Prof on stage. Following suite on the local acts, Prof brought out a few friends of his own to perform. Muja Messiah and St. Paul Slim were two of the acts to assist Prof in a freestyle that left the crowd wanting more. Water bottle after water bottle was emptied on the crowd and plastic fishing bobbers and sea animals were launched into the crowd. This wasn't the only thing unleashed on the on-lookers. Prof brought out his large water raft, earlier seen at SoundSet, to surf the crowd in. This time, however, he was accompanied by a friend in a shark suit who was launched into the crowd inside a plastic bubble and another friend in a smaller raft who jumped into the crowd.
The set ended with the entire cast and crew of the day, including myself, jumping on stage for a big party. From the super soakers during Why Khaliq to the sea creatures and water bottles during Prof, the Cabooze was turned into the underwater scene that Prof had pictured. A non-stop onslaught of energy created one of the best shows the Twin Cities has to offer, and hopefully will continue to offer for years to come. I, for one, can't wait for Prof Outdoors 4.
All photos by Issac Ford