Before I write about the show, I had to start with a short story:
While hanging out upstairs at the Magic Stick for the pre-show meet and greet, I couldn’t help but be impressed by the way Madeintyo carried himself. Of course there were all the usual things: embracing fans, posing for pictures, signing autographs, but what happened afterwards is what stuck out to me. Despite the wear of the road, which forced him to mostly save his voice for the show, he spent a good 10 minutes after the meet and greet answering what is perhaps the most inevitable and dreaded question an artist can receive:
“I’m an artist too, I put my life in this and I want to do it like you do. What should I do?”
Out of respect for that moment I won’t go into too much detail, but his response was incredibly genuine. He didn’t gas them up too much, which is an easy way to satiate fans hungry for advice. He didn’t make any false promises; didn’t say “dm me some music and I got you,” only to forget the next day. He was honest and humble, giving insight into his own come up through a few entertaining anecdotes. He explained, among other things, that just because you’re friendly with a major musician doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily work together, but that doesn’t make the connection any less meaningful. In fact, often times the unseen movements within the music industry are the ones that make things happen, more so than what the public sees.
Before the show I’d spent time brushing up on 24hrs, Madeintyo’s brother who’s made a name for himself alongside, as well as independent of, the namesake of the tour. It only took a few Google searches to know he wasn’t playing around.
Of course the features stick out: “Malibu” with Post Malone, which was a highlight of the set, a track with Gucci Mane, and of course several with his brother, including the collaborative project 24hrs in Tokyo. It’s no question that the two siblings have a close connection. In his own words, “It’s crazy like, me and my brother been doing everything…for 25 years, together, so this is just like everyday shit for us.” The two even have a song together with E-40, G-Eazy’s “Shake it Up,” which he further elaborated on:
“E-40 is a legend, like, E-40’s from the Bay, I feel E-40’s in my top 3 for language and originality. I wouldn’t say my top 3 ever, but originality, nobody sounds like E-40, like nobody sounds like 24hrs, so, I love that.”
A few days prior to the show, 24hrs had released his 5th project titled 12AM in Atlanta, hosted by none other than DJ Drama, marking 20’s Gangsta Grillz debut in this statement of a mixtape. When asked about the release, he wasn’t short on words:
“First of all, a lot of my fans don’t even know what a Gangsta Grillz is, you know what I’m sayin, so…a Gangsta Grill is like a trophy to me. I came up in an era when I heard Dedication 3 (from Lil Wayne) was so crazy, I heard Jeezy’s Trap or Die…the people that all had Gangsta Grillz, I looked up to them, so, when it was time for me to drop 12AM in Atlanta, I’m like, man…I be in the studio with people like T-Pain, and The-Dream, and people like that…I love those people, but all I do is listen to street shit like…Future, and Schooly, and Cap.One, and 2 Chainz, and all these people so, I’m like I wanted to mix the 24hrs, the melodic shit with like the street shit, who’s the best person to do it? And I start thinking of all the young cats, and I’m like nah man, I need a OG, but I need somebody who’s like the mixtape king. Gangsta Grillz. See some people have Drama tapes, and it just says hosted by DJ Drama, it’s a difference when you hear “Gangsta Grizzilz,” when you hear that, then you know somethin. Drama text me the day the project came out and I was like, yo thank you so much for doing the Gangsta Grill for me, and he’s like no thank you so much, for letting me do a Gangsta Grill…you’re the new culture, you’re the new wave…so…he did that “Mr. Thanksgiving”, AND, you know I told him, you can’t leave out that “Dram F. Kennedy,” that’s what I wanted…he said that on like track 4, so we good!”
24hrs’ set played like it came from someone who knew what they were worth, not to the point of expecting too much, but enough to perform with a sense of resolve that comes with a catalogue such as his. He doesn’t need the media to tell him he’s got it right; Hell, he doesn’t even need me writing this shit, but if this piece does even a little bit to shed some light on what he’s got going on, I’m happy to do it.
On top of that, He acted as a gatekeeper of sorts between the crowd and the headliner, challenging them to up the energy more and more to prepare for his brother’s entrance. It was clear he’d done it before, through years of hyping up Madeintyo and putting him on, and seeing a sibling so proud of his brother and colleague made it that much more special.
And then came Madeintyo. Early on he went through a few cuts from his latest release, TRUE’s WORLD, a dedication to many things not least of which his son, during which he periodically paused to add some comments about the project’s meaning and importance. After the show he told us, “(it’s) a creative project of mine, it allowed me to try new sounds, art direction, and flows.” After a few more songs including crowd favorites “Kelly Rowland” and “I Want”, it was time to bring out 24 to join him onstage, who brought down the house with him for the rest of the set. The two perform several of their songs together, took time to show love to one another (including the story behind the chain Tokyo gifted to 24), and even had time to jam out to “Magnolia.” 24 was sure to give his brother due props, thanking him for bringing him on tour, to which Tokyo’s body language said “of course,” as the two embraced in front of a roaring crowd. Of course the show couldn’t end without a rendition of “Uber Everywhere,” as well as a tribute to hometown hero Big Sean in the form of their collaboration, “Skateboard P” (Tokyo had joined Sean on his tour supporting I Decided, and told us that his work with Sean has strengthened his connection to, and appreciation for, the city of Detroit). The crowd was even blessed with an unreleased track, adding validity to his previous statement that “more projects are on the way.”
When asked about what it was like touring with his brother, Madeintyo’s response confirmed what we later heard from 24. “He’s my best friend and my biggest supporter, it’s an amazing feeling.” When we caught up with 24 after the show, he added: “We just brothers, we do everything together. It just feels regular, but at the same time, I did a lot of tours with other people, and it’s not as fun as doing it with my brother.”
I came in expecting to catch a rising talent and XXL freshman, secretly hoping to hear his “Uber Everywhere” remix with Travi$ Scott, but what I got was much more. I got the chance to see a rapper making big moves that at the same time seems to genuinely care about his fans. I got to meet his brother, someone who embodies the best of fraternal support and has crafted reputation of his own (I even got to rap for him when he asked what the fuck was up with Broccoli, s/o to Taylor for the video). But most of all, I saw two brothers chasing their dreams together, best-friends out to make it big one way or another. Despite the ebbs and flows of hype the two will surely have each other’s back, and with a support system like that who knows what’s next. Much love to Madeintyo and 24hrs for taking the time to link up, I can’t say I know where they’re going, but next time they’re in Detroit I know where I’ll be.
Video recap by @BoundedVision
Oh and here’s a photo of Madeintyo and the interviewer and writer of this piece, Broccoli