Concerts Events

Phora’s #YoursTrulyForever Album Release Show In LA Proved Why He Belongs In Hip Hop

August 19, 2017

Happy Friday. Another long day but all for the love of Hip Hop. Tonight was a show I had in my planner for months. Ever since the day it was announced. First off, I’m ashamed it took me so long to discover this kid. Introducing Phora from Anaheim, CA. Honestly, I feel like this is the industry’s best-kept secret. Well, not for long. At just 22 years old, homeboy signed to Warner. Honestly, the music speaks for itself.

This tweet is so fucking dope to me. Tbh, I did want to see Atmosphere at The Wiltern. If you’re a Hip Hop head, you ride or die with Atmosphere. But my homegirl actually works at Warner and has been telling me about Phora ever since his last show in LA (which was at The Roxy). Tonight, he was at The NOVO. Homeboy sells out every single show and the fans know every single word to every song. The fact that Atmosphere tweeted this… real recognize real.

It wasn’t until I heard “To The Moon” off Phora’s Yours Truly Forever EP that just dropped, literally today (technically last night), that I truly fell in love with this kid’s music. I wasn’t even halfway through the song when I decided I was going to listen to it on repeat for the rest of the drive home. It reminded me of old school Hip Hop, with lyrics that actually had meaning. Tonight was the last stop of his tour, also the album release show. Being that this is his hood, this was going to be the most special show of them all.

First of all, huge thanks to Rory and Nechelle for making sure I was taken care of. I’ve been trying to lock down an interview with Phora all week, and the only time that we could do it was before his set at the show. Which is always hectic. Show day is always stressful af, for the artist especially. Huge thanks to the homie EG for making this happen. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have gotten to speak with Phora before the show. It was on some homie shit, too.

I was so fucking surprised when I met homeboy IRL. Had no idea he was such a kid! I say that as an almost 27-year-old, but everything that came out of his mouth made up for it. He’s so fucking mature. You kind of have to be if you’ve been what he’s been through. Phora got shot in 2015, and it was a miracle that he survived. I legit got chills reading about what happened.

I can’t thank him enough for speaking with me. We were posted backstage upstairs, in the same room I interviewed Sevyn. Phora was surrounded by ALL his people. And there were a lot of people. Like, this might be the most packed I’ve seen The NOVO backstage. I felt bad stealing him away from his friends but he agreed so I had to knock it out. Honestly, every single thing that came out of his mouth was filled with love and positivity. I was so taken aback by it all. What a real fucking genuine kind soul.

I have so many great things to say about this show that I don’t even know where to begin. First off, I want to talk about his stage presence. He deadass thanked LA after every single song he performed. Genuinely thanked his fans for coming out and for all the support. It was surreal. After each song. I’ve never seen something like that. And it didn’t get annoying either. It was so heartfelt each time. Second, the actual stage set up was remarkable. I always say, once artist signs to a label, the glo up begins. ESPECIALLY when it comes to tours. The shows become an automatic upgrade. Even him opening his set with these lights flaring before him was so fire. I was in the photo pit and was not ready.

Third, fans knew EVERY WORD TO EVERY SONG!! This shit was real. “Rider” is off his new EP. And they still knew the words. To an album that JUST dropped. Like what? Being that he is so young, his fanbase is really young also. But he’s got almost a cult-like following. Yours Truly Forever is a movement. Fourth, he was so fucking interactive with the fans. Barely 2 songs in, he asked the crowd where his day one fans were, proceeding to ask who fucked with his last album With Love. This lead right into “I Think I Love You,” which had Phora giving away the most beautiful red roses into the crowd. We saw someone in the parking lot after with one, and it warmed our hearts.

Next, I went into the VIP section, which was still a pretty good view. I got a lot of different perspectives tonight, but at the end of the day, (fourth) no matter where you were, you had a great time. Phora did not disappoint a single soul in that building tonight. He performed “Faithful” and “What It’s Like” before dedicating the next joint to Tupac and Biggie. That was a highlight for sure. He said if it wasn’t for them, he wouldn’t be on that stage tonight. “Halos & Devil Horns” was fucking beautiful.

He thanked everyone again. Like no, thank you, Phora. He said this was his biggest show to date, in the 6 years he’s been doing music. He also told everyone he wanted them to go home with no voice. This is how a Hip Hop show should be. This next song “Came Up” was gold. It couldn’t have come at a better time.

Here’s a better view from my girl on stage lmao. She gets all the credit. They had promised me all-access but of course, security was being extra. All good. He performed “Run To” and “Like Me” before I head to the back to meet my girl. I love you, V! She’s the one that brought up the comparison of Phora to J. Cole, for this generation. It wasn’t until this point of the show that I thought, wow. I totally agree. We shared “Loyalty,” “Snakes,” and my all-time fav, “To The Moon” together.

He gave the disclaimer that he wasn’t making music for the club, but for people like “you and me.” I can’t stress how real this kid is. How relatable he is, just in the aspect of the struggles of life alone. He’s out here giving hope to his kids. If he could pull through, so can they. I think he must have tried to leave like 3x but the fans wouldn’t let him. 3 encores: “Sinner, Pt. 2,” “Sinner,” and “Facts.”

Bless your soul, Phora. And thank you for being such a positive role model to your fans.

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