Scenes From Crit Life's Free Wifi Fest At The Door.

There's a very familiar set of circumstances that almost always takes place at a Dallas hip-hop show. Several hours before the national headliner — e.g., OG Maco, Schoolboy Q, RiFF RAFF or Nipsey Hussle — takes the stage, a slew of local artists and DJs run the show. As unorganized as it may seem, this is usually when the crowd gets its rowdiest, having a complete blast as it mobs out to the undercards. Every so often, though, the crowd will grow tired of this bait-and-switch tactic and the anticipation that comes with waiting for a big national act such as Schoolboy Q eventually wins out.

Lately, though, a tide has shifted: Local collectives such as Crit Life and We Are Dallas are flipping that undercard status into the main event — and only rowdier shows and parties have come as a result. Friday night's Free Wifi Fest, hosted by Crit Life at The Door, is but the most recent example of this sea change.

Despite the name, this show was anything but a festival. Sure, it featured over a dozen local artists and a few out-of-towners, plus several DJs. Also, its setting was a formal concert venue. But it was neither a traditional show nor a festival — and it was all the better for it, as the free-flowing atmosphere of the event worked so much better as a raucous party. The crowd welcomed extended DJ sets, it danced through delayed arrivals and, on the whole, it stage-dove and drank its way toward a great time.

Best of all, the event proved a strong showcase of Dallas' young and talented rap pool with solid sets from Crit Morris, G.U.N, Brandon Fxrd and Trap Mama. Probably the highlight of the party, though, was a DJ set from CardoGotWings. Witnessing the budding relationship between the up-and-coming Crit Life and a producer like CardoGotWings, who has had a lot major producer credits with artists like Wiz Khalifa, Game, and Young Jeezy, says a lot about gaps being bridged in Dallas' rap scene these days.

Just as the event itself did, really. The Dallas rap game is only getting stronger, and events like Friday's continue to serve as proof of this fact.



















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