The year is 2013, and I’m in my dorm’s computer lab around midnight repeatedly refreshing the Datpiff home page and scouring my favorite Hip-Hop blogs waiting for the Flatbush Zombies newest mixtape “BetterOffDead” to drop. Jump to 2023, and the Brooklyn trio packed out the Fillmore Silver Spring last week, as a part of a small eight-show tour in some of their favorite cities in celebration of the mixtape turned album’s 10th anniversary.
Accompanied by AK the Savior (1/2 of the Underachievers), A$AP Ant, and a special guest appearance from the DMV’s own Azizi Gibson as openers, The Zombies — Erick the Architect, Meechy Darko, and Zombie Juice — performed all of BetterOffDead’s biggest tracks as well as few of their more recent solo records as they’ve all released solo projects this year.
At The Fillmore Silver Spring on Nov. 30, the Flatbush Zombies hit the stage to the album’s intro “Amerikkkan Pie” before welcoming everyone to the show and following it up with some of my personal favorites like “MRAZ,” “Regular and Complex (GNB),” “My Team, SUPREME,” and “Minephuck.”
Juice was the first to take the stage for himself and pull out of his solo bag with music from his first solo album “Love Without Conditions” that dropped earlier this year. He even brought AK back out to perform “Dizzy” as the record features both of the Underachievers.
Check out the official music video for “MRAZ” by Flatbush Zombies on YouTube:
Listen to Flatbush Zombies classic project “BetterOffDead” on Spotify:
The other guy returned to the stage to perform “Death” as the crowd got more and more rowdy and the circle pits started to spin. Juice and Erick left the stage as Meech rolled his eyes in to the back of his head, Undertaker style and went into his Zombie walk while the Charles Mason sound bite that is the intro to “Death 2” rattled the room. He jumped out of his trance like state and let out his famous opening line blowing the roof off the place, “I crack ya f***ing skull and use it as a bowl for cereal…” The entire crowd sang the whole verse back to him so perfectly Meech skipped every other bar to let them fill in the blanks.
Erick, who has the largest discography of solo work took control of the room last, starting off with his only solo track from “BetterOffDead,” the upbeat and perfectly out of place “222” before going into his newly released single “Shook Up” and announcing a new solo album titled “I’ve Never Been Here Before“ coming out in February — before bringing AK out one last time to perform their 2022 record “No Ice.”
The fellas re-joined Erick on stage and teased the crowd, dropping the intro to “Bath Salts” and telling everyone to bounce before immediately cutting the song and telling them they’re not lit enough for it yet. Meech mentioned how this is usually the part of the show where he stage dives out into the crowd, but if everybody was tired then they could just end the show now. The room full of new age deadheads screamed out “NOOO!,” and the guys screamed back “THEN OPEN UP THE F***ING PITS!” as the song started to play again.
The crowd bounced and spun as Meech stepped to the center of the stage and delivered his verse, throwing down his mic and doing a front flip into the crowd as the songs first chorus kicked in, “Flatbush Zombie — A$AP Mobbin’ hit the killswitch, put an end to any problem…” He surfed back and forth on the sea of hands while Juice delivered his verse and miscellaneous shoes, shirts, and drinks got tossed around the room, making it back to the stage just as A$AP Ant returned from backstage for his verse to finish off the collab record.
The Glorious Dead closed the show out with “Bliss” followed by “Bounce” from their 2016 debut album “3001: A Laced Odyssey” that had everyone jumping up and down and rapping along from the moment Meech chanted “Acid! Acid! Change your life…” in his first few bars. They finished things off by cutting the stage lights and having everyone light up the room with their lighters and cell phone lights as they performed their the smokers anthem and most popular song “Palm Trees.”
The guys finished the song and asked their fans “Can we spread our message? Yes or No?,” ending the night the same way they have for over 10 years, by telling everyone in attendance to “Open Your F***ing Mind!” as it’s the last thing they want you to remember before leaving the stage.
The BetterOffDead 10 Year Anniversary Tour only has three stops left and is wrapping up in Anaheim, California, on Dec. 15. It’s a can’t-miss show for any fan of the guys, new or old.
Below are some more photos from the Flatbush Zombie’s performance at The Fillmore Silver Spring on Nov. 30, 2023. All photos copyright and courtesy of AJ Waugh (wauffleznotwaffles.com).