On August 9th I was lucky enough to cover “The God Particle” show at Offbeat in Jackson, MS. It was headlined by the quartet of DevMaccc, Quavius Black, Josh Waters, and D. Horton. The group of young men stretches across the Magnolia state from Columbus to Hattiesburg MS.
The aura they embody could make for something potentially special one day soon. There were no egos, just support of one another. Throughout the show the energy never wavered, no matter who was performing. They legitimately supported one another as each individual performed. I don’t think D Horton or Dev took a single break all night.
The show opened with a spoken word from Aaron Tate, a local poet who delivered a piece called “Follow Me”. The poem covered the ups and downs of a millennial in the digital age. We sometimes get encapsulated in the ongoings of social media to escape or uplift our own personal hells. The mentions of how we blanket our psyches in some of the most vein, selfish ways really struck a cord with me. It was amazing how honest and true the poem was.
After a brief intermission, The God Particle began with D. Horton taking control of the microphone first. The most polished of the four started with an energy that wouldn’t be different if it was in a room of 100,000 or just me and him. The stage presence of D. Horton was veteran like and the guy knows how to control an audience. Performing a few songs off his most recent project The Sessions 2, the Columbus native woke the crowd up. It speaks to how there is no ego between the four as he is the mentor of the group, but was still the opening act for the rest of the guys.
Moving on to Quavius Black, the laid back fashion icon of the group. Born in New Jersey, and now residing in Hattiesburg MS since a teenager, he is definitely the most daring member of the group. An anti-authority aura shifts his music towards darker instrumentals and amazing wordplay. In the current landscape where artists like Travis Scott and others are pushing the boundaries, Quavius is also looking to imprint his unique style.
Joining Quavius in his set was Josh Waters, the crooner of the Wolf Pack also hailing from Hattiesburg. Josh can sing, not in a way where he can hold a few notes, but REALLY sing. He controls the crowd with a confidence you do not see with many vocalists. He even spoke on such with with self-affirming lyrics like “This ain’t my first rodeo” and “I ain’t never going back that road again”. Both of which encapsulate leaving love, while doubling as a reminder that he isn’t looking back in the rear view on his career. A true proponent of both skill and penmanship, Waters is a force to be reckoned with.
The final member of the group was DevMacc, the Jackson State University student from Florence, MS. This guy was all hype from the first bars he spit. Living up to the kinetic spirit felt building-wide, DevMacc’s energy was contagious. Rapping “Done sitting at kiddie tables, give me the throne”, Dev is shattering misconceptions that southern rappers aren’t lyrical. It will be interesting to watch this young man rise.
In respect to D. Horton, speaking with him I realized how gifted the man is. Horton is very conscious of his surroundings and the downfalls that often come with a rap career. Speaking to me after the performance, I understood his determination to get his message out. He is making music for the soul and for the people.
Using everyday experiences as the canvas, D. Horton paints his verses with vivid images akin to those that influence and inspire him. He uses his performances to reach out and touch the people. He relayed to me that he looks around the crowd locking on eyes until he “feels the energy” of someone in need. He leaps at the chance to connect to who needs to feel it more than hear it and makes that person involved by rapping directly to them. Veteran moves like that and more exhibit why he is a breath of fresh air in rap.
The same consciousness for his family and fans is one that won’t allow him to jeopardize his values and beliefs for a deal. D. Horton has a list of demands that he isn’t willing to walk away from just to “make it”. People get signed everyday and never make it beyond a second single. We live in an age where labels need rappers more than rappers need labels, and that’s a fact D. Horton is very aware of.
It can be a fine line to walk when dealing with major labels; the allure of success and money often becoming a path to sign your life away. With people depending on him, D. Horton knows he has to make moves with the long term picture in mind. Speaking about how the art of rap is ultimately for his family, he mentioned his daughter and mother specifically. They depend on each other and he has deep roots in making sure that everyone will benefit from his penmanship. Already turning down multiple offers from a few labels, the Mississippi State graduate is willing to be patient. We spoke about his patience and how the willingness to wait will eventually be advantageous to him. Using time as a tool, D. Horton is taking his time to get what he wants and to build his platform correctly.
This same platform is one he wants to use to elevate the Wolf Pack as a whole. He acts as the official mentor to the group, as he is the oldest, using his experiences and interactions to help the rest. Horton spoke on how its all love and no egos involved in making their music together. He knows how the industry can try to pit artists against each other that doesn’t seem to be an issue for them.
Using Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, and Chance the Rapper as a template, D. Horton knows that you can make music true to oneself and let it propel you. This powers him to continue with his open-book like mentality that doesn’t threaten the message of the music. This same theme remains with DevMaccc, Quavius Black and Josh Waters, as all artists beat to the sound of their own drums. The sky is the limit for each one of these artists and The God Particle was the genesis for the clique. Watch out world, the New Mississippi is coming.