When the Scream tour concept debuted a decade ago, as a vehicle for the kiddie rapper Lil’ Bow Wow, there weren’t any 11-year-olds filming the concerts on tablets and iPhones. But such recordings were the norm at the “Scream: The Next Generation” tour at Constitution Hall on Sunday night. One day technology may shift the focus of these shows from screaming to streaming, but for now they remain a reliable mix of some bad music, some surprisingly good music, and shrieking.
The current Scream tour features the boy band Mindless Behavior, rapper Diggy Simmons (son of Rev. Run of Run D.M.C), singer Jacob Latimore, and the groups Hamilton Park and the OMG Girlz. (The California duo New Boyz were a no show on the D.C. date, their absence rumored to stem from a dispute with the tour’s organizers).
Things started with a history lesson about the tour, and the kids shouted even during this brief educational intrusion. Then the OMG Girlz, best known for “Pretty Girl Bag,” a remake of Soulja Boy’s “Pretty Boy Swag,” kicked things off in earnest. If Nicki Minaj and the Twitter bird reproduced, their offspring would resemble these adorable girls, with their blue hair and toy-encrusted corsets.
Hamilton Park, who are all over 18, making the foursome the old men of the Scream tour, seemed to be more popular with the high-schoolers and mommies in the crowd, but Jacob Latimore, best described as a teeny tiny pre-scandal Chris Brown, recaptured the interest of the pre-teens with a G-rated cover of Lil Wayne’s “How to Love.”
Diggy Simmons, who has been endorsed by Kanye West and, naturally, his dad, lived up to his hype. The kid perfectly straddles the line between teen idol and legitimate rapper, coming off as a less angst-filled Drake on tracks such as “Thinkin’ Bout You.”
Mindless Behavior, currently at the top of the baby R&B/hip-hop heap, is a cute little leather-clad foursome that has toured with Justin Bieber, and just dropped the debut album “#1 Girl” last month. While much of what they do could be called dreck (“Future,” “Mrs. Right”), some of the tracks from Prodigy, Roc Royal, Ray Ray, and Princeton, such as the throbbing “Girls Talkin Bout,” could work during a DJ set at any club, with the addition of just a little more bass — in their voices, that is.