When homegrown rapper Noochie came up with the idea to start a concert series on the front porch of his family’s DC-area home earlier this year, he had no intention of sharing the stage with anyone. Frustrated by his short-lived stint on Atlantic Records in 2017, Noochie started recording himself freestyling over some of hip-hop’s most famous beats and shared the results on YouTube and Instagram. But as he and his team elevated the production values and added an accompanying band, Noochie reached out to some of the region’s biggest acts to take the stage.
The result is “Noochie’s Live From the Front Porch Presents,” an online series that has quickly become a vital showcase in an unusually casual setting. The most obvious precedent is NPR’s Tiny Desk concerts, but Noochie says he was inspired by a long list of live-music shows: “I wrote down The Arsenio Hall Show, Soul Train, Rap City, MTV Unplugged, Live From Daryl’s House—that’s [Daryl Hall from] Hall & Oates. That was literally the one that made me want to do it.”
Once Noochie hit on the idea to expand beyond his own performances, the first artists he contacted were Big G and Weensey of go-go legends Backyard Band, whose name comes from its early days performing in yards around the District. The video of the duo playing with the Front Porch house band was released at the end of July and has already been watched more than 670,000 times on YouTube and Instagram Reels. Videos from the series have been praised by NBA superstar (and Prince George’s County native) Kevin Durant, Houston rapper Paul Wall, and rap great Snoop Dogg.
Since then, the porch has welcomed the likes of Ms. Kim of Rare Essence, DJ Alizay, and R&B star Raheem DeVaughn, who’s a friend and collaborator of Noochie’s father, Oneway Boobe (a DC rap trailblazer and member of the Young Farmers). Noochie now has a long list of dream guests that he keeps in the room inside where he records music and edits videos. At the top: Snoop Dogg.
A recent visit to the Front Porch set to watch the recording of a guest episode with New Impressionz found Noochie in full producer mode, making sure every take was perfect and each performance memorable. (He’s also the guy you see sauntering out the front door every time to introduce the featured artist.) Though the atmosphere appears low-key—there are lots of red Solo cups in evidence—the performances are notably high-quality, with excellent sound and musicians who seem energized by the familiar environment. “To be honest, for the artists that come on, my goal is to create the best version of their songs recorded live, period,” Noochie says. “I want them to be as good as a Grammy Awards show performance.”
This article appears in the November 2023 issue of Washingtonian.