In 2018, a Sacramento rapper backed by a band called the LoveMakers, submitted a video to NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest. Only a year after Tank and the Bangas won the contest through raw talent and unconventional flair, Hobo Johnson could have easily been a winner of the same stripe.
However, that wasn’t to be. Instead, an immensely gifted busker from LA named Naia Izumi won in similar style. But, Johnson still came away with a prize: almost 16 million views on the initial entry. It was a slingshot to bigger things than a backyard video. This week, Hobo Johnson is playing a few of those stages in New Orleans. Once at Voodoo, then again with the Deja Voodoo After Party at the House of Blues.
The collective sound has been described as idiosyncratic. Hobo Johnson, whose real name is Frank Lopes Jr., calls himself a rapper, though spoken-word artist is a label that also fits. Since the Tiny Desk entry, and an ensuing invitation to perform on the program, the group has released a full album. In September of this year, The Fall of Hobo Johnson debuted to mixed reviews.
The House of Blues is hosting Hobo Johnson as part of Deja Voodoo, the official after-party series of Voodoo Music Festival.
The Fall Tour of Hobo Johnson has been through some festival stops already, including Bonnaroo. The show starts around 10 PM and is the second of the night for Lopes and the gang, who play an evening set on Friday, at the South Course stage of Voodoo. This isn’t an act you want to miss.
You can get tickets for the Deja Voodoo after-party here,