I think I can/ I know I can/ And if at first you don't succeed...

A fun night with decent if unexceptional out-of-town hip-hop Sunday at the Mews. I came for local rappers Gadema and Young Tripp, whose MySpace pages have intrigued me with their sweeping Southern-gothic beats and relentless grit, making me hope I'll eventually find something here like what Diplo dug up on his Hunts Vegas comp of Alabama rappers a while back. I got there around 9, which as it turned out meant I missed both of those guys-- bummer, but I'll catch 'em next time. The visitors on the bill brought the kind of relatively standard-fare backpacker rap that probably wouldn't bowl me over on record, but made for interesting viewing, at least. Musab, joined by his sister (in an eye-catching red dress) and a Weird Al-looking DJ (on a laptop), was unremittingly pleasant, grinning bigger than any twee indie-popper on songs featuring canny samples from Pitchfork/Jay-Z faves Grizzly Bear as well as the old PBS children's TV show "Reading Rainbow"; while the lyrics were fairly prosaic, it was easy to get caught up in the enthusiastic vibe, and I wouldn't even complain if they cut out the one or two weed/alcohol references and got a big break through Disney or whatever. Headliner Abstract Rude's beats were dustier and more classically hip-hop, with an affable, red-gloved hype man providing a lot of the entertainment; still, as the DJ played Michael Jackson and Prince songs to follow the set, I had to wonder why anyone who loves those bona fide stars would settle for hooks like "Life goes on," "Life's not like a TV show" (TV is baaad, kids-- but the shows mentioned suggest this MC hasn't watched any since the mid-1990s), or "Y'all should dance" (unlike with Musab, whose deep voice came through loud and clear, most of Abstract's impassioned verses were indecipherable to these ears, except for occasional forced-rhyme fragments like "To the top we soar"). Whatever, as I noted last year, I'm a guy who got bored at a Company Flow reunion, so this particular strain of independent hip-hop just often isn't my thing, I guess.

Gotta grind nonstop 'cause ain't no one recession-proof.

No comments:

Post a Comment