Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A "Who's Who" night...

So last year Blue Scholars started doing a 3 day event that I like to refer to as the "NW Showcase". Like I said, it is a 3 day event that showcases many of the talented hip hop artists from not only Seattle but throughout the NW. The event was supposed to be held in December, but due to unforeseen circumstances (ie: a damn blizzard) it was rescheduled for this past weekend! I was out of town for Saturday and Sunday, but really the only day I wanted to go was Monday anyway (IMHO the best lineup and 21+ show). On the bill for the night DymeDef, Macklemore, Common Market, and Blue Scholars...a virtual "Who's Who" for Seattle hip hop.

DymeDef opened the show and, as usual, brought their high energy to the stage with them. I have said it before and I'll say it again...IF you have been sleepin on these dudes it really is time to wake up. BeanOne beats, Fearce Vil, S.E.V., and doesn't get much better. These cats are always on point. Every time I have seen them has been raucous, and they seem to be on top of their game each time. Tonight was no exception...but I did feel that S.E.V. brought a little something extra tonight. You know when someone in the NFL is in the final year of their contract and they have the best season ever (see Shaun Alexander and Marcus Trufant). Dude was spittin for a deal last it a "coming out" party. Peep S.E.V. (white hat), Brainstorm (red hat), and Fearce Vil (white T)...

Next up was Macklemore. Mack has been around the scene here in Seattle for awhile now, but I have only seen him a couple of times. I like what he brings to the table,
a true emcee with the ability to rock a crowd or lull them with his smooth delivery. Macklemore came on stage with a violinist and trumpeter...and the one and only Ohmega Watts on the 1s and 2s. 
I was impressed with this pairing of Macklemore and Ohmega Watts and wondered aloud if Watts hasn't influenced Macklemore into the jazzy string and horn sounds that I associate with Ohmega Watts music. Andrew, the violinist, played such amazing version of the Star Spangled Banner before I'm An American, that if you closed your eyes you would swear you were listening to another Seattle icon...Jimi Hendrix. Macklemore also brought out Champagne Champagne, who I had never seen or heard before tonight. Truthfully, I wasn't all that impressed but maybe at another time or place or for more than one son I might be able to get into them. Peep the video and the outfit that Macklemore donned for I'm An American.

Common Market was up third with a surprise of their own. The duo of RA Scion and Sabzi brought out the dudes for Sport N Life...Spaceman, Fatal Lucciano, and D. Black.  Space is just now coming into his own, and I am looking forward to hearing more from dude. D.Black is the face of SnL right now it seems, and Seattle's resident Freeway impersonator (looks only).  I have never really been impressed with Fatal, he has is moments buts most of the time comes off as a Mad Rapper type. In his defense, he did have a good set on this night. It was somewhat of an odd collaboration though, in my opinion. RA Scion has a very technical delivery and his content is more spiritually or politically based where dudes from SnL bring more of that "gangsta" appeal. Just shows that anyone can go in over a Sabzi beat. Nonetheless, RA brought every last ounce he had after, what I am sure was,  a long 3 days. 

Also, wanted to let y'all know that Common Market will be releasing a digital only EP, appropriately titled The Winters End EP. This will be available on iTunes and other digital outlets on March 31st. You can preview the album here.

Hyena Records and Common Market are pleased to announce the release of The Winter's End digital EP from Common Market - available on March 31st, 2009.
The Winter's End is a continuance of the journey taken on Tobacco Road - but this EP signifies the end of the Winter. Intentionally timed for a Spring release, the album, in its 5-track entirety, represents triumph over the gloomy clutches of the dark season, setting the tone, both sonically and emotionally, for Common Market's new beginning (or, Nouveau Depart, as track one is appropriately titled, in French).
The group filmed a video in New York City's famed Trinity Church Cemetery for the second track "Escaping Arkham" directed by Zia Mohajerjasbi -to be debuted on MTVu. In the song, the emcee suspends time to ponder the thoughts racing through the mind of a suicide victim as he hovers over death. Singing falsetto on the chorus, RA explains he has effectively “run away chasing the sun.”
The Winter's End will be available for download on iTunes and from other digital distributors on March31st.

Batting clean up was, of course, Blue Scholars. The "one DJ and one MC" philosophy stands true with Geologic on the mic, and Sabzi on the turntables. They played for about an hour, some old, some newer, and some brand new doo doo for us. They made a video while in Hawaii doin a couple of shows, it was definitely a dope video playin in the background while Geo and Sabzi went to work.

Probably the illest moment of the night, and there were definitely a few, was when Sabzi took out his iPhone, connected it to his mixer, and made a beat while Geo spit a freestyle over it...check it!

Crazy dope right...I've never seen anything like it before! I'm sure that once this circulates the blogosphere it is going to be the next coming of the vocoder! Y'all know what I'm talkin about. Peep one more video from the show just to show you how live it really was in that place.

All this for the low, low price of...$15! C'mon people, resist your McDonalds and Starbucks for a day and save that money to come out and support local artists. Lookin forward to next years event already! I'm sure that Catch will have some more to say (and show) on the subject, as he finally brought his own camera! Peace.


Anonymous said...

For the record-;Sportn' Life Records is NOT Gangster. Sure fatal Lucciauno'e first CD was. Perhaps a closer listen will give you a better perception of what these people are about. This was a great show and your write up is good. I just have to spread the right word about SnL

Anonymous said...

uhhhh - those are Sport-n-life beats my dude. Not Sabzi

Benny B said...

Thanks for the anonymous tips! Haha. I guess a closer listen would have told me they were SnL beats too. I thought I said that my experience with SnL has been minimal. I should have clarified better...most of who I have seen/heard is Fatal...ehhh. I guess I have seen D.Black a few times too, now that I think about it...I fucks with D.Black. Space, I liked dude when he was basically a hype man for D. Black, and dude is coming into his own.
I guess what I was gettin at was if you put Common Market and SnL side by side...who would you say is more gangsta? Thanks for the comments, much appreciated!