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SHOW REVIEW & INTERVIEW: Twista at the Crocodile – Thursday, 10.16.14

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The Crocodile, Reign City, Ten Grand Marketing, and Soul Gorilla Present: Twista the “Dark Horse Tour” | The Crocodile | Thursday, October 16, 2014

Show review and interview by Emery Desper. Photography by JK Scroggins.


I went to the Twista show excited to take a stroll down memory lane. When I think of the legends of hip-hop he might not be one of the first people to come to mind, but once he ran through his catalog I realized this was a mistake. As I watched one of Chi-town’s finest emerge on the Crocodile’s stage with the most impressive jewelry I have seen up close (paling only in comparison to Slick Rick’s) I happily rapped my way into nostalgia.

The room was packed with dedicated fans. Twista opened his set with the title track off his latest album, Dark Horse, but the real strength of his show was in the older material. What impressed me most about Twista is the amount of hits he’s had and how fun all those songs are to hear live. As soon as the beat dropped from “Is That Your Chick,” and he began to rhyme at a pace that no one has been able to rival, I was amazed. Even though everyone knows that Twista is defined by his ability to rap faster than anyone else, seeing that kind of skill, mastery of language, power, energy, and simultaneous calm on stage all at once is impressive.

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VIDEO: “Motion Sickness” – Shabazz Palaces (dir. by TEAN)

The new Shabazz Palaces clip, “Motion Sickness,” tugs at heartstrings and thrills the dramatic film devotee in all of us. The moment of reckoning for the video’s tragic heroine comes near the end. Even her feline friend senses a grievous conclusion; check how the video’s director, TEAN, captures the domesticated staring up at its master — you can practically hear the animal’s thoughts, pleading with the woman to save herself and her little girl. Incredible all around.

NEW MUSIC: 199YUK – Yukmob

Yukmob - 199YUK

Herein bumps one of the most satisfying listens you’ll come across this calendar year. BeanOne and his Yukmob team (that’s: Fearce Vill, SEV, Romaro Franceswa, Davey Jones, and Cazsh, but who’s counting?) with a new mixtape called 199YUK. Bean reworks a grip of classic beats and samples — from you-know-what decade — into fresh instrumentals for his motheryukkers to recite new raps over. Everything is seamless and each track elicits an iPod search for the original source material. Even better is the communal kinship the “crew tape” format generates (ala classic team-ups like the Wu, Westside Connection, The Firm, and Seattle’s own Massline [RIP], for that matter).

VIDEO: “C’mon Now” – Def Dee (dir. by 96)

Producer Def Dee ridin’ ’round shinin’ in this new clip for “C’mon Now,” an instrumental track from his Redefinition Records release, Deja Vu, which you can preview and buy below.

VIDEO: “Betty” – Ryan Caraveo (dir. by Chris Volkmann)

Seattle rap upstart Ryan Caraveo dropped this pop-rap ditty to all the tatted-up cool girls in our midst. At some point I blinked and the hipster aesthetic became status quo. For those women (and men) who still find themselves living ink free (and stubbornly): You will have your redemption — those Williamsburg firebrands who made it en vogue are now pushing strollers through McCarren Park and sprouting gray hairs from beneath their slouchy hats. Golden retrievers and West Elm furniture are a hell of an equalizing force.

Watch for Ryan’s Swings coming soon.

NEW MUSIC: “Awkward” – Perry Porter (feat. Lula; prod. by FHP)

Perry Porter - Awkward

Pillow talk from underrated area MC Perry Porter and vocalust — oops — I mean, vocalist, Lula.

NEW MUSIC: “Spiral Arms” – Theoretics (feat. Hanna Stevens)

Theoretics - Spiral Arms

Hip-hop quintet Theoretics with the latest drop in their “One A Month” series of releases. “Spiral Arms” is a nocturnal party groove featuring singer Hanna Stevens.

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