Showbox, Dead Nation and Reign City Present: Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) with Lilla & Raz Simone | Showbox Market | Wednesday, October 8, 2014
One could argue that it is hard to be innovative when it comes to rap music. It might even be harder to be innovative when performing rap music. Most musicians stand on stage, hold the mic, walk around a little bit, and then take a pause to say, “How y’all feel?” This is not bad of course. There is nothing wrong with just performing your songs; that’s what people are there to see, after all.
But Raz Simone impressed me by stepping out of the box and, in this case, off the stage to do something that never even crossed my mind until I saw it with my own eyes. Midway through his opening set last Wednesday night at Showbox at the Market, he hopped off stage after he had been working the entire room, and asked the crowd to gather in a circle. He rapped passionately in the middle of the floor, the highlight being when he performed his love letter to Seattle — a cover of Adele’s “Hometown Glory” — standing eye-to-eye with the audience. He hugged people in the crowd, jumped up and down and even finished his set by being hoisted up, literally on the shoulders of the people he was performing for. Call me sentimental, but this gave me a lot of hope for rap music in general and made me proud of Seattle rap in particular.