Thraxxhouse | The Crocodile | September 2, 2015
Photos by Rafael Ochoa
The Crocodile & ReignCity Present: ¡Mursday! (Murs & ¡Mayday!, with Ces Cru and Kap Kallous) | The Crocodile | Sunday, November 16, 2014
Photography by Rafael Ochoa.
The Crocodile, Reign City, Ten Grand Marketing, and Soul Gorilla Present: Twista the “Dark Horse Tour” | The Crocodile | Thursday, October 16, 2014
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.
On the first day of Autumn, a few hundred Seattle residents celebrated the city’s return to dreary gray weather by gathering to be a part of a sold-out show featuring two of hip-hop’s most profound underground MCs: Bambu and Brother Ali.
Full disclosure: I saw Bambu perform in LA when I was in college and became a total fan girl. Needless to say, his presence on Brother Ali’s “Home Away From Home” tour caused me to have exactly the same reaction. Dressed in all black like an omen, he appeared on the Crocodile’s stage full of Cali swag. And while his delivery is cool, make no mistake, everything about Bambu can be summed up in one word: Power. He was there to give you a show, yes, but mostly he was there to give you an education. Bar after bar, rhyme after rhyme, social justice delivered in dramatic form is the name of his rap game. With all the heavy subject matter — Ferguson, women’s rights, student loan debt, to name a few — listeners took away a better history lesson on what it’s like to be struggling in America than they could have from a classroom.
The demographics of Brooklyn may be changing (sections of Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy barely resemble the ‘hoods of even five years ago when I first relocated out here from Seattle), but the hip-hop mind-state stays rooted in the Golden Era of bygone days. If it were up to geezers like me, everything rap would sound like the dusty hardcore of Black Moon’s Enta Da Stage.
Alas, time pushes forward like a Q45 Infinit on the BQE, so my brethren and I are relegated to beating young ‘uns over their heads (figuratively, of course) with the cracked jewel cases of seminal crews like Smif-N-Wessun, Heltah Skeltah, and OGC, groups who composed the larger Boot Camp Clik collective and who recorded on the still-in-effect Duck Down Records. (For one degree of Seatown separation, see: Blue Scholars’ OOF! EP.)
Reminisce over shit like Smif-N-Wessun’s “Bucktown” tonight at The Crocodile ON US! 206UP.COM has one pair of tickets to give away to a lucky reader. To enter, just send an email to email@example.com OR a Tweet to @206upBlog, with the phrase “Who got da props?!” in the subject line. We’ll draw one lucky name at random for the show.
A few of the competitors at tomorrow night’s Red Bull Emsee battle have been featured on 206UP.COM’s The TrackMeet. Displaying skills on a single track is a far cry from being able to represent live. Go watch these budding MC’s try to eat each others’ lunch tomorrow night at The Crocodile.
Tonight, at The Crocodile…
And Thursday (9/17), at The Showbox @ The Market…
It doesn’t get much better than this one-two punch. And big-ups to the Sportn’ Life family for doing it big on both bills.
In related news: I’ve listened to about half of D. Black’s Ali’Yah. So far it’s predictably uplifting and powerful. There’s something extra-special at work when a hip-hop artist consciously sets out on a mission to uplift his community. This is a case where the message is far greater than the music. As always, a review is on its way so stay tuned.