Punch Drunk

Is Miami rapper Punchanello punching out?

Sure, he talks much shit and drops quotes that even he has to laugh at. But he backs it up. Just two weeks ago, he stood on a rickety stage at an underground venue in Hollywood, freestyling a three-part story rap about arguing with his lady, going to a strip club to blow off steam, heading to an afterparty, and then coming back home, all without cheating on his woman.

It was the stuff of Slick Rick/Kool G. Rap proportions, and the crowd was eating up every word. Connecting like that, completely improv, is what keeps his skills sharp. As Name Brand works behind him, making live beats on the spot for him to rap over, you get the sense that, with the right push, Punchanello should have already blown up. According to him, he's still eager to give it one more try. He'll be back in town this weekend performing and then working at a feverish pace over the next month to drop a solo mixtape and put out a new Earthworx album.

Even the Kool-Aid man loves Punchanello.
Jonathan Cunningham
Even the Kool-Aid man loves Punchanello.


Punchanello performs as part of Hip-Hop Helps. Sunday, June 29, at Club Bluster, 115 NW 21st Ave., Hollywood. 9 p.m.; $5. Call 754-214-4043, or visit www.myspace.com/only1cynic.

Asked if he had any last words for the hip-hop community, he says, "Yeah, I'll be back like I left something! My spot ain't going nowhere. I've got about 45 or 50 tracks that haven't been released yet. I'm learning how short life is right now, so it's up to me to make it happen."

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