Last night's Nappy Roots show at Propaganda in Lake Worth presented by Rock the Mic was an evening of real hip-hop revelry. Hands in the air passed around bottles of Absolut and the room and the crowd was treated to a new project by two members of the headlining act, 40 Akerz.
Rappers Tersch & MMB kicked off the show with a commanding stage presence and a buttload of energy. The two are obviously good friends and that chemistry aided with infecting the crowd with their jocular hype. Lyrically, however, they seemed distracted. Each only got through two or three bars at a stretch before launching into a hook. Their chorus-heavy rap seemed a touch repetitive, like my mother always claimed hip-hop music to be.
Next up was Blaine LegendaryPeople. Though most of the beats he used belonged to other, much more famous musicians, the whole thing worked well as a sort of live mixtape. His complex, staccato lyrical style went over well with the crowd even during an intimate moment, sitting at the edge of the stage, he used it to tell a personal story of struggle. This gentleman of an emcee gave out copies of his new album Destination Legendary after his set. But you can hear it on Soundcloud. If Blaine has any hype, believe it.
The third up was Airborne. This was evidenced by not only the DJ's introduction but his name embroidered on his own hat. Airborne is obviously a talented young emcee whose style draws from the Eminem-influcend rappers that milled about the scene at the turn of the millennium. At one point, DJ Needlez advised the young man not to play a certain song, which he did anyway. From the crowd's reaction, he would have been better served to heed that words of his elder.
Then there was the hometown hero, Eric Biddines. If you like rap and haven't heard this cat yet, you must be sleeping. He's been all on the web with his Planetcoffeebean 2. Last night, he was all over the stage with his Delray Beach-Andre 3000 flow. This dude received well-deserved love from the audience even when he messed up and quit a song about three seconds in. He had everybody chuckling, and at times came off as much a stand up comedian as a rapper. The snazzily dressed emcee is an obvious talent not to be missed, if that's even possible.
By the time Kentucky's Nappy Roots stepped on stage, the crowd was ready for just about anything. Which is likely why, when the crew came up short two members, nobody really minded.
These guys are always an absolute delight to watch live, and last night was no different. They were kind enough to take requests from the audience, even when the request was for a song they already played. Fish Scales was an especially kind soul, passing around his bottle of vodka with the one command of "NO LIPS." The only real downside to the set was the already stated loss of two members from the Roots' crew and the unwillingness of the remainder to sing their parts. You could see people trying to sing along to the old familiar songs, only to be flummoxed by hearing the wrong words at the wrong time.
As it turns out, Fish Scales and Skinny Deville have a new project called 40 Akerz which they were happy to show off last night. 40 Akerz is more hardcore than the usual Nappy Roots fare. It would seem from the way Scales was speaking that this is likely to be a permanent direction for the remaining members of the group. Out with the old happy-country type stuff and in with the new hard and melancholic beats and rhymes.
If you didn't get to catch any of the previously mentioned artists at last night's event, don't fret, you can hear it all on the internet (Google it!). And, seriously, please do show these locals some love by going to the next show like this. It's more than worth your while.
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