With Sin and Will Brennan
Green Room, Brown Bag Wednesdays
Our interview with Black Hippy's Ab-Soul
Better than: Listening to so-called hip-hop radio stations in South Florida.
You could tell something different was going on Wednesday night just by driving by Green Room.
"People come here on Brown Bag Wednesdays to do one thing," said DJ El-Amir out on the sidewalk in between spinning Skyzoo and Jean Grae. "Listen to underground, independent hip-hop."
Inside was a testament to independence -- from the best friend-owned clothing line Duvin selling T-shirts upstairs to recent art school grad Todd Traxler making visual music with his markers and posterboard near the stage. Doors opened at 10 p.m. when guests were treated to a set from DJ Klassik. The crowd was even invited to get on stage and recite the first verse from the Kendrick Lamar anthem "HiiiPower" to win a pair of tickets to Lamar's show in September at the Fillmore Miami Beach.
After midnight, West Palm Beach native Will Brennan showed off his skilled wordplay, receiving a big reaction from the crowd after an especially clever a capella verse. "I used to go to college, but that shit didn't last," spit Brennan to a sympathetic crowd. "But I had a little problem, I didn't go to class."
By the time Ab-Soul took the stage, the crowd of close to 500 was pulsating with anticipation. For a West Coast independent artist, Ab drew a huge audience on the Atlantic. "Ya'll heard me on the internet, right?" said Ab-Soul just before performing "SOPA" off his new independent album Control System, which peaked at 13 on the Indie Billboard chart.
The crowd responded to the first few lines from fellow Black Hippy member Schoolboy Q's "Druggys with Hoes Again" with the traditional collective sway of hip-hop hands in the air. The recognizable hook along with the melodic beat made us want to participate, to be part of the song. By the time Ab-Soul got to "Terrorist Threats," he remained silent for six straight rap bars as the crowd recited the lyrics in total harmony.
"When a hip-hop artist is performing at this kind of level, the crowd almost feels like an organism at his disposal," said Black Hippy fan and Miami native Anthony Pellizzi.
Ab closed the nearly one-hour long set with "Pineal Gland." The crowd was hungry for more, but, alas, we'll have to do with recorded Ab-Soul tracks till next time he hits SoFla
Personal Bias: Can't listen to the same songs over and over on the radio.
Random Thought: A person with no sense of smell could feel the sweet cheeba in the air.
Overheard in the Crowd: "This is the best Brown Bag Wednesdays show I've been to so far."
- Real Thinkers
- Soulo Hoe
- Track Two
- Pass The Blunt
- Bohemian Grove
- Lust Demons
- Druggys With Hoes Again
- Terrorist Threats
- Nothings Something
- Gone Insane
- Black Lip Bastard
- Showing Love
- Pineal Gland