Concert Review: State of the Art (Rawkus Edition) at PS 14


State of the Art (Rawkus Edition) featuring ArtOfficial, L.E.G.A.C.Y., Dynas, Protoman

September 8, 2007

PS14, Downtown Miami

Better Than: The MTV Video Music Awards

The Review:

Underground hip hop shows are hard to come by these days. Circa, say, 2004-2005, Miami’s burgeoning boombap movement was in full effect where indie Emcees and Bboys were a dime a dozen and you could catch at least 3 parties a week that brought that hip hop swagger. Fast forward to the present where electroclash and coked-out hipsters reign, leaving just a handful of hip-hop diehards trying their best to bring a slice of South Bronx to South Florida.

So you can only imagine the 15 or so enthusiastic fans scattered amongst the post-Wynwood Arts District lurkers and bored ex-Pop-Lifers wanting a fresh kick for their Saturday night drug binge. What was suppose to start at 11pm only got warmed up by midnight (typical Miami time) and the DJ of the night should go back to “How to Mix 101” cause his repeated train-wrecks left most vying for the door than the dancefloor.

Noticing a sweating and anxious Protoman who informs me that he was behind this malarkey, I gave him his props for at least trying. Good thing PS-14 is a small venue because a solid 20 people crowded in the front of the miniscule stage showed off a good vibe. N. Carolina’s L.E.G.A.C.Y. kicked off the show with barely 15 minutes – back to back rhymes over Chi-Town style beats with the occasional “Say Ahhhh Yeah” sprinkled for good measure. After that, Broward’s own Dynas hit the stage – spitting all new joints from his forthcoming albums (plural), one for the Rawkus joint and the other for his upcoming BBE release next year. Big D. showed off his playful side, cracking sideline jokes onto the crowd and sweating like a mofo, bringing his A-Game. Now, the party’s getting hype. Protoman gets on stage and continues to bring that energy, hoping to engage the audience to stick around a little while longer. Too bad for me, my ADD kicks in, leaving me heading for the exit, eager to get a late-nite taco from San Loco’s on the Beach.

The moral of the story … hip-hop is full of ADD kids so stick to schedule and don’t make us wait, especially if there’s no open-bar.

Personal Bias: Dynas killed it --- he channeled Kanye West doing “Stronger” for Princess Diana Concert.

Random Detail: Super producer, Tony Galvin (beatmaker for T.I., Ludacris, Trick Daddy, etc.) was there, drinking a gin and tonic.

By the Way: Price for admission was $7.00 and a Corona was $6.00 … does this mathematical reasoning make any sense?

--Esther Park

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Jonathan Cunningham