Review of The Dead Prez Show at Club Bluster In Hollywood (5/12/2008)
Monday night’s Dead Prez show at Club Bluster was not what I anticipated. When you think of a Monday night hip-hop event, you always expect to see a lesser turnout of people. With this past Monday night, that was definitely not the case. When I arrived, there must of been about 30 people in line, but not many people inside. Within an hour and a half, those 30 people grew into about 200 (+) easily. Jones from JPEG Graphics and the people who helped organize this event, did an amazing job. White leather couches were set up in the middle of the club for special guests, bottle drinkers, and performers. White drapes lined the exterior of Bluster giving it an upscale look as well. You would’ve thought that Brad and Angelina were there with the amount of photographers and video cameras swarming around the club.
First up to stage was Asia from HBO’s Def Poetry. I must say he is a passionate, humorous, and sarcastic poet. Throughout the night he came on stage fulfilling his hosting duties, along with spitting some passionate spoken word as well. One that stood out was “Breathe”. Asia must have covered every annoying/bad situation a person can be in living in our everyday world. It kind of reminded me of a day in the life of Seinfeld in friends, but the urban version. The moral of his words was to “Breathe”! No matter how stressful your situation is, just remain calm, breathe, and handle it like a pro. At least that’s what I took from it.
After Asia, there were numerous other poets. Some speaking about sexuality, and others just going into extreme detail about their sex lives. Others got more into oppression. Nonetheless, they were all pretty amazing. The first hip-hop artists up to bat were Punchanello, along with Namebrand. Those two are like the Batman and Robin of the local hip-hop scene because they simply murdered their set. Punchanello did about three songs, all of which the crowd was vibing to. Namebrand was in the background controlling the beats [and the set] like a conductor in an orchestra.
Up next was local emcees Cynic and Flawless. From the looks of the crowd, they alone had probably the biggest following of any of the local artists opening for Dead Prez. You could hear the crowd getting louder once they got on stage. Cynic started off with an accapella verse on the subject of the current state of rappers called “These Ignorant Rappers.” The crowd definitely found the name of the verse amusing. Midway through the verse you heard the crowd vibing with him, screaming their “yeah’s” and hell yeah’s.” The next song Cynic did was a politically charged song about the current state of our government. Cynic had the crowd chanting “bring our troops home” during the hooks and no one in the crowd must have been a Bush supporter because the chants got louder as the song went on. The last song was Flawless’s “Code of Honor,” in which he spoke about the current state of hip-hop. Overall, they got a great reaction from the crowd and kept the vibe moving.
Next up to bat was the self proclaimed “sneaker store terrorist”, Rahsaan. Out of all the emcees performing he was probably the most animated which makes for great stage presence, and an overall good show. There were a few more artists on stage after Rahsaan, and a few more poets that kept the crowd hype until Dead Prez came on stage.
Finally, Dead Prez came out the VIP room in the back of Bluster and immediately received a great crowd reaction when they finally showed face. They performed a few of there classic hits that everyone knew and performed a couple recent songs as well. When their set was done, a lot of the fans got to hang out with them and take pictures. All in all, the night turned out amazing. I think you will see plenty of more shows like this especially when it was proved that turnout like this one is possible for a Monday night. That just goes to shows that Hip-Hop music and our culture have no boundaries and will draw serious crowds no matter the day, time or place.
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