Monday, August 15, 2005

the b-i-g-d-a-double ‘d’-y-k-a-n-o

rapid fire and reloaded

What was up with the barely-there crowd at the Dipset / Roll Deep park jam? Yeah it was probably the worst NYC weather we could have hoped for (Dear Summer, EASE BACK!) and then the Roll Deep set got hit with the rain. I’m sure they could have handled a London Town sprinkle but this was on some tropical shit. I was part of the crowd that rolled out deep and I’ll admit it was refreshing to think that a park-jam exodus would be fueled by fear of getting wet not getting wetted (no homo-cide).
Respect to those that held tight for the Juelz mic check. I’m sorry I missed, as K described it, ‘possibly the weirdest hip-hop show ever’: Santana rocking a dozen-and-a-half rain soaked LES kids in the reconstructed Wild Style amphitheatre.
But the day was salvaged by the Knitting Factory although it was probably hotter inside than out. At least there was plenty of heat flying off the wheels and not just hipsters. Catchdubs rocked sooo many of my favorites and Diplo had me cheesing like a muhfuckah when he had a Screwed-down Cure beat flipped into a ‘riddim.’ (Who knew I needed that in my life!)
The real surprise was how Kano killed it! Outside of ‘Reload It’ I’m not his biggest fan… something about the hyper articulation has always seemed the opposite of what I wanted grime MCs to be… rough, foreign-slang-dropping, scrubs. Hey, I know I’m probably wrong for that but you can blame my ignorance…
Ignorance indeed. Because I was schooled quickly as Kano COMMANDED that stage with his hypeman (anyone catch his name? UPDATE:Ghetto) and DJ Bionix. Yes a bit of the clarity of his rhymes got lost in the KF speakers but the machine-gun fire vocals were undeniably awesome. Ghetto would often jump in for the last rhymed syllables of lines and it was a lesson to all other hip-hop MCs and their crews on how to use the ‘other’ mics onstage… Don’t rhyme ALONG with your boy, STEP IN where he needs breaths and breaks! Whatever you wanna call it (grime, eski…) Kano and company rocked undiluted UK style HIP-HOP… from the swagger to mic skills to the aggressive stance to the funky, bouncy dance they did on the chorus of one joint… I was actually HAPPY to see the harsh vocals and beats drive some people away.
When the bass of ‘Reload It’ came on towards the end of the show (by front-row audience request, by the way) the roof was officially on fire. That off kilter beat (and you know I’m talking specifically about that particular delayed one after the bass…) is one of the most amazing of the year, no question. Although I appreciate the effort by the MCs to rock over the local fave ‘Dear Summer,’ they were much more successful on a grimed-up stuttery rework of ‘Welcome to Jamrock.’
Sometimes live shows can be the weakest part of an artists arsenal… but Kano, duke, YOUR show just sold two more albums... and maybe a couple twelves if I feel like cutting that ‘Reload It’ ish.

UPDATE...and damn... if The Fader ain't on some 'great minds think alike' shiz I don't know who is...
Big ups, Young Catch!