KidRiz and company have been putting on the Lyrical Skoolyard for about one year now, and they never disappoint. The host for the night was Oceanside’s very own Sojourn, who is always an engaging and enthusiastic host, not to mention an emcee’s emcee. With Sojourn keeping things moving, DJ Charlie Rock of the Rock Steady Crew kept the people and the speakers moving with an impressive set before and in between acts. North County is known for their die-hard attitude toward real hip hop, so the atmosphere at Boar Cross’n is always authentic. With the event being named LYRICAL Skoolyard, it is always guaranteed that the stage will be graced by some fantastic wordsmiths, and Thurday night (June 16th) was no exception. The line-up was as follows: first up was West Covina emcee, Trek Life, accompanied by DJ Buddy, second in line was Propaganda accompanied by Odd Thomas, next on stage was Auditory Stimuli, followed by NomiS with DJ Topher85, and finally, we were blessed by GrimmIm LA emcee and part of the legendary Visionaries, 2MEX.
TREK LIFE released an album of remixes (beats by ODDISEE) called New Money in 2009 and has had my ear since. He was also featured on Exile’s Dirty Science in 2005 and is currently creating and performing music. The humble demeanor of this lyricist was quite refreshing, commanding the audience’s attention and love via skill and showmanship as opposed to the current use of “swag” by so many of hip hop’s youngsters. Trek Life put on an engaging and entertaining set, the highlights of which, in my humble and accurate opinion, were his track *Long Time Coming* from New Money and his final track, *Wouldn’t Change Nuthin’*. If you have the opprotunity to check out a live show in which Trek Life will be displaying his talents, be sure to be in attendance!
PROPAGANDA and Odd Thomas were nothing short of “face melting”, figuratively speaking of course. A friend recently posted a spoken word piece by Propaganda on my FB page and I was quite impressed by the power in his words; that power translated, and actually exceeded that of the spoken word piece, musically. The music was orchestrated by Odd Thomas, using an MPD32 and a MacBook, and was dope. The variety in drum and sample sounds and the interaction between Propaganda and OT was highly dynamic. Propaganda is one part poet, one part emcee, one part dancer and 100% entertaining. He displayed lyricism, interaction with his DJ and his ability to truly emcee, the last of which is often a skill that is lacking in the current climate in hip hop. Look for big things from both Propaganda and Odd Thomas, both of whom rep Humble Beast.
AUDITORY Stimuli was, without a doubt, the most energetic performer of the night. AS was a phenomenal lyricist, which he displayed over beats ranging from boom bap to electronica. AS could make the hardest of thugs and goofiest of gamers get onto the dance floor and celebrate life and music together. At no point in the night did so many share the dance floor, and at one point he even came off of the stage, uprockin, six stepping and even did a few flares for us – the last of which cost him his glasses, at least until none other than his wife found and returned them, probably with a few new scratches. I hope to continue to follow the growth of the O-Side native, Auditory Stimuli – as long as he continues to hone his craft, he is set on a path to do big things.
NomiS and DJ Topher85 continued with a great amount of energy. Topher was afforded some time to flex his prowess on the wheels of steel, which was quite impressive. NomiS, the *Everyday Hero* definitely had a blue-collar vibe that was nice to listen to. He gave, received and vibed off of the energy in the room and everyone seemed to be mutually benefitted by it. NomiS had the honor of handing the mic over to the feature for the night and did a great job of getting the crowd hyped for 2MEX.
2MEX of the legendary Visionaries Crew is a monster! I was first introduced to his music when a friend of mine suggested I purchase *Galleries*, the Visionaries first official full-length release, on UpAbove, circa 2000. I was most attracted to his knack for alliteration, a tool that not too many emcees focus on, which really made him stand out to me. Other than his contributions to Visionaries, and other members of Visionaries, projects, I have not kept up with his progression – shame on me. The entire set was ill. One of the most intriguing tracks was *Walk the Plank*, for which he blind folded himself (by way of a hand over the eyes) and proceeded to walk an imaginary plank amongst the audience while maintaining an impressive cadence. Aside from clever wordplay and interacti0n with the audience, 2MEX definitely also had and anti technology focus; anyone who walked into the Boar Cross’n with any blue tooth device, was sure to hide it for the rest of the night, as 2MEX ripped into society’s obsession with being “plugged in”. The set was educational, angry, emotional and fun. The highlight of the night was 2MEX’s track set to a chopped and doctored version of Weezer’s *Say It Ain’t So* – the entire bar got to rock out and sing the chorus along with 2MEX, which was a joy to be a part of. 2MEX won me over last night – I will, one by one, purchase his solo discography and track his growth and metamorphosis over the past decade; you should too.
The night was rounded off well as D.Levon and I left and encountered a cypher in which a couple of cats were beatboxing and a few emcees freestyled – REAL HIP HOP ISH! It was nice.
Peace and Love,