Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Uncapped Live @ Southpaw, Brooklyn - March 8, 2011
Hey readers. I know it's been over a month since I've updated this thing with a new show for you, but I promise you it's not because I haven't been going to any, it's because I haven't really been paying enough attention to the bands while I'm there to give you guys a fair review (blame it on the a-a-a-a-alcohol?). Lucky for you guys, and a bit unlucky for me, that was not the case last night at this latest hip-hop event Uncapped Live, thrown at a really cool bar in Park Slope called Southpaw.
Uncapped Live was sponsored by Fader Magazine, Vitamin Water, and the kings of party throwing, Heineken, and it featured 3 up and coming rappers: Vado from Harlem, NY; Frenchie, who is originally from Jamaica, Queens but reps Atlanta, GA (like Waka Flocka Flame); and French Montana, who hails from Morocco but moved to the Bronx when he was a teenager. Now I said before that it was a bit unlucky for me that I was actually paying attention to this show, because well, no one was really any good. Let's discuss:
First to hit the stage was Frenchie, a Brick Squad member who at first glance reminds you of his buddy Waka Flocka. He came on the stage with all the people he showed up to the show with, literally 30 people were on stage with him. I hate when rappers do that, and he definitely did it. There was barely any space on the stage for him! He was at the very front edge of the stage, putting down his lyrics on tracks played by his DJ Lazy K. Lyrically he's a bit better than Waka, but not by much, and his sound is similar, but to me really not as hype. He and his crew were VERY hype on stage, he even poured a whole bottle of water on his dreads and splashed it on the onlooking photographers. He did have a couple of the people on stage actually rap, with microphones in their hands, but the rest of the people were just there for, moral support maybe?! I feel like maybe his tracks hit really hard in the south, but up here in Brooklyn people were less than impressed, not even swaying to the music, of which he had a lot of. I felt like he did maybe 10 songs! Not bad for a guy I'd never heard of or seen prior to yesterday, but his music was too noisy and wild for me, so I won't be buying his album anytime soon. I suppose if you like that hype-beat slow southern rap that Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka do, then you may like this guy as well; he is in the same crew after all.
Second to come out, was Vado, who I thought surely would have closed the show because I felt like maybe he was the person best known by the crowd, of course granted he was the only person I had actually heard of! It was a funny transition as well, because Frenchie and his standing army got off stage and Vado came on a bit later, with just one or two people with him; that was much better. He was for me the most lyrical of the three, but I really did expect that. He did his verses from the couple of big tracks he has on the radio now, including "Speaking In Tongues," which features Harlem rapper Cam'Ron. Even though his lyrics were clear and style was more what people from NY are accustom too, he still didn't get a good reception from the crowd. Maybe they were too drunk to dance...or move? It was a 3-hour top shelf open bar after all, I guess I can't blame them.
To close the show, last but not least, was Bronx rapper French Montana. Kind of strange they had both him and Frenchie on the show, but they have no relation or affiliation at all, as I found out later. However last night you would think they were best friends, because Frenchie came back out when Montana came out, and they both brought all of their entourages, so the stage was somehow even more full than at the beginning of the show! French Montana's style I suppose is NY, but it had a bit of southern twang to it, and I'm not sure why. His songs were OK, but really nothing special for me. It was also kind of hard to follow along with what he was saying due to the 10,000 people he brought out on stage with him, a few with mics, just screaming along. Really last night's show represented what is wrong with most rap shows, and why I don't really like going to them. I've been to many hip-hop shows that were awesome, but those shows had something that this show didn't: a live band. Really a rapper doesn't necessarily need a live band to rock a show, but it sure does help. If you don't have a live band to add some musicality, your best bet is to dazzle me with amazing lyrics and word play, something else that was lacking in this show, with the exception of a few of Vado's songs, one of which he did acapella. It was a rather random line-up and I think, no I'm SURE, that all the parties involved in throwing the show could do better. I probably wouldn't have stayed had it not been for the open bar, but I'm even more disappointed in the fact that I didn't grab any Vitamin Water. I'm better than that...