• 12Apr

    Performance Review: Mr. Beatz Spit Therapy Record Release Party

    Positive vibes at Southpaw for the Mr. Beatz Spit Therapy Record Release Party on Tuesday night.  Being it was a school night, I caught the main triumvirate of performers: M-TRI, Brown Bag All Stars, and Homeboy Sandman. The intimate gathering of fellow MC’s, Host Jeff Strange, friends and aficionados made for warm atmosphere. All in all, the performances oozed deep respect for Mr. Beatz.  Mad love from his underground peers.

    M-TRI (Max Talkin' Real Ism) courtesy of artists' Myspace

    The evening began with a short set by M-TRI (Max Talkin’ Real Ism) and his partner-in-crime (and love) DJ Leecy-T. Now, watching a female DJ work the turntables old school got me excited immediately. (Later she gave me a card and turned out to be a lovely spirit in person as onstage).

    She brought energy and flavor to M-TRI’s set, which had a tendency of hitting one tenor. MC schoolin’ the masses on how to be right, live right, love life.  His style is super reverential, recalling the likes of Run DMC, Public Enemy, Slick Rick, Grandmaster Flash when we hear him and his DJ work. His love for the art of Hip Hop is genuine. And his undeniable chemistry with Leecy-T set the tone for the night.

    Leecy T Talkin' Real Turntablism

    Image courtesy of BBAS' Myspace

    Next up, BHF alum and 2010 Show & Prove performers Brown Bag All Stars w/Deejay Element. This crew, brought together by their employment at the record store Fat Beats, brought the collaboration in full effect, as always. Just a reminder to readers: their record, The Brown Tape, is excellent and definitely worth copping on ITunes, where its popularity = high, or of course, Fat Beats, where it all began.

    Their live show is incredibly different, though, from their recorded joints. Less of the subtleties and lyricism comes across. It’s really about the collective, four emcees huddled on stage doing what they love to do.

    Deejay Element @ Fat Beats NYC, courtesy of DJ's Myspace

    Two of the BBAS crew struck me with their flow and vocals, J57 and Soul Khan, who reminded me of Aesop Rock. Or if you were to get this guy twisted enough, he might actually start sounding like Shabba Ranks! That’s how sonorous and deep his voice gets. Not to mention the ill verbiage he spits.  These two literally carried BBAS’ entire set. While their comrades flexed their rhymes, they didn’t capture my attention to the same degree. They’ve got the higher-pitched sound for one thing, ala Talib Kweli, but sort of like listening to Kweli underwater. Hard to hear was Audible Doctor (so, Inaudible Doctor?)  and Koncept (He got hyped real quickly and seemed to have lost his voice by the third tune).  What’ll stay with me is J57′s distinctive easy flow and just plain lyrical finesse. He won me over.

    FYI—check them at Southpaw again on April 27, with Red Clay. Also check their group and individual Myspace pages for various EP’s and mixtapes coming out in 2010.

    On to the next one…


    Homeboy Sandman. As soon as he started his set, with–the versatile MC M-TRI transformed into DJ M-TRI. His difference from the rest of the performers was clear. While Brown Bag All Stars clearly is in the business of branding themselves as a crew, Homeboy Sandman’s music does this beyond his persona. His beats make you wanna dance, and his live show sounds the closest to his recorded tracks. Stylistically, Sandman raps fast, Eminem fast, making it hard to catch his lyrics at times. But he’s got star power, and an upcoming record The Good Sun, to be released June 1st.  A gem, which comes up on his homepage, is his track “Parallel Perpendicular”–off the mixtape MY Crew’s All Thinner, by 2 Hungry Bros from the AOK Collective.

    Homeboy Sandman mentioned his release party at SOB’s, for The Good Sun, so look out for that shout out at the Bodega.

    As for the man of the hour, the humble Mr. Beatz, the love couldn’t have shone brighter in that spot. After all, it was a family affair.

    Spit Therapy available at Fat Beats NYC, 406 6th Ave (between 8th & 9th streets), 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10011
    (Soon available for download on ITunes)

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