Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Rap Wars 3: Revenge of the LyriSith

The title comes from the name of a concert that I went to Saturday night. It was a pretty tight hip-hop show. It was held by the IMC, or Iron Mic Coalition. The IMC is a local collective of rappers in the city that put on shows. The IMC have more traditional hip-hop leanings, ie not a lot of bling-bling and shoot 'em up talk. The first act, Ghetto Youngstas, were a little thuggish, but their stage presence was great. The next act was Black CaviT, they were a very Afrocentric, poetry/hip-hop group. They were pretty cool. I encouraged one of the members to put out a CD. Most of the acts stayed around to support the other acts. This is the side of Memphis hip-hop that is not seen by the national media. Next up was Poisonous Dialect. These guys had tight flows. One MC, Tactics, had breath control that was out of this world. There were also these two Spanish guys that were brothers in the group. The youngest is still in high school, but his flow on the mic was sick. They said they have an album coming out soon. I believe the name is Sadolyricism. I will watch for it. After them, the IMC came on. They were rocking and had the crowd in their grasp. Monsta did some songs. He has a CD that he sells entitled Rhyme Junkie. Monsta has very aggressive, anti-government rhymes. He is from a crew called Masters of Sound, or MOS. This is a veteran hip-hop crew in Memphis. The core members are Milk, Danien aka Derelic, and Atiba aka Duke. They pride themselves on being "revolutionary but gangsta". The pharase fits them perfectly. Jason Harris, one-half of local rap group Contrast, also did the remix to his song "Ridin' on Size 13s". It is a song about the fact that he has an old, beat-up car as opposed to a Bentley or a Lexus. He did the remix over the beat to "Still Tippin", a popular song by southern rapper Mike Jones. They did other posse cuts, which are songs featuring different members of different groups. They also did a cheesy yet entertaining skit where Quinn of the group Fight Klub has a lightsaber battle with Fathom Nine and lures him to the dark side. Later, the crowd "lured" him back to good by calling out the title of one of his signature songs, "You Ain't Hard". "You Ain't Hard" has the bounce of a Dirty South anthem, but he calls out all the flashy chain-wearing, materialistic rhymers in the rap game. Another group song that got the crowd hype was "B-boy stance". The b-boy stance is actuallywhen you stand with your arms folded and to the side, which was a popular stance in 80s hip-hop. As the title suggests, the song is an ode to the good ol' days of hip-hop. I joined several meembers of the crowd in assuming the stance everytime they sang the chorus. Also, one of the encore songs, "Eat Some Chicken", had the whole crowd jumping. "Eat Some Chicken" pokes fun at the sterotype that African-Americans consume large quantities of chicken while humorously detailing their love for chicken. It's a great song with another infectious down south beat. We formed a conga or party line on this one. It was crazy. I literally did not want the evening to end. My boys rocked it. I just wish everybody could see this part of Memphis hip-hop. We're not all about pimps and hustling and big, fancy rims on fancy cars. Rap Wars was another strong tactical strike for the Memphis artisitic underground. This includes poetry acts like Brother's Keepa and Black CaviT, hip-hop acts like Tunnel Clones, IMC, Poisonous Dialect, spots such as Precious Cargo (where this event took place), The Complex, The Marcus Garvey Center, and Nappy By Nature. The true artists are alive and well. It gives me hope for the future.


At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

u write with such conviction! i love 2 read your blogs because your brutal honesty makes me laugh! love ya, man! keep up the writing and keep up the acting! hate that i missed the show. there will never be another lyrisith, but the saga will continue...let the force be with us!

At 2:03 PM, Blogger M.Sea said...

Is this Denna? If it is, next time, click the other option so you can leave a name or something. Whoever this is, thank you. I am glad to get a response. I really appreciate the love and support. Peace.


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