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If you love yourself enough to treat yourself to a good time, then, for the love of all that is consistent and worthwhile in the world, head over to Rendezvous’ Jewel Box Theater Friday, June 27, for the latest edition of promoter/MC Candidt's “The Corner.” I hit up one a while back and caught the bug--a feral hankering--for this little live hiphop showcase. The performers are so close you can touch their mics, and the crowd so juiced on booze and quality music that even the mayor would enjoy himself. It’s ferocious and hype and what this whole hiphop thing is supposed to be about. Rudy and the Rhetoric, Inkubiz, Onry Ozzborn, and Grieves will perform for those of you of legal drinking age.
Saturday night, went to an all-star hiphop hoe-down (minus the hoes--uh, I mean women, as there was definitely a dearth of the fairer sex, whom I meant no disrespect to with that creaky transition before the emdash). D. Black, Khingz, Xperience, and Sonny Bonoho roamed the stage, hunting down and further enlivening the already lively crowd, before headliner Grynch hopped aboard, Gatling gun a’blazin’. The Stranger’s Larry Mizell, Jr., performed hosting duties, and, after chiding Grynch for his strip club addiction and announcing that “he’s a fucking herpes survivor” by means of an introduction, returned to the bar area, where he noticed me, said something about how my turgid, self-absorbed prose style hurt his eyes and ears, and then kicked me in the shin. I limped to the bathroom, wiped away the oil slick of tears leaking down my cherub cheeks, reassembled what little dignity I had left, and then found a nice shadowy corner from which I could scribble notes and take bad photos.
The grapefruit-sized wound to my tibia notwithstanding, I had a great time. A real knock-out, this show, filled with marquee talent and attended by the same. JFK of Grayskul, DJ/producer Mr. Hill, DeVon Manier of Sportin’ Life Reocrds, Mike Hedgecock of Dope Style clothing, Everett MC Ripynt, Wizdom, (who’s gearing up for his sophomore album release party July 11 at Nectar)--all were there to enjoy the festivities. I’ve only been in town about seven months, but I’ve been to many a local hiphop show, and this pulled a close second to the best soiree I’ve yet to encounter, which featured JFK, The Physics, Macklemore and others at Nectar many magical moons ago.
Bonoho as Dr. Zhivago.
I’ve seen D. Black and his roll dawg Spaceman (both of whom are on Manier’s label) perform a couple of times, and they’re consistently impressive, full of verve and intensity, the better to deliver D.’s hard knockin’ pop. Missed most of the Khingz, so can’t really comment, except to say I want to check ‘em again. After announcing that he “came to be hella weird, son,” Xperience rocked a vertiginous production with a serious, almost chaotic drum breakdown that, combined with dude’s hyperactive flow, made for some engaging madness. He devoured the track, riding a beat I initially thought too erratic for smoothing sailing. This was the first my weary eyes and damaged ears have seen and heard of Sonny Bonoho, who has about as much fun as any local MC I’ve caught in my short tour through the underground. Garbed in sunglasses and a Dr. Zhivago hat, Bonoho sing-rapped his way through many of the cuts. I particularly liked the third song, “Iron Man” (?), which had an R&B vibe but sounded like a failed wedding singer doing his best to woo a disinterested date--and I mean that as a compliment. Trust me, the shit is funny.
Grynch as Captain Lucid.
And then there’s Grynch, champion of lucid lyrics and tangible flows. He went a capella; he rapped in the dark; and he proved his declaration that “most rappers come up short/like my height vertically” to a crowd that knew many of his songs by heart. It was so epic I had to stab out early, in part so I could rest my damaged leg.... And if you believe that, I've got a subprime mortgage loan to sell you.
Correction: The "RUN SEA" Ts are not designed by Dope Style Clothing, as originally reported. They are DJ Nphared's. I'm so sorry that I might actually dip into my penny jar and buy one.