If you missed last night's shindig, you best get your priorities straight, take a few shots of espresso and rally next time, because Animal Farm,


Last Night: Animal Farm, Tulsi, Illmaculate and Orbitron


If you missed last night's shindig, you best get your priorities straight, take a few shots of espresso and rally next time, because Animal Farm, a project born in the humble burg of Eugene, Oregon, is slated to be a serious heavyweight in Northwest hip hop. Just as long as they get out of the Eug often enough to play shows in big cities that is, so that they can start packing joints here like they already do in Eugene.

The players:

Orbitron, a b-boy who rhymes as well as he can spin on his head.

Illmaculate, a three-time world battle rap champion from PDX and member of the Sandpeople crew in Portland, a ten-piece act that opened for Wu Tang last year

Tulsi, an alliteration master who's about to drop a new record

Animal Farm, a group of high-energy party rockers who just released an album featuring cameos from none other than the Teacha himself (better known as KRS-One) and Kareem of the Boom Bap Project, who happens to be Animal Farm emcee and vocalist Hanif Wondir's older brother. Rounding all this out was DJ Wicked on the turntables.

You're not totally shit outta luck for missing the show, though, because Animal Farm's playing another show up here at the Comet Tavern July 17th. Which is unorthodox for the Comet. But it can only be good that a rock venue wants to branch out, and I think it's a positive thing.

Unfortunately, that show will only feature three of Animal Farm's four emcees (Kenny Wilson, James, F12), as Hanif will be in San Francisco, where he now lives. He's still in the group, though, so everybody keep your panties unbunched because the soulful vocals are not going anywhere. Plus, Hanif's working on a solo record; when it's done, you'll hear about it here, and I have the highest confidence that it will also be solid.

In the interrim, do check out Animal Farm's new record, The Unknown, an oeuvre of highly-danceable party jams, and even people who have lukewarm feelings about hip hop in general should love "Ragtime Gal." Also, Tulsi has a new album completed, which will be available at the next show, and please believe me when I say that it is very, very good. A more detailed review to come later, probably closer to that show date and when I'm not neck deep in features.

Highlights, news, and miscellany:

-- seeing Illmaculate solo, who will hopefully not take last night personally and will bring himself and the rest of the Sandpeople back up here soon

-- Orbitron and B-Boy Free b-boying to DJ Tecumseh; Rob Nice joined them on stage later, along with Yze, who particularly impressed me because 1) she's a good emcee and 2) she's that rarest of specimens in hip hop: a lady. She cameoed on the song "Remedy," and is part of the BeaconSkillz crew, who'll have a record out later this year. Hip hop desperately needs more women owning the mic, and it's encouraging when you see one who does.

-- the tall dude who tried to pass his joint to the Animal Farm right as they were singing, "It really ain't that cool," the last line of the chorus to a song called "Last Call." That was a serious joint, and I think that guy might have gotten booted out of Nectar (hey, who needs po-po trouble when your club is thriving?), with some skeezy guy in a leather jacket who didn't understand personal boundaries, either with me or with that guy's weed.

-- Hanif, in response to whether or not I could use flash photography (not that it mattered, since my camera battery to come, courtesy of Hanif's camera): "You would have to be riding a shaved camel in a Superman outfit to distract me when I'm onstage." Is that a challenge?

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