The Gnu Deal: AMFM (left) and Koala T (right). They don't usually dress like this, but they do usually have an MPC and a case of Rainier handy.
Though The Gnu Deal (né The New Deal before a "legally-encouraged" name change) has long had the chops to rock their own headlining show, tonight is their first chance--and just like the house parties they've destroyed and all else they've been involved in, it's sure to be a raging party. Growing up in the South End, Eric Graham (AMFM, or Always Making Filthy Music) and Ashton Hemmons (Koala T) never fail to incorporate the distinct edge they've picked up from a life in White Center and chemistry stemming from a friendship-turned-brotherhood stretching back to middle school. Their rhymes and flow are impressively developed for a couple of young rappers that have taken decidedly DIY approach to music their whole lives, and Graham's years of beat-making practice make their mark--some of the best moments happen when the production shines. Digging for records and rocking a laid-back sense of humor, The Gnu Deal takes cues from the likes of People Under The Stairs and A Tribe Called Quest--respectable influences. Dropped in March '09, their debut EP was an exciting taste of mellow Soufend hip-hop; the punchline-heavy leaks that trickled out over the following months only made waiting for the forthcoming Swaggeroni and Steez seem more worthwhile. So go ahead, crack a Rainier and take a listen. Then take a trip down to The Rendezvous, appreciate the recession-friendly $5 cover and prepare to crack a few more.