Saturday, July 21, 2007

Review of Wordz From Tha Underground

XYL and his Dancers
ABORT Magazine was on hand on July 13 to cover my recent show at the Media Club, Wordz From Tha Underground.

Here is the review:

Live Review - Wordz from Tha Underground,
Friday July 13th - The Media Club
Vancouver, BC

SPM Music presented the fifth installment of WFTU’s profile of local talent featuring host XYL (pronounced Exile), Son Real, DJ Vinnie the Squid, the Now or Never breakdance Crew, and Erthtonez.

Kicking off the evening and featuring beats by EV, XYL’s style is an even mix of party rap and philosophy, first hyping the crowd up with drinking’ rhymes and then hitting us with “the code of the samurai”. He’s all about Asia in fact, says he’s planning on going there soon with a mix of rap and Asian pop, and not coming back until he’s a major superstar over there, – He can even rap in Korean! The skinny white girl dancers on either side of him showed how serious he is about this pop star shit (all right, it was entertaining…), and the Japanese hotties in the front row sure loved it.

Son Real was walking around handing out CD’s for free and he gave me one without even knowing I’m Aborted. Kid must have money and CD’s to burn. Anyway, he started out strong, he really did, good voice and all, but it’s a bit hard to believe his whole street hustling shtick (a bit J-Roc) - and then when his buddy came out with the guitar…well, it was bold, and worked for a minute. But listen Son – a hook is just that, a hook, not a five minute chant (Son Real got you so hot or whatever…), and just because your five loogan buddies in the front row are singin’ along doesn’t mean you’re moving the crowd.

Which brings us to….Erthtonez All fresh for the video shoot like they just walked outta Metrotown. Dudes were pretty cool smoking weed and freestyling on the steps, so I was definitely interested in their live styles. Thunderous beats provided by Vinnie the Squid had me anticipating greatness, but when Mishap started rapping I was underwhelmed…him and Explicit have obviously been working on their craft together for some time, and have good interplay, beats and song concepts. It’s just that, well, it reminds me of hippie drum circles where that guy has to play faster and louder than anyone and sounds like some kinda toy machine gun…in musical terms it’s called relentless quarter notes without syncopation –aka: funkless.

Non Phixion can pull it off ‘cause they’re from NYC and their voices naturally swing…really it’s not how fast you say it, listen to some Sean Price for chrissakes.

The highlight of the evening was definitely the Now or Never Crew, who stood anonymously unassuming on the sidelines until the breakbeats dropped and then exhibited the dopest display of b-boying I’ve seen in years! Headslides, handwalks, windmills and insane freezes, fuck man I was pretty drunk by this point and I think I actually drooled in stupefaction. Check out the movies on their site. They teach classes too!

We took off after Erthtonez so I don’t know if the freestyle battle happened or what, we were too intent on pizza and Fireball. Granville on a Friday night is one big Vice Mag.

Fortunately, I arrived home to East Van to beer and barbecued meat ‘till the birds woke up…

By Dave” Corvid” McCallum

Wordz From Tha Underground comes to the Lamplighter next month on Aug 17th featuring Violative Cause, Sketch Bros, and (shameless plug) Abort Magazines’ own Corvid and his crew 49th Peril, hosted by XYL and DJ Antihero.
Support Vancouver Underground music!!! Much respect to XYL for organizing, big up to all the performers for doing your thing and keeping Hip Hop alive.


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