Recap: “King of the Burgh 2”
15+ acts took the stage at the Rex last night & I can say with confidence that Pittsburgh hip hop is in a very damn good place. I was late to the party because I had to do some Christmas shopping with the wife (THE STRUGGLE IS REAL!)…. When I walked in my first impression was “DAMN THIS PLACE IS PACKED”…. I don’t know what the final count was but there had to be 300+ people in the buidling. That is amazing for an ALL LOCAL hip hop event! There were times when I literally found it tough moving through the crowd.
So there were some very dope performances last night & some that were…….. not so much. The acts that stuck out to me the most were Jackie Badd, Legendary Sounds, Team Epic (Norman Dean, Jenae Davis & Space something),Southern Yankees & FTO.
I felt like the winner should have been Legendary Sounds to be perfectly honest.
Legendary Sounds: I posted on FB right after they performed, I literally did not need to see/hear anything else. They brought something different it changed the mood in the room, people were dancing & partying, they breathed new life into the crowd. They had some decent lyrics, but from start to finish their performance was on point. You could tell they take their craft seriously.
2nd place should have gone to EITHER Southern Yankees or Team Epic
Southern Yankees: I loved their stage presence, from the outset they were having fun interacting with the crowd & full of exuberance. The production they selected for the songs they performed worked perfect in that setting. In the way of bars they didn’t have any that I was able to catch, I don’t want to say they didn’t have any I was too busy jumping up & down to notice any HAHA!….
Team Epic: Damn, I loved their enthusiasm, I can’t stress how important it is to look alive on stage. You can be the worst rapper lyrically, but perform well & can still make an impact & money. That isn’t to say that Norman Dean & his team were trash lyrically either. One thing that had me confused was why they gave the female a mic for the first 2 songs, I don’t think she said a word & didn’t know the other artist’s verses to help hype them. When she finally did get a chance to rock I was very impressed, she did her thing vocally & had a ton of confidence.
So much about a performance is simply selling it, how you look, how you deliver. These 3 acts delivered enough to be my top 3 & I’m looking forward to seeing them all perform again. I would buy music from each group & pay to see them rock again.
Honorable Mention: Jackie Badd, & FTO
FTO: AMAZING ENERGY! They look to be very young but had a system full of “F*ck it”, they looked so confident in their music & their performance I was convinced they were dope! Lyrically they didn’t do much for me (not many did last night). But their performance, the beats & hooks they rocked speak to the younger generation very well. I don’t know that I would purchase any of their music but I do want to see them perform again. Their energy was so unmatched & real it really moved me, I felt compelled to “Turn UP” SMH. I had a great time watching their entire performance & you could tell they did as well.
Jackie Badd: I was talking with Los from Folkland & he made a very valid point, specifically speaking about Jackie Badd. “It’s rare to see a female rapper perform with that much confidence & bravado“… I agree with that 100% while her music wasn’t blowing me away she had some really “performance friendly” songs with ear pleasing beats & crowd friendly hooks. Most important, she clearly brought out a ton of supporters!
I tried to take notes on each performance but after about 8 or so acts, my phone was on life support. So I’m going to make some general statements from what I saw overall & it’s my hope that those who read this take the time to evaluate their performance & improve. Or block me either way I’m good. I kept hearing “Turn Up” I’m DEAD A$$ tired of that! Not every act used that phrase (thank GAWD) but many did… There are ways to get the crowd excited & involved beyond repeating “Turn Up” 67 times every minute & a half. Many of you rapped over your own lyrics, so basically you were singing Karaoke & weren’t that good at it. Go to a good sound engineer get the vocals from your verses lowered & get the hooks raised a bit. More important than that, ACT LIKE YOU WANT TO BE THERE! There was a group of 3 guys that looked like they really didn’t want to be there. One guy didn’t finish one of his verses he just stopped rapping… HUH??? Aren’t you trying to show the city how GOOD you are? Also, serious question…. How do you forget the words to your own song? Yeah that happened at least twice….
Overall DJ Afterthought put together an amazing event. People of all ages & races were there in peace & harmony. There were some local celebs in the building (besides Sara & I of course). Including International Battle Rap sensation Real Deal, Motor from Taylor Gang, & a few folks from Mac Miller’s Most Dope camp. But this show didn’t have a major headliner on it. That’s the biggest thing, it wasn’t like people had to sit through a bunch of below average acts to see their favorite national artist rock. The folks came specifically for local music & they showed it love. The crowd responded well to almost every act either by showing love & giving energy back, or walking out (both equally as important). The homey DJ Iph held it down all night, no lags at all in the transitions from announcements, to performances. He kept the crowd moving, blended in some electronic music with some popular hip hop songs my dude did a damn good job. Last thing I wanted to mention was the ACTUAL winners. Miq Check, TK & Young Fly (in that order). Congrats to them all I look forward to seeing them all perform & getting new music from them as well. There was of course some controversy about who REALLY won so go hit up the poll & vote for who you think took home the crown. (there might be a prize in it for the winner straight from brainofbmw.com). I’m hearing that KOTB3 will be sometime in the first quarter of 2015, I’m looking forward to it that’s for damn sure until then “TURN UP” no not really…. Happy Holidays though!