On Friday night, some of most focused, purposeful artists of any genre or even medium took to the temporary boxing ring at the Granada. Anchored by a generous set by A.Dd+, the hip-hop duo we'd take in a heavyweight matchup against just about anyone, the evening offered a glimpse at a scene ready for a big 2014.
We helped Gavin Mulloy put this thing together, so we understand if you're skeptical of our endorsement. As we mentioned during the initial announcement, no one at the Observer had any financial stake in this thing, but we'll nevertheless stick to a few highlights here. You can read a take by someone with no entanglements whatsoever by heading over to the Morning News, where you'll find Hunter Hauk's characteristically smart take. Or you can read AV the Great's measured, thoughtful write-up for K104
Highlights from The North Texas Hip-Hop Showcase, Volume 1
-On Wednesday night, the Granada crew helped set up the full-size boxing ring on stage. It fit, with maybe a foot of spare room. Blue, The Misfit was there, planning his set, ever the meticulous artist.
-AV the Great opened the evening with a commanding performance. He delivers his lines with booming conviction.
-Several of the artists brought collaborators along. Brain Gang was well represented beyond member Blue, The Misfit's set, with a table set up in the lobby.
-DJ Jay Clipp kept the feel of the evening between sets and with an impressive opening performance of his own, playing a smart collection of Southern-focused hip-hop history and cutting out the noise from the current national scene.
-topic did this.
-A.Dd+ put on the kind of show that wins converts. They came down from the top floor wearing American flag print silk and freestyled some playful jabs at each other. They got the crowd singing along, to the songs they knew and the ones they didn't. They had costume changes. As you can see, they waded into the floor, dripping with sweat.
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We're leaving out plenty. Blue, The Misfit played on that slender edge of the stage, swimming through projections he made for this set. He is as bold an artist as you will find in the area. Sam Lao gets more precise with each passing set. Lord Byron brought a full band with him -- we are just beginning to see what he wants to do with music.
It was an encouraging start to a series we hope to do more with. On to bigger and better things.