Over The Weekend: Tanya Morgan at the Green Elephant

Tanya Morgan, Bodega Brovas
Green Elephant
August 20, 2010

Better than: Any hip-hop concert you would see at an American Airlines Center bill filled with marquee acts that get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to destroy your ear drums.

Tanya Morgan has been touring the country sporadically for the past few years as they get their buzz up among devoted members of the hip-hop community. But while many people think they take after the Native Tongues movement of the 1990s (De La Soul, Tribe Called Quest, Black Sheep and others), Tanya Morgan has developed their own unparalleled sound.

After meeting on an okayplayer.com message board years ago, Donwill from Cincinnatti and Von Pea from Brooklyn developed an earthy sound with upbeat rhythms that have garnered the attention of XXL Magazine, The Source and Spin to name a few.

Taking note of this, Poor Vida, one of the bigger grassroots hip-hop promoters in the DFW, was smart enough to bring that sound to the Green Elephant, a venue that is gaining more and more attention for the hip-hop acts they are able to land.

But before Tanya Morgan performed at the venue, Dallas' own Bodega Brovas brought down the house. Enlisting the talents of KBFB-97.9 FM The Beat's Keynote and Headkrack, the Bodega Brothers put on a "real hip-hop" show reminiscent of the Beastie Boys or Run DMC with respect to their cadence and call and response format.

And Headkrack? He's a spitter. And he'll soon compete in the Red Bull EmSee: The Road to 8 Mile National Finals at Detroit's St. Andrews Hall, one of the most famous hip-hop venues in the world (and filming site of Eminem's 8 Mile). The competition, which will be judged by Eminem, is a nationwide search for the hottest emcees. Competitions have taken place in LA, San Francisco, Philadelpha and Atlanta thus far and will culminate in Detroit this Thursday.

But back to Tanya Morgan: Arriving on stage around 1 a.m., the group seemed to have the flare of a group that is on its first day of the tour, ending the night with enthusiasm, soul and a general welcomed feel from the crowd. Performing hits like "We Be," "Bang N Boogie" and "What We Do," the group is clearly in the game for the long haul.

My only gripe is that I wont be able to see them as they hit the west coast for a string of dates at classic hip-hop venues along the Pacific coast.

Critic's Notebook
Personal Bias:
Interviewing them before the show, I found out that the third member of Tanya Morgan doesn't tour with the group due to personal reasons.

By The Way: Donwill was rocking a dope Rocksmith set. And his tank top and hat seemed like the way to go in that hot and sticky crowd. Sorta was like a basketball jersey.

Random Note: Green Elephant is definitely holding it down on the hip-hop tip for organic hip-hop, and Poor Vida Productions should be bringing bigger and better acts as the coming months pass.

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