J-STAXXX with DAETONA , HU$TLEMAnN , DJ LAW and others as part of LionshareMusic LSM Showcase 2 at the 360, May 6. Tickets: $8. Attendance: 300. Rating: NN Rating: NN
It's start time. Tighten ya doorag , throw on the fitted ball cap and zip up ya jacket covered in the mad NBA team logos, son. It's how we do it when Lionshare Music 's showcase hits the 360 . There's a strong vibe that everyone in the smoked-out venue is tight with the artists. It's stronger when first act J-Staxxx shouts out his T-Dot boroughs and crews.
"Who's down with Empire? Where Jane Street at? Where uptown? Where downtown at?" he booms, commanding the crowd like Riker.
One by one, Empire, Jane, uptown and downtown crews bark back, representin' so hard and loud it seems everyone in this place is a member of the performers' entourages.
J-Staxxx and his hype men drop a set that brings energy, dead-clever lines and lots of references to clappin' them gats and poppin' them thangs. It's real.
Unfortunately, there are a couple of kinks with the beats, which are being played from CDs.
The next set is part promotional show for a custom airbrushed T-shirt business. While Daetona drops the furious rhymes and battle-style brags and boasts, two painted shirts are held up and shaken to the beats. Lots of rhymes about bustin' off guns and lettin' them hammers spit. Sensing a theme.
More of the same from Hu$tlemann , who spits it out confidently with advanced wordplay, sprinkles of depth and a strong sense of the thug justice he serves his foes. A lot of brash rhymes about material things as well.
Not really feelin' the beats I'm hearing - a couple of Kanye West knock-offs here, some generic street bangers there. I have to sit down.
At times, the stage is just too crowded. I'm all for videotaping stuff, but are the two cameramen circling the MC helping the show?
What do I know? Under the club's grade eight dance lighting, it's easy to see that people are getting amped. Hands are up and formed into gun fingers. Heads yell, "Buh! Buh! Buh!"