It went DOWN, DOWN, DOWN…
This past weekend Out Da House Productions, in conjuction with The Observatory, had the honor of bringing DJ Quik back to OC with Quik’s Groove, for another classic event.
Quik’s Groove brought an exquisite performance roster which consisted of WC, Hi-C, Kurupt and Suga Free. Along came a few special guests as well such Tash (of the Alkaholiks), and Mistah F.A.B., among countless others.
The entire night was filled with nothing but heat. It would take pages to detail the night out from beginning to end, therefore let me outline the highlights.
The main event started off with DJ Quik entering the stage by his lonesome, just him and his DJ on a empty stage that sported nothing but two dj sets and a microphone stand. Shortly following Quik broke into “Let’s Get Down”, as you can imagine it set the mood off right and the audience was grooving to the sound.
About three solo tracks deep, Hi-C joined Quik on-stage performing “Let Me Know”, and best believe everyone got their ‘a** up off the wall’. Slowly the empty stage began to fill up with a posse so deep; it began to turn into a family affair with about 50 people on stage, and that’s just giving minimal estimate.
Quik proceeded to perform his own work, nothing but hits, and in between he introduced headliners on stage one by one. Westside Connection’s WC rocked the stage properly, prepping the audience with that G’d-up appeal before Kurupt Young Gotti hit the stage. WC performed cuts like “The Streets”, and “Gangsta Nation”, but the excitement was felt when he did that infamous C-walk to “Connected For Life”, famed at the ‘Up In Smoke Tour’ (you know the one that ends with him hopping to the side with dubs up).
Kurupt of the DPGC performed the best of his features to the DJ who spun “Next Episode” and “Ain’t No Fun”, but when “Who Ride Wit Us” came on the crowd went crazy, swinging hands up and down.
Suga Free ran onto the stage at the most unexpected moment. The moment all had been waiting for. He held his flossy 5 foot cane in one hand and quickly knelt down at front stage putting hands in prayer position. “Our Father, who art in Heaven Quik gave me a beat, now Pomona’s on the set…” and when that Quik beat dropped it was a wrap!
"Get yo’ money, why you bull********", everyone chanted along. The dynamic duo gave yet another phenomenal performance with fan favorites “I’d Rather Give You My B****”, “Do I Love Her?”, “Down, Down, Down”, and “Don’t Fight Da Pimpin”. There isn’t anything like having DJ Quik and Suga Free on the same stage. Individually both artists are a force all on their own but such a unique and highly fused energy is created when they come together.
If you recall, only a few months ago a similar Quik show was held at the Observatory OC. Although that show did not disappoint, I must say, Quik’s Groove topped the previous event. Not straying too far performance wise, this show differed in the sense that it was conducted by a DJ as opposed to Quik’s live band, bringing the music to us in the way we are used to hearing it. For those who experienced both performances, I think we can agree that the dj brings a more upbeat and clear sound.
Quik’s Groove undoubtedly added to another classic event on the Out Da House and The Observatory OC show catalog.
“Kendrick left me no choice but to drop a classic.”
Those are the words TDE’s ScHoolBoy Q expressed to Complex Magazine back in 2013, with regards to his much anticipated upcoming Interscope studio-label debut. But could he have had expectations that are still to early to reach in his career?
(After a good number set of release date delays, a few dropped featured artists, and additions of contributing producer names than was initially expected, one of the most anticipated albums is finally here and I’m putting my ”2 cents” in).
ScHoolboy Q brings forth a competent effort with his Interscope/Top Dawg Entertainment worldwide distributed debut- Oxymoron.
In early 2013 Q had stated that his Oxymoron project would be conducted by in-house TDE producers Digi+Phonics: Sounwave, Tae Beast, Willie B, and Dave Free. He also mentioned that features would include Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, Jay Rock, A$AP Rocky, Danny Brown and Action Bronson. However, it seems as though Q had a change of mind which expanded his musical growth a bit farther than it would have with the contributing talent initially thought upon for this album.
Oxymoron showcases production from some top-notches in the game such as The Alchemist, Mike WiLL, and Pharrell Williams. Among others include DJ Dahi, Gwen Bunn, LordQuest,Nez & Rio, Rocket, Sounwave, Swiff D, Tae Beast, THC, and Tyler, The Creator. Features are kept to a fine minimum with fellow comrades Kendrick Lamar & Jay Rock, as well as 2Chainz, BJ The Chicago Kid, and game vets Kurupt, and Raekwon.
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Viva La Revolucion!
Felipe Andres Coronel, better known as the revolutionary-turned-hip hop emcee Immortal Technique, brought the revolution to Orange County.
The Observatory OC held a packed house early on into the night, as was to be expected. From the basic underground head, to the overly enthusiastic activist and socially aware hip hop aficionado was in attendance for a scarce Immortal Technique SoCal appearance.
The night began with DJ Static holding down the wheels of steel in the most proper way. Raw hip hop was in full effect as DJ Static showcased the essence of a true hip hop deejay. Scratching, with dope beats and breaks, he ignited the respect and love from the crowd.
Poison Pen,CF, and Chino XL were in attendance to prepare the crowd for what was to come. Poison Pen and CF excited the crowd with bilingual revolutionary infused lines and outbursts. Taking a look around the room, about 90% of the venue was filled with Latinos, who boasted with an uproar of pride.
Vet to the game, Chino XL also took the stage, right before Immortal Tech, and he had the crowd going as he dropped his signature self-conscious and egotistical punchlines on the mic. At mid performance he had a special surprise; out walked Sick Jacken (of The Psycho Realm) from the right side of the stage yelling and reciting the track "Latinos stand up", he also joined Chino for a "Arm Yourself" performance. Needless to say the crowd lost their minds.
Immortal technique took the stage earlier than do most rap acts at a usual night at the Observatory. At about 10:30pm the anticipation of the night came to an end as the man himself, Felipe Andres Coronel, was announced on stage by Chino XL.
The amount of energy elevated to an overwhelming volume. Immortal Technique walked from side-to-side of the stage to greet the people, who boasted with a tremendous uproar of respect and honor of his presence. For a moment, he composed himself in silence with chest out, head held up high, and hands in the air like a champ, in the most prideful yet humble manner possible.
When he was ready to give the people what they awaited, he began off by saying in his aggressively coarse voice, ”Turn this shit the f*** up, first of all!”, as if it wasn’t evident that the excitement from the crowd was at an all time high.
The hip hop revolutionist performed a series of his best work, ranging from albums Revolutionary Vol.1 & 2, and The 3rd World. Tracks like “Obnoxious”, “Peruvian cocaine”, “Dance with the Devil”, “Reverse Pimpology”, “Payback”, “Internally Bleeding”, and “Freedom Of Speech” were all performed. Immortal Tech gave the people over an hour worth of performed material.
However, it was not the played tracks that made this performance a phenomenal one; It was the empowerment given to those in attendance.
Immortal Techniques lyrics stand for the people, the minorities, the justice and truth seekers. His music attracts listeners and activists of all backgrounds who stand against oppression. Throughout the night he encouraged for those in attendance to be more aware and active. He brought up social and political issues and encouraged the people to educate themselves on subjects that affect us directly and the world that we are part of. He evoked empathy to those in attendance.
There was a point in which the Peruvian emcee turned to the majority who were present that night, the Hispanics and Latinos. From a personal point of view, I think this was the most powerful moment of the night, and I’m sure most of the crowd that could relate will agree.
He gave a mini boastful speech of the importance and stance of our people in this country. To sum it up in simple words, he dropped knowledge and reminded us that we have come from years of oppression, dating back to colonial times, and that its our duty to change that. That our people, our parents, our ancestors came to this country seeking better circumstances of living, seeking greater opportunity for themselves, for us, for generations to come, something that we are still far from as a whole. His words encouraged a sense of strength and awareness that we have to be united as Latinos and Hispanics, as people of color, as a minority, and ultimately as humanity who seeks equality and justice in general. He reminded us that the power rests within us to keep paving the way for our people. Personally, Immortal Technique had me at a loss of words. It was an indescribable feeling that filled me with the expression of those words. And I’m sure this is why most of his core fans give this man the amount of honorary respect that they do.
Immortal Technique at the Observatory, will undoubtedly be one of our most impactful shows of 2014.
Knowledge + Hip Hop, is a powerful weapon.
“See y’all don’t understand me
My plan B is to win your hearts before I win a Grammy
Words like a sword in the hands of a Spartan…" - I Am [Interlude] (Kendrick Lamar 2009)
The 56th Annual Grammy Awards left many hip hop aficionados in disbelief Sunday night, as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis took the nights big wins within the rap categories.
Both of this years breakout artists were nominated for 7 awards each, standing face-to-face against each other for Best Rap Song, Best Rap Performance, and Best Rap Album of the year.
Kendrick Lamar needs no introduction; he was respectfully placed upon hip hop’s pedestal, late 2012, after signing to Dr. Dre’s Aftermath label, releasing a critically acclaimed debut album good kid, m.A.A.d city, and (to put it in nice words) belittling all rappers in which track he was featured on, in 2013. Kendrick Lamar has been riding a high tide all year with countless accomplishments, wins, and nominations but needless to say, the Grammy was kind of a big deal!
Macklemore on the other hand, who hails from Seattle, Washington, was featured as one of the Freshman in 2012’s XXL magazine (a list of rap rookies who hold potential to be hip hop’s next big break), and rose to great heights only months later alongside DJ/Producer Ryan Lewis ,with the release of their debut independent album The Heist, and the catchy and fun single “Thrift Shop”. Although he did not pose much of a threat to hip hop heavy weights, much like Kendrick, Macklemore’s momentum didn’t cease, the singles kept coming and filling up airwaves all through out 2013.
Undoubtedly both of these new comers had one hell of successful year; and Sunday night was about to top it off at the prestigious Grammy’s .
In an un-televised recording of the Grammy Awards it was Macklemore & Ryan Lewis who swept Kendrick off to the side with the win for Best rap Song and Best Rap Performance with “Thrift Shop”, and Best Rap Album The Heist (In addition to the Best New Artist award). Macklemore took home a total of 4 Grammy Awards from the 7 nominations, all the while hip hop comrade Kendrick took home not a single one.
The uproar among rap critiques and lovers began. Opinions and debate upon the matter surfaced and quickly became a trending topic all over social media. It was one of the highlighting topics of the ceremony among media outlets.
Upon nomination Macklemore sat down with The Source and stated , “We’re up against Kendrick, who made a phenomenal album. If we win a Grammy for Best Rap Album, hip-hop is going to be heated… In terms of [that category], I think it should go to Kendrick, He’s family. TDE is family, and I understand why Hip-Hop would feel like Kendrick got robbed [if he didn’t win].” And many felt just that.
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"It’s bigger than Hip Hop"
Last night, at the Observatory OC, the Constellation Room was home to one of one of the most lyrical-revolutionary acts in hip hop, Dead Prez!
Dead Prez, a duo which consists of emcees Stic.man and M-1, should need no introduction to the authentic loyal hip hop listener, but for those that may be oblivious, allow me to give a brief summary.
Aside from being the emcees who brought the single “It’s Bigger than Hip Hop” (one of the most prominent anthems to defend what is considered “real” hip hop authenticity in a mainstream industry) , Dead Prez carries an extensive catalog under their belt. Since emerging into the scene in 2000, the duo has managed to release two more studio albums and a mixtape series “Turn off the Radio”, allowing them to stay relevant to core fans up to present date. It was a “no-brainer” that this hip hop duo would attract a special kind of crowd.
As usual the night began with a talented roster of opening supporters which included performances by Aliso Black, The Analytiks, Anu322, Hands One, Supreme Cerebral, and Realizm Rekord’s vet Krazy Race who gave an outstanding lyrical performance, along with Illicite Dialects that left the crowd asking for more.
DJ Great Daine & DJ Cali held down the 1’s and 2’s throughout the night, giving the crowd hip hop classics which varied from grimy Wu-Tang Clan classics, to glorified Biggie and Pac party bangers, and if that wasn’t already a good time all on it’s own, some Rick James was thrown in the mix as well. The audience was kept satisfied all the way through show time.
Dead Prez and their deejay, Mikeflo, took to the stage roughly around 11:30pm. They performed cuts off albums “Let’s Get Free”, “Revolutionary but Gangsta”, and the latest installment, “Information Age”. Songs like “Politrikkks”, “Hell Yeah (Pimp the System), “Propaganda”, “Fuck The Law” brought the best out the crowd.
Now, when I mentioned that the duo attracted a special kind of crowd, it was evident that many of the attendants were revolutionary mind stated, social and political aware individuals. Fists sprang up in the air, the phrase “Power to the people” and “Fuck the System” were continually blurted out. It was definitely something “bigger than hip hop” which moved the crowd.
Aside from the revolutionary- politically driven tracks, Dead Prez pleased the crowd with singles like “Mind Sex”, an acapella poetic version of “Intelligence Is Sexy” and of course, the most anticipated performance of the night “It’s Bigger than Hip Hop”, for which the whole room ignited for. As soon as M-1 shouted into the mic “Santa Ana if you love real motherfuckin’ hip hop make some noise!” we knew what was coming. “Fake, Fake, Records, Records…” was everyone’s cue, immediately everybody jumped with hands up in the air. The love for hip hop flooded the building at that point. Dead Prez really set it off!
Although often overlooked and underrated, Dead Prez can undoubtedly be awarded the leading voice and influence of hip hop’s revolutionary and socially aware percentage in hip hop, most importantly those who choose who choose the independent route due to the ethical stand in control of mass media within the genre.
Their lyricism and performance went beyond just giving the listener something to vibe to; it is an effort to teach and instill a sense of culture, awareness, empowerment, knowledge, and understanding from a revolutionary and spiritual stance.
It truely was an honor and privilage on behalf of Out Da House Productions to be able to cater to the fans with a hip hop act such as Dead Prez.
Until next time we get OUT DA HOUSE!