Cool & Tha Gang @ Riley’s (3/11/10)
Arrived early to Riley’s to do a sit down with Kris aka DJ Gravy also of KC Productions & Entertainment and got to discuss what-it-is with John aka Poverty’s Posterboy of Northwest Noise as well. While KC Productions & Entertainment is now a staple most nights at Riley’s, KC and NW Noise have joined forces and are working a format to bring in larger name hip-hop artists from Portland down through the Bay (CA), pair them with known local acts and produce quality hip-hop shows here in Albany, Oregon. Headlining this night’s roster of rap was Cool Nutz, who is perhaps Oregon’s most renowned rapper and now gatekeeper for rising hip-hop acts through The Northwest Breakout Radio Show on KXJR Jammin’ 107.5, airing every Saturday night from 6pm-8pm.
J Lil opened the night making a hilarious comment about rapping like there is only 2 years left (ala predictions aggrandized by feature films such as 2012). Slap Addicts elicited a response from the crowd with a chorus line well executed to a driving beat – “If you feelin’ this **** nod up and down…” Seemed that just about the time the crowd had warmed up, their set was over. It’s interesting to observe the dynamic between performer and audience, to ponder how much of the connection can be scientifically measured, as though there were a formula which could guarantee fan-demonium. It appears that the basic elements are beat (the music), energy (the performance) and lyric (the content), with various intangibles that can either heighten or reduce the potential for success. If it were all scientific, then copy-cats would thrive but three different artists could be given the same beat, lyric and crowd and each solicit varying responses.
Weside, “with no T”, and Ugly Kid gave a good performance with Wes’ classic rap sound. Markus Tha Great White and Yung Royal perhaps gave the performance of the night, coming with all barrels blazing – “I’m no bragger but I got swagger.” Markus and Yung are a dynamic pair to say the least, Royal is button down with slick back hair, Tha Great White has an unrivaled charisma, and together they burn up a stage. Listening to content, an element stands out where an artist can either address himself and what he would do to/with someone else in various wanton acts or while referring to the same subject matter an artist can use his words to invite a crowd to express themselves, to join together in a sort of celebration. As an observation, few crowds will engage an artist who speaks solely of themselves in a particular act unless that artist has reached a certain plateau, whether Yung and Markus have picked up on this factor intentionally or not, they have demonstrated a rare aptitude for inciting dormant crowds to movement.
Flow would have played well for Rx Tha Perscription but an intermission was called from which Rx and his bevvy of rap accomplices recovered well. For residents of the southern end of the Willamette Valley, there could be no more perfect song than “Where We’re From”. Poverty’s Posterboy and Mr. 541 are the masterminds behind this adept melody, yet anyone with an ear can tell these two have talent that could reach far beyond this region. Pov and 541 stepped their game up this night and put on a show to remember. Kenny Mack took the stage solo for a few tracks and then the all out party started with Maniac Lok, DJ Fatboy and Cool Nutz himself taking the stage. Cool is a man of class, he arrived on time with his crew, staying on site for each of the local acts to do their thing, gave props where due but was understandably disenchanted when several of the local artists either left or were no where to be found during his set. Having a live DJ spinning for an artists definitely takes a performance up a notch and Cool and his crew were all class in giving Albany a genuine show. Whether the moment was appreciated by all, this was a blend of the closest thing to Oregon rap royalty in the mix with what those in the 541 know to be some of the finest hip-hop perhaps in the country.
While some of these performers may remain our little secret, if a rap bracket were arranged, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Albany made a run deep into that hypothetical tourney. KC Productions & Entertainment has the sound and lights dialed in there in a space at Riley’s that has potential to be a destination point for something special. As a fan of music, it was good to see local music continuing to put themselves out there to chase their dreams. Props to Cool Nutz and his crew for venturing into this neck of the woods. Kudos to KC and NW Noise, if they keep their momentum and work to build strong relationships with local artists, Albany, Oregon may even become the hot spot many dream it to be.
Catch Cool Nutz as he hosts The Northwest Breakout Radio Show EVERY Saturday on KXJM Jammin’ 107.5 (Portland, OR) – call and request your favorite local artists!
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