Haiku D'etat (Photo By Gary Miller)
Cali Comm Emo's, Oct. 24
Over the past decade, West Coast underground rap has become a genre unto itself. With pioneers such as Freestyle Fellowship and Hieroglyphics setting the stage during the early Nineties, countless acts have followed suit in their desire to create only the purist form of hip-hop. For this year's edition of the Cali Comm tour, Austin's own Tee Double has been recruited to join a busload of Californians on their six-week trek through 40 North American cities. Opening the show at Emo's along with Bukue One, Tee Double ardently delivered tracks from Lone Star
as well as his latest, The Young Money Story
mix CD. Oakland's Zion I, supporting their own mix disc Family Business
, instigated an uproar with a well-conceived set of hits including "Critical" and "Finger Paint." Illustrating the merits of a digital sampler as a live instrument, Amp Live utilized his MPC pads in much the same way turntables were used during the genesis of hip-hop. Matching shifting drum stabs and improv, MCs Zion and Deuce Eclipse freestyled their way through a series of party chants, bilingual word games, and politically tinged proclamations like "I would never kill a man for the red, white, and blue." Los Angeles supergroup Haiku D'etat added further fuel to the fire as Aceyalone, Mikah 9, and Abstract Rude launched into lyrical excursions hell-bent on innovative zeal. Backed by DJ Drez, the Project Blowed veterans navigated a blend of classic cuts, including "Los Dangerous," "B-Boy Real McCoy," "Mary," "5 O'Clock Follies," and "Stop Biting." Sporting new album Coup de Theatre
, the proverbial wise men also introduced a whirlwind lead single "Mike, Aaron, and Eddie." Closing with an exploration of the multiple personalities that comprise Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, this show proved there's no doubt that the Fresh Coast is still as lively as ever.