Day Party Crawl
Capitol Place/Beauty Bar, Thursday, March 16Oakland's Blackalicious declared that "this is not your average everyday tune" as their three-song set at Capitol Place worked a lunchtime crowd into a post-hangover chipper mood. Captured for a broadcast on 89.3 the Current, Gift of Gab's dizzying rap flow traversed speedy extremes by way of "Rhythm Sticks" and "Alphabet Aerobics." Supported by DJ/producer Chief Xcel and singer Joy King, Blackalicious' "World of Vibrations" bristled with hip-hop positivity as it drew from the group's latest Quannum release The Craft. Later in the afternoon, L.A.'s DJ Cut Chemist bludgeoned the IHeartComix.com party at the new Beauty Bar with an obscure array of turntable theatrics that concluded with a vicious percussion breakdown. Inside, London's Lady Sovereign joined DJ Frampster for a high-energy set of grime records spun to accentuate bass in all its chest-buzzing glory. New York's Jean Grae followed suit outside with a preview of her forthcoming, 9th Wonder-produced album Phoenix. "Gracious Grae, thicker than Tom Selleck's facial hair" wowed everyone from the back patio to the back alley with an engaging set of empowerment raps. Closing with "Don't Rush Me," the hip-hop heartthrob wasted no words in motivating an assembly of confirmed "muthafuckin' mama haters" to consider otherwise.