Thursday October 1st I made my way down to Jerky’s for quite the night of hip-hop. Six acts were featured on the night, Hazardous Waste, Jotsone, Broken Ground, Shane Hall, Brzowski and Big City Bumpus were set to hit the stage.
Hazardous Waste was the first to the stage, featuring Josh H.W. on vocals and DJ Emoh Betta on the decks:
I had the chance to clip three songs from H.W. “A Brief Tale” had a chill laid back beat and H.W impressed with his rhyme and cadence coming at the audience with what seemed like 50 syllables a line. The tale, while brief, seemed autobiographical and quite heartfelt. H.W. hung back a while while DJ Emoh mixed up the beats for a bit of a scratch solo. “Pale Comparisons” started slowly and emotionally and built to a frantic pace with good flow. “You Can’t Front on That” had the rockiest beats of H.W.’s set. Josh’s pace and delivery reminded me a bit of Zack de la Rocha on this track. Overall it was a good set from the head of Delusional Records
Jotsone was next MC to grace the stage while DJ Emoh Betta continued to man the tables:
The first clip is of two songs, “Wolverine” which contained some good word play and rhyme but seemed a bit angry and “Push-ups,” during which Jots made good efforts to get the crowd involved in the song in its catchy chorus. The last number I caught “Krylon Zion,” Jots invited his friend 90sevan on stage for backup rhymes and a verse. This track was slower and more deliberate than others of the set, and seemed more personal.
Shane Hall was the next MC to strut his stuff with the help of his friend DJ Merf and some sampling and effects tools of his own:
“The Fat Lady of Limbourgh” was the first song I clipped, it was slow and experimental, a bit different than the other samples and beats heard earlier in the night. Shane delivered the vocals almost singing making good use of end rhyme, the effects giving it almost an 80s feel. “Kallisti” again used ethereal sounding harmonies in the samples and tunes and slowly sang poetry. Shane began “Honour Amongst Thieves” and changed his vocal style from mostly spoken word to a more rap flowed cadence again showing good rhymes and word play.
Originally from Pawtucket, Brzowski came down from Maine for the show to share some of his flow:
I had the chance to clip four of his songs, none of which I’ve been able to garner a title. His beats were heavier on the rock side, and his vocal delivery had a bit of rock-hop edge. The second track started with some ridiculously fast spoken word and continued without instrumentation for the duration for a quick poem. Bzrowski had a defined stage presence and did well by getting the crowd’s attention with his pacing and illustration while rhyming. The third song had a good hook and had the crowd chanting along “There you have it.” The last song I recorded again came with impressive fast flow and interesting background sounds. Bzrowski played a good set and showed he knows how to work the stage well.
Big City Bumpus took to the microphone next and his baritone voice carried his raps:
I caught the last bit of his stage introduction of “I wanna hear some hip-hop music” before breaking into a well structured rap with “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)” as the sample. Big City seemed determined to get the crowd into the show by calling for participation at multiple points. His next song about pot moochers had some Caribbean island sounding samples, and certainly gave me a chuckle or two.
Broken Ground was the headlining act for the night and wrapped up with a tight set. 90Sevan took to the microphone and provided the lyrical styling while Low B played guitar and created all the original beats and cuts that DJ Emoh utilized during the set:
They opened with a song with which I’m unfamiliar. Low B played some melodic and funky guitar riffs over the beat while 90sevan told the story with his words. “How Much Longer” followed, Low B put down the guitar and lent back up rhymes to 90sevan’s song of personal struggle. Broken Ground turned up the rock for the next number “Tour Song,” an older song from 90sevan’s solo debut. Low B brought the riffs while DJ Emoh scratched the beats, 90sevan rapped about his experiences touring the local scene. Definitely a catchy number, I caught myself bobbing my head more than once. They tore into their funkiest number next, “Wakeup.” Featured on their debut album “Sneak Attack” its themes of getting the word and their name out to the masses were certainly fitting and laden with good flow and funky riffs. Broken Ground invited a friend on stage for the next song, and the guest MC flowed and rhymed well over the guitar licks and funky beats. “Beautiful Day” followed and 90sevan took back the lead microphone for a good song of overcoming adversity and taking advantage of good moments. Broken Ground closed their set with the high energy “Move,” with infectious club beats the song should be their first single. Also displaying the themes of introduction for both 90sevan and Low B it was another great track off their debut album, sure to cause a stir. You’ll get the chance to check them live in Providence again on February 26th, opening for Mr. LIF.