Mike Mictlan's Blowout night in the Entry, 12/5/11

Categories: Last Night
Photos by Erik Hess
Mike Mictlan and Friends
December 5, 2011
7th St. Entry, Minneapolis

Along with a new batch of intensely-collaborative rap songs, No Kings came with a determined mantra that truly came to life at last night's Mictlan-curated stint at 7th Street Entry for the 7th Doomtree Blowout. The line-up was essentially a mini-festival, with around 43 artists packed into the small downtown club playing (mostly) non-stop sets to a sold-out crowd. The night was an egoless tribute to Mictlan's friends and favorite artists, and the curator played host most of the night. 

I walked in at a little after 8:30 to see Ice Rod starting off the night, swinging upside-down from the rafters while screaming "Doomtree" to varying rhythmic degrees over a sound-collage collection of old-school beats and songs re-edited to include "Doomtree" in the lyrics.

Photos by Erik Hess
Ice Rod
From there, Longshot swiftly took the mic with and brought a quick line-up of uptempo rap songs and a realization that this party was going to stay at this level until bar close. With this many artists come short but tight sets, each song a banger and an attempt to showcase the artist's style to an audience who may be unfamiliar. F. Stokes, for instance, is a non-local friend of Doomtree, first introduced to me at Mictlan and Lazerbeak's Hand Over Fist release, who returned to the 7th St. with a brief set he seemed very happy to fly out for. It was sadly during his set that technical difficulties began to arise, and microphones continued cutting out throughout the night. Still, performers energy shown through, especially during Audio Perm's excited set, where I counted 11 members on stage at once. The vibe remained riotous and close-knit. Mictlan went above and beyond as always, as he played host, performed guest verses, and occasionally did trouble-shooting. He even sang an R'n'B ballad to a random member of the audience. 

Photos by Erik Hess
​When special guests Big Quarters and Prof hit the stage back-to-back after Audio Perm, the night only felt bigger and crazier. Tones shifted distinctly from Prof's "Yeah Buddy" to Kill The Vultures' "The Vultures," and the diversity of styles onstage made for a powerful and memorable night. Mike Mictlan called KTV's Crescent Moon one of his two favorite local rappers of all time. Mike was unwaveringly excited by every act that performed, and as he introduced long-time cohort Toki Wright (who broke the mold of hit-focused sets with a lot of new material) it was clear this was his dream line-up as well as his hip-hop family reunion. As "The Southside Wag Block," TUSS and Illuminous 3, took over the stage for the following sets, it became obvious that the night would not slow down.

Photos by Erik Hess
Crescent Moon
The night served as maybe the best overview of what's happening in Minneapolis hip-hop I've ever seen in a single show, and made me fully realize the strength and unity within our scene. When Mictlan introduced I Self Devine, the second of his two local favorites, the connection between his politically-charged rebel boom-bap and subsequent MC Spyder Baybie Raw Dogg's hedonistic grime was made. With Slapping Purses (who also played a solo set) and 2% Muck's dirty electric beats played under Spyder and La Manchita, the Doomtree members that found their way onto Spyder's latest mixtape also found their way on stage for a chaotic conbination. Mictlan stood as the center point for a number of different styles of music and types of people, and put on a wall-to-wall amazing show.

Photos by Erik Hess
If you had a bus to catch, you might not have even seen the headliner, but that seemed to be the idea: there was no "headliner." True to the No Kings philosophy, Mictlan used his own celebration to tout his friends, his scene, and his inspirations. He wound up rapping all night long on songs with the other artists. His own climactic set was as brief as the rest, beginning strong with "Game Over" before linking up with Lazerbeak for some Hand Over Fist tracks. P.O.S. and Sims joined as back-up vocalists as Mictlan spit every rhyme with intensity and real power. After playing the standard closer "Prizefight," the clearly exhausted but undeterred MC was practically dragged back onstage for an encore, where the trio premiered the new crew album's opener "No Way." It was an explosive end to an overwhelming and amazing show.

Next page: More photos from last night by Erik Hess.

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