The Micranots at 7th St Entry, 3/30/13
|Photo via Rhymesayers Entertainment|
With Mundo Libre, I.B.E., Meta, Greg Grease and Muja Messiah
7th St Entry, Minneapolis
Saturday, March 30, 2013
It was a historic night at the Entry as the legendary DJ Kool Akiem and I Self Devine once again joined forces after a decade to become the Micranots, the pioneering rap group that left an immense footprint on the local hip-hop scene. There was an air of excitement surrounding the sold out show as long-time fans co-mingled with younger heads who knew the history but had missed the chance to see the group in its heyday.
Micranots rise again: After nearly a decade apart, I Self Devine and DJ Kool Akiem talk about their seminal album, Obelisk Movements
The Micranots: 10 Years after Return of the Travellahs
Greg Grease came out to spit the smooth side of meticulously written rhymes which populated his breakout Cornbread, Pearl and G, and the culmination of the four openers was a prime example of the Minneapolis hip-hop sound that was built in the wake of the Micranots absence. All parties present matched and expanded upon the blueprints of the tightly crafted and expertly performed lyrics and production that the headlining forefathers laid down in their work so many years ago. These were apt openers, who all represented the new face of Minneapolis as way of introducing the ones who got us here.
Every track they went through sounded remarkably fresh and lyrically poignant, displaying just how influential and ahead of their time the Micranots truly were. "Illegal Busyness," which recently got video treatment, still punches with the cataloging of the international drug industry. "How many of ya'll smoke?" I Self said, introducing the song. Many cheered. "How many of ya'll get your drink on?" Still more cheering. "Alright, now who does some extra shit?" Some stifled cheers led into the string of drug chorus that perfectly sums up the Micranots' best strengths: straddling politically charged gritty lyrics with a mainstream appeal and a heavily sampled bounce underneath.
"I was on some shit when I was young," he said with a laugh. "Shit is hella motherfuckin' dense like a pound cake." His flow has slowed and tightly crammed ideas and motifs have spread out in his most recent solo material, and he pointed out how he used to be more concerned with creating tense political material as an ideal he'd liked to live up to.
Plenty of the front row populace knew all the words by heart, and I Self interacted with them with his brand of straight-faced humor. It was a deftly performed long set with no cracks in the seam to imply that the group had ever stood apart. It was a great breathing reminder of why Obelisk Movements stands as such an underground masterpiece and maintains the influence it has had over the years. This show is going to be difficult to top.