|Photo by Anna Gulbrandsen|
Hip Hop Harambee
with International Reggae All Stars, Psymun & K.Raydio, Lizzo and Lazerbeak, Vandaam, Dred I Dread, Toki Wright & Big Cats, Devin the Dude, Shabazz Palaces and Big K.R.I.T.
Nomad World Pub, Minneapolis
Saturday, September 22, 2013
The Hip-Hop Harambee once again provided a big show and a great community space outside the West Bank's Nomad Pub. It was a long, varied day with a wide range of hip-hop fans congregating together in the same space.See Also: Slideshow: Hip Hop Harambee at Nomad World Pub, 9/21/13
Opening DJ Kulcha Human spun some Atmosphere classics as the crowd arrived into the Nomad's lot space, which was slowly building a bustling group of people. To the left of the bar, in a free space open to anyone with or without a ticket, artists and graffiti muralists were painting and the DJ was setting up for a breakdancing performance. Some delicious smells wafted from the Assase Yaa food truck. Volunteers handed out examples of rank-choice voting as a public service to educate voters on the concept, with informal ballots asking things like if Chance the Rapper was better than Earl Sweatshirt. A big board asked people what they'd like to do before they die, with responses that varied from "Bring Peace To The Middle East" to "Sip Wit Tity Boi." Chalk drawings adorned the sidewalks, and the gates were covered in drawings by small children who defined "Harambee" however they felt appropriate. ("I saw a drawing of a big buff naked dude that a kindergartner made," said the events co-host P.O.S. at one point during the show. "That's awesome.") Even before things really got going, there was quite a commotion all over the West Bank.
|Photos by Anna Gulbrandsen|
Once the music kicked off with the famed International Reggae All-Stars, it was already evident that this year was going to be expanding on last year's sound. The first of two reggae outfits of the day (Dred I Dread would hit the stage later), the Minneapolis institution brought some smooth roots sounds to what was sadly a small showing of people at the start. Still, the vibe of the day started off on the right foot. Hosts Tish Jones and P.O.S. were a great pairing, bringing a good amount of humor and gravity to the day's event, reminding the audience of the importance of community locally, worldwide, and today specifically, as well as how the greatness of hoodie weather.
Psymun and K. Raydio took the stage next and continued the previous band's close attention to deep bass. K. Raydio has been floating around the scene for some time but really started to catch some national attention when she linked up with the deep glitch-groove producer Psymun, who has managed to facilitate her best work yet. With her mellow yet sultry melodies complimenting Psymun's subtle beats, K. Raydio's understated grooves made for a quieter antecedent to Lizzo's performance with Lazerbeak which followed shortly thereafter.
|Photo by Anna Gulbrandsen|
Propelled by some horn-and-drum heavy live MPC beats from the Doomtree producer, Lizzo and her hype-man Cliff powered through a slew of new tracks from her upcoming solo debut Lizzobangers
. This set was right in the midst of an insane schedule of shows: After a short tour, Lizzo returned to Minneapolis to perform both as opener and band member for Har Mar Superstar, with whom she'll be on tour for the next three months. She seemed slightly enervated but pushed through to deliver one of the strongest sets of the day. Lizzo's vicious flow burst forward with a second wind of adrenaline that shined through in both singing and rap performances and her audacious stage presence. GRRRL PRTY joined on stage for the huge tracks "Wegula" and "Batches and Cookies," waving flags and generally owning everything in sight. It was a grand performance from the most exciting act in Minneapolis rap.