Bone Thugs-N-Harmony at Myth, 2/8/14

Photo by Erik Hess
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
with A$AP Ferg, Get Cryphy, and DJ DMil
Myth Nightclub, St. Paul
Saturday, February 8, 2014

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony returned to Minneapolis to play to a devoted local audience at the Myth this past Saturday. In the mid-'90s, the Cleveland group -- represented by only four of the five original members -- helped define melodic gangsta rap for generations to come. After over 20 years in rap, they've maintained the tongue-twister skills and vibrant stage energy that drew attention in their early career.

See Also: Slideshow: Bone Thugs-N-Harmony at Myth, 2/8/14

The bill promised three acts with a rep for high-energy performances appropriate for a stage this size. What the bill did not reflect is the slew of struggle rappers and DJs thrown into the middle of the mix, which stymied the momentum. Some local rap acts like Absent and SP Styles played short sets of a few songs each, but so did some non-name rappers from places like L.A. and Tacoma, which didn't really make a whole lot of sense. The bars were mediocre at best from anyone not listed on the bill and their presence on stage was less invigorating than confusing. It's not unprecedented that promoters showcase small-name talent during a big show like this, but by the seventh act it got to be trying. 
Photos by Erik Hess
The curation of the show was pretty poor, evidenced by Get Cryphy's always bombastic set, which was inexplicably sandwiched between a rapper who said this was his fourth show ever and an unknown DJ spinning filler material. Jimmy 2 Times, Plain Ole Bill, and Last Word -- who doubled as hype man, shouting lyrics whenever the mood struck -- killed with the brand of high-octane club hits they've proven rile up audiences. The crowd's polite attentiveness for the preceding rap acts turned to the standard upheaval as the trio spun short bursts of bangers on six turntables. But rather than maintain that energy level by leading into the acts people actually came to see, Cryphy was followed by another long stretch of time dominated by acts no one came to see. The hype work Cryphy is known for went to waste as the show continued to plod on.
Photos by Erik Hess
A$AP Ferg's set suffered because of it, as he seems to rely on a giant reception from a turned up crowd to truly deliver his best. Coming out to "Dump Dump," he started huge and the crowd seemed to regain the energy Cryphy bestowed them earlier. Sadly, it seemed like some mic issues and a seemingly tired voice held Ferg back, but he carried the most energy of any rapper yet to hit the stage. An attempt to create a wall-of-death mosh pit when he jumped into "Let It Go" -- which helped make his Soundset performance particularly memorable -- was not entirely successful, so he stopped the song and did it again. Then he played some A$AP Rocky songs, then "Shabba," and then he was done. With a quick burst of a set that still managed to repeat songs more than a few times, Ferg brought an appropriate amount of performative energy and left it at that. 

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