Arts, Beats & Lyrics feat. Scarface, Shock G, DJ Lord, Clyde "The Funky Drummer" Stubblefield & Mansions on the Moon Warehouse Live September 27, 2012
How to guarantee a successful event:
Step 1: Select an appropriate venue to accommodate your guests.
Step 2: Diversify your guest list to include a wide spectrum of interesting people.
Step 3: Keep the drinks flowing.
Step 4: Showcase the best music talent.
That formula was perfectly executed by Gentleman Jack (the more refined big brother to traditional Jack Daniel's whiskey) Thursday night for the Art, Beats & Lyrics party at Warehouse Live. They also included an assortment of paintings, photographs and sculptures artfully displayed throughout the party, elevating the mood to quite classy.
Both the ballroom and studio of the venue were filled wall to wall with smartly dressed and polite art/music lovers.
Master turntablist DJ Lord of Public Enemy fame kicked things off as the crowd made their way inside. Beside his hip-hop pedigree, Lord is also a skilled Drum & Bass and dubstep mixer, often blending the two genres in his shows. Legendary percussionist Clyde "The Funky Drummer" Stubblefield followed the DJ, making beats that would make James Brown boogie in his grave. Many of the breaks sampled from the old funk records that B-boys use to battle were first played by Stubblefield.
The newish Los Angeles band Mansions on the Moon delivered two performances Thursday night. The first was their signature electronic downtempo rock that was surprisingly well-received by the crowd.
Seeing old-school hip-hop fans delightfully rock out to hipster music was a beautiful sight to see. The trio smoothly grooved with a nice and easy flow highlighted by moody stage lighting. Later in the night, they served as the backup band for Mr. Brad Jordan.
Shock G is one of those hip-hop figures who is both instantly recognizable and completely adored, yet often forgotten. The tattoos on his arm referenced his history, naming Tupac, The Luniz, Digital Underground, and Murs. A master songwriter and arranger, Shock has put his stamp on some of the best and funkiest tracks to come from the West Coast.
He began in character as Humpty Hump, complete with his pronounced plastic nose, opening with "Kiss You Back". he told us that he's been suffering from a severe 100+ degree fever, "But it doesn't matter how I feel, this night is about how y'all feel."
And Shock/Humpty is all about feeling good. "The Humpty Dance" was met with loud cheers of approval and laughter caused by his antics. He shifted to the keyboards where he masterfully played beloved old school tracks such as "I Got 5 On It," "I Get Around" and "So Many Tears." He surprised us with a moody rap/poetry version of Nirvana's "Nevermind" by before ending with "Freaks of the Industry."
"Are y'all ready for Brad Jordan?! Y'all know that was Pac's favorite rapper," shouted Shock G as he introduced Scarface. The Geto Boy sauntered onstage and shook the hands of the whole front row, clearly excited to be performing in front of his hometown crowd.
"I'm not trying to be the best, I'm just trying to do my best because I represent y'all, Houston! NY loves me! LA and Chicago love me! And H-Town loves.... Mister, Mister Scarface (laughs)." He took off his green polo and flipped the switch, presenting the determined hardcore rapper that we all know and love. The girl in front of me couldn't handle it. She turned around and said to me "I'm not that gangsta, you can have my spot."
It was a bit scary, actually. The man looked possessed, rapping every word as if his life depended on it, sweating and clutching his chest with every heartfelt lyric. The fans who remained adored this passion, singing and shouting along to "Mary Jane," "Smile" and "Seen a Man Die." He also offered up his acclaimed new hit with DJ Khaled, "Hip-Hop."
The energy spiked when he dropped "My Block," somehow causing an earthquake onstage and in the crowd. I've never seen this type of fervor by either Face or his fans, and it was amazing.
He did slow it down "for the ladies" with the hookup song "Fuck Faces," then ventured into everyone's favorite song about mental illness, "My Mind's Playing Tricks On Me."
"I wrote that song, so let me tell you the real lyrics. It should say 'me and Willie D went trick or treating' and 'then he disappeared and Willie disappeared, too'. So when I say this, way it with me, and say it right!"
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So we did. And it was glorious.
Brad Motherfucking Jordan. Your favorite rapper's favorite rapper. The best that ever did it.