WHAT: Yelawolf, Craze, Das Racist,87 Stick Up Kids, Rob Roy, Franki Chan
Das Racist and Yelawolf are strange bedfellows. Based in Brooklyn, Das Racist gently pokes fun at the rap genre by conspicuously rattling their (probably fake) gold chains under the adlibs, "Talk shit at this part? 'Bout how like, 'the world-didn't-see-it-com-in'!'" Alabama's Yelawolf, on the other hand, is not playing any games when he throws the first punch with the words from "I Wish": "I wish a motherfucker would tell me that I ain't hip hop." But last night at "Check Yo Ponytail 2" at the Echoplex, you didn't need to know any lyrics to recognize the mismatched billing. All you had to do was watch the close of Das Racist's set sweep the floor clean for the fresh influx of fans for Yelawolf's.
Full disclosure: The reason we noticed the migration (and Travis Barker pulling up to the venue) was because we were stuck outside until Das Racist had finished playing. Nope, we're not too proud to admit we heard the six words everybody in the guest line dreads: "Sorry, you're not on the list." Serendipitously, one of CYP2's producers, Media Contender's Danny United, came out to check the crowd. We caught him, and he rolled out the red carpet for us (thanks, Danny!).
On our way in, we spotted our favorite dancer and sometime video girl, the charming, mohawked, MALICE 666, who was at Crazy Girls last September when we reviewed Freddie Gibbs' show. She was at the Echoplex to emcee for her friends, the 87 Stick Up Kids, but she's perfectly capable of commanding the Echoplex's stage solo. "When I lived in Portland, I was known for dancing to Slayer's 'Angel of Death,'" she said. "I'd put on a gas mask, come onstage with a gun, [and do unmentionable things with it]." She's at Crazy Girls tonight and Thursday, and Bar Sinister on Saturday. You're welcome.
Inside, the crowd was clumping together in front of the stage, and bass began to pulse so violently from the speakers that the hair on my arms hurt. Yelawolf was coming.
Head down, he paced out like a restless, caged animal; suddenly, he rushed to the lip of the stage and pounced into a set that bit and spit and left him sweaty and shirtless.
Yelawolf took a flying leap out of last year into 2011. After releasing the very good mixtape Trunk Muzik last January and opening for Wiz Khalifa's sold-out "Waken Baken" tour last fall, he recently signed with Eminem's Shady Records. He has every reason to be excited onstage and off.
But Yelawolf's songs really can't be performed lackadaisically, anyway. Almost every song in his catalog contains at least a few bars, if not full verses, that have him lyrically riding at a full gallop. Last night, he played the majority of Trunk Muzik, as well as tracks from last November's mixtape, Trunk Muzik 0-60. It was an audience of fans, but highlights were "I Wish," Big Boi's frenetic "You Ain't No DJ," on which Yela features, and a twist on Eazy-E's "Boyz N' Tha Hood," "Boyz N' Tha Wood."
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He wrapped up his generous set, and the Echoplex emptied like the lights had just come on. But if you stuck around for Craze's hyphy hip-hop dance party, you saw an impromptu performance of "Gucci Rag Top" by Kid Sister. You snooze, you lose ...
Speaking of losing, will somebody fill us in on we missed?