Hooked on phonics
Blackalicious and Lifesavas Chico State Rose Garden Sat., Sept. 13
Drawing from old-school battle rhyme and dancehall reggae influences, rappers Gift of Gab and Lateef rocked the spot with feats of verbal dexterity—blinding-fast, freestyle rants shifted through more gears than a NASCAR race, while the back-up duo of Omega and Myron coaxed each song with soulful singing. The set peaked with the crowd-pleasing “Alphabet Aerobics,” wherein the rappers raced through image-laden lyrics inspired by each alphabet letter as the crowd waved their arms like a swaying field of pale white wheat.
Openers Lifesavas from Portland did a great job seasoning the crowd with their own funky blend of "send and receive" hip-hop, joining Blackalicious for a final highlight featuring all four rappers joining heads in a slowly bubbling huddle, simultaneously spitting rhymes in every direction—a whirling, verbal sprinkler of mad hip-hop love.