Youth gone wild
Rosevill-amento: Roll into downtown Roseville around 10:30 p.m. on a Saturday night and you’ll immediately notice scores of young people roaming the streets. It looks like a scene out of Peter Pan—if the kids in Never Land sported hip-hop hoodies and chain-smoked cigarettes.
But seriously, Roseville?
Hey, Kevin Johnson: I know you have virtually no power as mayor of Sacramento, but, please, make the city friendly for young people who just want a place to watch live music? Sacramento is so stuck in the ’80s that people still believe hip-hop music drives people to violence.
On the contrary, biznitches: It only drives me to violence.
That reminds me: Standing in the crowd at the Main Street Brewery, I felt a set of tiny hands grab my waist and push me out of the way. Who was it? Sacramento’s very own elfish figure, Young Aundee, and that made me feel better. But the situation led to my New Year’s resolution: I don’t care who you are or how much of a rush you’re in, if you put your hands on me I’m going to kick you in the balls and blame it on hip-hop.
Anyway, the Main Street Brewery, a.k.a. Sports Page, is a big bar with a stage and a friendly staff; it’s Roseville’s answer to The Distillery. As 2-4-1’s J-Freeze rapped at a ridiculously fast rate, we made our way to the stage. Ten minutes later, T.O.P. was ready. The group, emcees Random Abiladeze from Neighborhood Watch and Prozak Morris from A New Hope, looked psyched to see so many people filling the room.
I positioned myself next to the stage so I could watch the crowd’s reaction.
Observation: People from Roseville love Random. Partly because he grew up there, but the other reason is the look on his face—a kind of determined smile—indicating he really gives a shit about entertaining.
The duo performed every song from the new album T.he O.ther P.oets. And the highlight was “Revenge of the MC,” expertly produced by Prozak, scratched by DJ Rated R (still recovering from a car accident in the Philippines) and rapped in an old-school-meets-the-future style by T.O.P. The song, like a few of the other cuts from the ambitious album, is captivating from start to finish.
But the show suffered slightly from “the clusterfuck theory,” which happens when you get a new hip-hop group together for the first time, put them on a stage with a less-than-great sound system, then have them run through an entire album in 60 minutes. There was little time for the blanket of spontaneity, which hip-hop should wear at all times, just in case it needs to fight a chill.
The show, however, was as good as it could have been given the circumstances. It also helped that Butterscotch was there to provide sounds on “Thoughts in Jazz,” which displayed her beatboxing (and rhyming) talents as Random and Prozak stretched their vocals around a pared-down beat.
To be honest, I watched a couple at the bar ferociously make out for the majority of the show. That, and I also pondered whether it’s true that Random has worn the same pair of black Nikes for the two years I’ve known him.
If it is true, we’re going to have to throw a benefit show to get that guy some new kicks. (Josh Fernandez)
SN&R presents: The lovely paper that pays us also puts on all-ages shows. This month: San Francisco’s the Mantles, with Sacramento’s Touchez, and Ganglians. The whole shebang starts at 8 p.m. this Saturday at Luigi’s Fun Garden, 1050 20th Street; and is $5. Thanks for coming.