The scene of an underground hip-hop show is almost always guaranteed to be an interesting experience. From bright florescent graffiti on gritty brick walls to the dj playing notable 90’s era jams. In this case, The Orpheum is the choice of venue in Ybor City, which has always held a title for great shows. This was far more than just an underground show, but very abstract and alternative in many ways.
With a quick sound check Project Save C.A. Hircus was ready to roll. Project Save, a dynamic duo of sorts, is comprised of one emcee & one dj. If you are going to a underground hip-hop show, be prepared for a lot of lyrical content and style.
Emcee Jon Ditty of Project Save spews his rapid fire delivery with ease about the trials and tribulations of everyday life. Dj D-Rok cuts smoothly over hooks and backs up Ditty on the mic. They also come with a humorous approach with skits and props as well. You could see the audience trying to keep up with his speedy rhyme scheme while head-nodding off beat. Project Save brings an authentic and fun feel that more than most can relate to, do your best to keep up!
Crashing the stage next with a 5 minute set-up was the wig-splitting alt-prog-hip-hop band Samurai Shotgun. They start out swinging with intense energy that the crowd was not expecting. Their stage presence is more that of a hardcore or punk band gone wild than your normal stage-left hip-hop ensemble.
The vocalist had a variety of rapping styles which went into some yells and even some screaming for hooks and breakdowns. With the audience captivated from so much movement on stage, heavy grooving bass lines and the drummer crashing symbols & flipping sticks, the crowd didn’t even know there was a band in their city with this feel. Once again, you always find something new and abstract at a show like this.
On tour with Astronautalis and Yoni Wolf was the Floridian speed-demon lyricist Bleubird. Very passionate with his lyricism and story telling, he paints pictures that makes you feel that you were there with him. A funny comedian on stage as well, his stories had the crowd crackin’ up laughing. One that stuck out the most was we when he spoke on how his mother & father met, Zero Warning won’t spoil that story though. For all those experimental hip-hop heads seeking a dope abstract emcee, Bleubird will not disappoint.
Yoni Wolf makes his way out, with fan girls all around smiling, waiting, not knowing what his first song will be until the beat kicks in. As soon as he started rapping in his awkwardly monotone styled voice, the girls indeed were hanging on to every single lyric. Yoni Wolf certainly brought out the hipster crowd, as they were bopping their head’s up and down to his indie alternative beat selection all in good vibes.
The man of the hour, Astronautalis came on the stage with a high-energy driven presence. Letting all his fans know that he was in the building. The Jacksonville, FL native rapper-producer, ran through a wide range of his discography from early years to his hits and even some slamming new songs of his upcoming project to do drop in mid 2015. Astro even did an acapella freestyle where he had the fans choose topics that he would rap about. When he finished, it was clear the pleased crowd was nothing short of mind blown. He ended his set with two never heard before songs that he was excited to play, and boy oh boy they were heavy hitters. I know for a fact fans of Astro will be waiting on his new album to drop with how his latest sounds are.
Photos by – Laura Mulder and Jenee