XXYYXX / Groundislava / Kitty / Grant @ Backbooth 12/23/14


Downtown Orlando was electric on Tuesday, Dec 23, when xxyyxx and fellow beatmakers Groundislava and Grant took the stage at Backbooth. Joined by Florida-based rapper Kitty, the venue was sold out and appropriately packed, with little leg room to spare. Sadly the show was not advertised as DJ sets from the main artists, but overall it was still a mostly enjoyable experience despite the misdirection.

Grant was up first, and contributed the most entertaining set of the night, a hilarious DJ set that mixed Cheryl Lynn and Mariah Carey with Aaron Carter and OG Maco. Between cigarettes, Grant let loose and danced the night away. He later capped off his set by playing out the 80’s alt folk song “Come On, Eileen” and crowd surfing not once but twice. Not something you see everyday.

Up next was Kitty, formerly known as Kitty Pryde. Unfortunately the last thing this show needed was a tumblr-famous rapper with a confidence issue. People immediately began checking their phones and their chatter often drowned out Kitty’s verses. While her crowd play was amusing, unfortunately her skills were weak, and her recent turn towards rapping over generic EDM beats did not go over well with the audience.

Groundislava, mainstay on the WEDIDIT and Friends of Friends rosters, brought the vibes back up with a lively set full of bass-heavy bangers and 90’s house jams. While it was primarily a club-ready set, Groundislava did unveil two new songs and an unreleased remix that shined.

Finally, xxyyxx took the stage, arriving a bit late but otherwise impressive with his DJ set. Incorporating most of his big hits off his debut self-titled album like, “Breeze”, “Set It Off”, and “Witching Hour”, it was roughly an hour of abstract beats that flowed as well as a DJ set could.

Before packing up his laptop, xxyyxx, real name Marcel Everett, reached out to the ecstatic audience and fielded requests for his encore. The overwhelming response was for his big single, “About You”, but Marcel also heard the shouts for a more underrated track from his debut album, the trippy, cloud rap-inspired “DMT”.

The surprise two-song encore was a high note on a slightly strange and interesting show.

Check out Groundislava’s latest album, Frozen Throne on iTunes

You can steam xxyyxx’s debut album on bandcamp.


Photo By Carlo Cavaluzzi