Show Recap // Stööki Sound at Bassmnt San Diego

London’s own Stööki Sound continues to impress with their stream of originals and remixes, most recently with their Ösiris EP. The duo comprised of Jelacee and DJ Lukey blend aptly swift raps with in-your-face production, making for a deadly combo not to be taken lightly.

Last month, Stööki Sound swung by Bassmnt to open for the legendary bass-head Bauuer. Jelacee and DJ Lukey brought their unparalleled energy to the stage, piecing together elements of hip-hop and electronic with their grime-heavy sound. Needless to say, it was a night to remember and we hope to have them back in SoCal soon!

Check out a few photos from the event below, courtesy of @jennicamaephoto.

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Show Recap // Hide & Go Freak December 2016

[All photos by Mikey Avila]

Topping off a fleshed out year of performances from the likes of ROM, Deffie, and Gravez, as well as local talents including AbJoSemaj, and PRVDNT, Hide & Go Freak returned earlier this month with a bang. From San Diego’s own Don BLu, Coastal, and JR Jarris to Brooklyn’s finest Tha Yellow R Kel, the night was filled with good energy and top-notch sound selection.

We’re excited to watch H&GF continue to grow in the coming months as one of San Diego’s leading monthly events, with plans to venture out along the West Coast. Stay tuned for more details on January’s H&GF and peep the photo/video recap from Mikey Avila below.

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Don B
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Tha Yellow R Kel & Lu
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JR Jarris

Show Recap // Relive Trapo’s Shade Trees Live in Brooklyn

On December 5th, Wisconsin’s Trapo came to Brooklyn’s Rough Trade to perform his recently released Shade Trees. Trapo commanded the stage during the more rap centric tracks “Riot” and “Stop Me,” bounced through the more soulful “Oceans” and slowed it down for tracks like  “Love Is…” and “Meeting Mariah.”  The 18 year-old confidently showed off his versatility as if he’s been doing this for years.

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After finishing Shade Trees, Trapo wrapped his set up with “She Moved On” and “Chicago” from his SHE EP, which dropped earlier this year.

View the rest of the photos here and follow me on Instagram for more.

Show Recap // Hide & Go Freak October 2016

[All photos by Mikey Avila]

Over the past summer, local DJ and producer JR Jarris has continued to grow Hide & Go Freak. His event takes place on the second Friday of each month at The Hideout and has featured local talents AbJoLuPRVDNT, and Semaj, as well as LakimJoe KayROM, and Deffie.

I recently had the great pleasure of indulging in plenty of Pharell classics and summertime anthems at the October edition of H&GF. Check out a few photos from the night below, courtesy of local photographer Mikey Avila.

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JR opened the night with a few throwbacks before handing the stage to Vii, who came through with “Norf Norf” and Coastal‘s edit of the NxWorries hit, “Suede.”

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Returning for his second performance at H&GF, Deffie delivered a high-energy set.

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OriJanus, who JR named as one of his favorite producers, kept the momentum going throughout the night.

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Finally, Huh What and Where producer Gravez and JR closed the night with their edits and originals. H&GF is one of leading showcases allowing the music and creative scene in San Diego to continue to grow—we can’t wait to see who’ll be at the next one!

Be sure to catch JR performing at the House of Blues Block Party on October 29 and stay tuned for info on the next H&GF.

Show Recap // Danny Brown, Maxo Kream & Zelooperz

With Atrocity Exhibition dropping next week, Danny Brown has embarked on The Exhibition tour. On September 17th, the Detroit native brought the experience to Clifton Park, New York with Maxo Kream and Zelooperz.

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Fellow Detroit rapper and Bruiser Brigade member Zelooperz opened the show. He spent about half of his high-energy set in the crowd, performing songs like “Elevators” and “ISBD.”

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Houston rapper Maxo Kream took the stage to fans chanting his name and opened his set with “Thirteen,” the opening track from his 2015 mixtape, Maxo 187. From the moment he stepped foot on the stage to the very end, Maxo never slowed down his energy, aside from taking a minute to smoke a blunt from a fan.

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Danny Brown kicked off his set with songs from his XXX mixtape before moving into the more high energy bangers from his 2013 album Old, including “Handstand” and “Smokin & Drinkin.” Brown concluded the night with a few songs from Atrocity Exhibition, including singles “When it Rain” and “Pneumonia.”

The North American tour continues throughout November, so be sure to check it out when it hits your city! Grab your pre-order of Atrocity Exhibition via iTunes, due September 30.

Peep the full photo album here, and check out more of my photos on Twitter and Instagram.

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Show Recap // Post Malone, Jazz Cartier & Larry June at The Observatory North Park

Earlier this week, Post Malone kicked off The Hollywood Dreams tour at the Observatory North Park in San Diego. Along for the ride are FKi 1stLarry June and Jazz Cartier, who each held their own throughout the show.

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(Left to Right) Kawasaki, P-Lo, Larry June

After 1st hyped up the crowd with a few summer singles, Larry started the night with his DJ, Kawasaki. Running through his discography and often hopping into the crowd to share his energy, the duo made sure the Bay was well represented with Larry’s signature “Yee hee!” and “Good job, Larry!” adlibs. HBK’s own P-Lo was also in the building, taking the stage towards the end of his set.

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4th Pyramid (Left), Jazz Cartier (Right)

Next up was W&V alumni Jazz Cartier, backed by his DJ 4th Pyramid. Bringing to life tracks from his most recent project, Hotel Paranoia, alongside recent singles “Just In Case” and “Lil Wayne,” the Prince of Toronto captivated the audience with ease. Jacuzzi’s remarkable stage presence carried throughout his first performance in San Diego, topped off with his signature blend crowd surfing/walking to “Dead Or Alive.”

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Post Malone (Left), Fki 1st (Right)

To finish off the night, Post Malone took the stage with a teaser of “White Iverson,” segueing into to crowd favorites “Too Young” and “Go Flex.” Posty filled his set with several tracks from his August 26 mixtape before bringing Larry back on-stage to perform their “Never Understand” collab. With the crowd singing every word, the positive spirit kicked off his first official headlining tour in style.

Show Recap // Alex Wiley at Knitting Factory Brooklyn

[Written and photos by Patrick Duncan]

On August 4th, 2016, Chicago native Alex Wiley brought his self-dubbed “Lamborghini butter sauce flow” to Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory. Wiley’s set primarily featured songs from his most recent mixtape, Tangerine Dream, with the occasional fan favorite thrown in the mix.

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Wiley opened his set with the high energy banger “Red Pill” and quickly went on to the smoother cuts like “Untitled 3” and “Games,” showing his versatility. Wiley took a quick break to move back to his DJ Burnin Giraph to play a some synths to set up his most popular song, “Vibrations.”

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He continued on with his newer songs, playing “Fire” and “INEEDTHAT,” as the heavy echoed vocals carried the melodies the diverse artist layers onto his tracks. Before performing his closing song “Heaven’s Gate,” Wiley announced that he is currently trying to work out a tour with fellow Chicago artists Kembe X and Supa Bwe.

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Check out the full set of photos here, and follow Patrick on Twitter and Instagram.

Show Recap // Pigeons & Planes No Ceilings July 22

[Written and photos by Patrick Duncan, additional writing by Andy Tran]

On July 22nd, 2016, Pigeons and Planes along with Staple Pigeon brought their No Ceilings showcase back to New York at Brooklyn venue Baby’s All Right. The line up featured Khary, Trapo, Jimi Tents and Kamaiyah.

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Brooklyn-based Khary, who has recently garnered lots of attention from his Intern Aquarium mixtape, opened the show. The self-proclaimed Captain Yellow Coat brought his bouncy songs to life by frequently jumping into the crowd to dance with fans and to pick up the energy, making the already smaller venue that much more intimate. He continued to keep the crowd involved instructing them to sing the lines “she said she was down for that” for his spin on a love song, “2AM Thirst Ballad.”

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“My name is Khary. I think I’m a rapper,” he often joked between songs. His banter felt like short stand up comedy bits. Khary wrapped up his set amongst fans in the crowd and quickly stated how he had to go to work and couldn’t hang out for much longer. It still didn’t stop him from talking to fans and taking pictures on his way out.

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Up next was Madison, Wisconsin’s Trapo, who’s captured attention with his wonderful mix of neo-soul and rap. This was his first time playing in New York, but the confidence and energy he brought to the stage made it feel like he’s done it hundreds of times. The wunderkind performed a powerful acapella version of his song “Tree,” alongside his more soulful tracks like “Chicago” and “She Moved On.”

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Trapo also performed some tracks from his upcoming album Shade Trees, which if the songs are any indication, should be incredible and really propel him to the star he’s quickly becoming.

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Fresh off tour with Justin Bieber, Brooklyn’s own Jimi Tents quickly commanded the stage. From the moment he started to the second he stopped, Tents did not let the energy come down, bringing out friends and fellow rappers Jay IDK and Justin Rose to raise it even higher.

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Tents also performed a powerful new song, which touched on police brutality and the perception of black youth and culture as a whole. He ended his set on a high note with the anthem “Landslide”. As the entire crowd sang the chorus right back at him, you could feel how genuine and positive the up and comer was.

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To close out the night, Oakland’s own Kamaiyah took the stage. The blossoming star recently grabbed the attention of the industry with her breakout mixtape, A Good Night in the Ghetto, and was all smiles at her first sold-out headlining show in NYC. You might recognize her from her viral hit with YG and Drake, “Why You Always Hatin?,” which was featured on Still Brazy. Needless to say, Pigeons & Planes’ latest No Ceilings event was a major success.

Check out the full set of photos here, and follow Patrick on Twitter and Instagram.

Show Recap // Lucki Eck$ Stops By SOB’s

[Written and photos by Patrick Duncan]

On July 19, 20 year-old Chicagoan rapper Lucki Eck$ stopped at New York City’s historic venue Sounds of Brazil, often referred to as SOB’s. Their iconic slogan—“where legends are made”—has proven true with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Common and recent stars like Post Malone, Lil Uzi Vert and Playboi Carti having performed at the venue. Prior to the show, Lucki came outside to hang out and smoke with fans, talking to everyone, taking pictures, and absorb the atmosphere of downtown Manhattan.

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Lucki came out for his sound check and gave the fans who came early a quick preview of what his show was going to be like. Lucki quickly performed through some of his hits from the Freewave EP, which was released late last year with features from Carti and Chance the Rapper. “Y’all can say you saw Lucki open for Lucki and he the GOAT,” he joked as he walked off the stage.

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Lucki came back out about 30 minutes later and began his set. As soon as he started to the moment he stopped, he had the whole crowd chanting every word right back to him. Lucki played crowd favorites “Freewave 9” and “Lowlife,” as well as his newest songs “BLOODBOY FREESTYLE” and “6th SENSE,” which the crowd was still screaming every word back to. Between songs, Lucki would joke around and have friendly banter with fans in the crowd, continuing to solidify how personable and charismatic the young rapper is.

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“Fuck Donald Trump, Bossyy for president, Freewave the White House!” Lucki proclaimed after the show as he smokes and talks to his fans outside of the venue. Between pictures and inhales of his blunt, he was answering questions from fans, stating how he’s quit taking Xanax and hates looking back at when he was.

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“When you’re 17 years old and people fucking with you, talking bars is all fun and games, but nigga is 20 now—shit is real now. Back when I was doing all that shit, I wasn’t working. X is the worst fucking mixtape ever, bro! Like that shit is trash!” – Lucki Eck$

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“I don’t get niggas that don’t hang out with their fans. These kids paid money and travelled to come see you and niggas don’t want to talk to them and hang out—I don’t get that shit,” Eck$ states after the show as he had a swarm of kids surrounding him outside of the venue, next to a subway station.

At first impression, it would be hard to picture a man with the appearance of Lucki to be as friendly, genuine and personable as he is. The joy he had when spending time with his fans was palpable. He’s developing a ton of buzz this early in his career and certainly has a bright future ahead of him.

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Check out the full set of photos here, and follow Patrick on Twitter and Instagram.

Festival Recap // Relive Pitchfork Music Festival 2016

This past weekend, I covered the 10+ year long running Pitchfork Music Festival. Pitchfork focuses primarily on artists and bands from alternative rock, rap & hip-hop, electronica, and dance music, although it has also included acts from hardcore punk, experimental/avant-garde rock and jazz in its lineups. With names like FKA Twigs, Mick Jenkins, and Jeremih, the festival definitely drew a crowd in Chicago’s Union Park, the home and prime location of Pitchfork.

I did not get the chance to catch as much sets as I’d like to but I definitely got to cover some of my favorites:

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Mick Jenkins

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Jeremih

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FKA Twigs

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Pitchfork Green Stage

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Miguel

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BJ the Chicago Kid

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Anderson .Paak

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Crowd going wild for Anderson .Paak

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Shamir

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NAO

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Crowd for Jeremih

Photos by Johnny Fan

Thank you for checking it out! I look forward to continue covering more festivals and posting in the future. Hope ya’ll had a great weekend.