Through The Mic - one of LA's hottest and most exciting live hip hop music events has been happening this summer through fall at the centrally located LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art). In it's first year of running; LACMA has joined curation forces with hip hop artist MURS to create a magnificent platform for the star players of the independent LA hip hop scene, of which there are plenty. Set in the forecourt of the museum with the brilliant and dazzling Urban Lights sculpture by Chris Burdens, you've never seen such a stunning stage backdrop. Genius is the word.
July's event coincided with a perfectly balmy summer evening. A cheerful and chilled crowd were dished up three incredible and wildly different performances by VerBS, Skeme, and lastly, but most definitely not least, the legendary People Under The Stairs.
Through The Mic takes place in a spacious and breezy outdoor area. Beautifully transformed to accommodate all – standing and sitting is a plenty, there's even grassy lawn up back to spread out on. Two bars, one with an open lounge area (and full drinks list) located close to the stage, serve up beverages (on the somewhat expensive side). What better way to the enjoy a night out in the city of angels!
Kicking off the nights musical procedures DJ El Ray took to the decks with a bouncy, smiley VerBS giving a rocking performance. VerBS began his hip hop journey spreading wisdom laced lyrics in his church at the ripe old age of 12. Dressed in a wool hat and long sleeves, this undoubtedly hot and happy emcee spoke his lyrics with a certain honesty, straight from the heart.
Skeme was a nice juxtaposition to his fellow hip hopper VerBS – his style much harder, punchier, but with a serious head nodding delivery that demanded attention. Growing up in Inglewood, without a father figure, many of his life lessons were influenced by street living, fuelling an urge to speak about real life through his music – his biggest inspiration.
Finally People Under The Stairs put the cherry on the hip hop cake. These guys are some of the most fluent, fun loving, party people you'll ever have the pleasure of being entertained by. They've performed over a thousand sold out shows on every continent except Antarctica. Fair claim to fame!
When the duo - Thes One & Double K came on stage you could hear the audience roar from hundreds of metres away. The crowd support and love was felt like a tight hug. Calling to the crowd wake up; the intro into their first track began. This was much more than a stage show, it was like holy communion with the mass and individual. With every track they created dialogue, related, got the crowd anticipating and hyped to rock on into the following number – it was sheer magic. Hands were up, cameras flashing, brows sweating and faces beaming. What a winner! A trifecta in fact!
Bravo and big ups to LACMA and MURS. What a sensational night to truly showcase what LA hip hop is all about. Leaving behind the gangster, bling, trick, baller stance, these artists had a clear message to share and their power was most definitely translated Through The Mic.
Through the Mic takes place on the third Thursday of every month through to October. Tickets for LACMA members are $10 and for general admission $15. Running times roughly 7pm-10.30pm. Be prepared, once the live music is done, if you're still up for some entertainment, LACMA opens their museum doors for a night time viewing of selected collections. What more can you ask for?!
Log onto http://www.lacma.org/series/through-the-mic for further information about up and coming acts and to book tickets. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, Blu & Exile, and Nocando are scheduled to play next Thursday September 20th – at this stage tickets are sold out.