Thursday, October 22, 2009

Nah Right On Smash CMJ NYC Showcase Concert Recap

via the Village Voice By Zach Baron

Raekwon hit the stage sometime around 2 a.m., only to commence a set more psychodrama than rap show: "My voice fucking shot out on me," is the first thing he says, or rather, gargles. It's painful just listening to him talk, and that's at least half of what he does--for every "C.R.E.A.M.," a heartfelt, wrenching, serrated whisper of an apology to the crowd. "This sh** is hurting me," he whimpers at one point. That the Chef soldiers on through something approximating a full set is both admirable and painful to watch, psychic, emotional, and physical pain not being the thing one expects from a triumphant late-night Raekwon performance.

via Time Out NY by Steve Smith

It was sometimes tough to spot Raekwon on the stage at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, thanks to the approximately 347 photographers, videographers and hangers-on surrounding the Wu-Tang member during Better Recognize, a Wednesday night CMJ showcase presented by hip-hop blogs Nah Right and Onsmash. What you couldn’t miss, though, was the Chef’s hoarse croak as he fought through an undisclosed malady to present his set before a packed house. “Appreciate me cuz I appreciate y’all!” Raekwon shouted as he beat his retreat some 20 minutes after he started.

Not much of a set, maybe, but it was enough to turn the tide after the crowd had booed Atlanta rapper OJ da Juiceman off the stage following a three-song set stuffed with so many samples of his mentor Gucci Mane’s trademark yelp that Gooch might as well have been on stage himself. It was the only genuinely ugly moment during a fast-paced event with a handful of big surprises.

via the New York Times by Jon Caramanica

For a CMJ-heavy crowd of purists, it wasn’t enough. The showcase was sponsored by the prominent hip-hop blogs and, which have emerged as crucial avenues for new talent. But on a bill that also featured the New York eminences grises Raekwon, Styles P and Jadakiss, OJ barely stood a chance. CMJ purports to be about the thrill of discovery, but is often just a reinforcement of received values. The hip-hop internet can be guilty of the same thing, creating a class of listeners who are purportedly open-minded but are actually forming taste free of any physical context, and defending it at any cost.

Read the full reviews here:
Village Voice
Time Out NY
New York Times

See PHOTOS of the show here:
Wire Image

Related post:
OJ da Juiceman Gets Boo'd Offstage At CMJ NYC Showcase

(video courtesy of bigkeefsmallworld & DJ Delz

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