Thursday, 5 September 2013

Metalloid Lab Productions & DNA double launch party

29th of August was my birthday. In general, I don't celebrate my birthday (pronounced 'I'm broke'). This year was poised to be nothing different. I was home all day, with nothing but wishes from peeps via facebook and twitter to make my day seem a bit different to any other regular day.

However I did have something to look forward to that evening. After attending a workshop held somewhere in Woodstock by veteran producer, Arsenic and MC, Youngsta to give an insight into DNA - the album they were working on, a week before the official launch, I knew I just couldn't miss the event. Well, clumsy me was late for the workshop but I managed to have some chats with both cats separately and got to learn a few things about the album. Having heard the two singles that were released on the same day, the 18th of August (if I'm not mistaken): I'm Broke and Good work with the latter featuring scratches by the legendary DJ Azuhl, I was really amped (for the lack of a better word) and anxious. Both singles leaned heavily towards the Boom Bap side of things. That shouldn't come as a surprise if you know Arsenic. The content, even though relevant, was still nothing that new from the hard-working rhyme-spitter - still Youngsta going on about his work ethic, the response from the fans and the daunting fact of being broke after all that.

So when I got the invite on facebook to the launch, I knew I had to make my way there whatever it took. And it did take quite a lot. But that is a story for my autobiography coming...never mind. So yeah, I made my way there. I got there really late (again). I was however lucky that I had missed none of the performances. I had however missed the DJ sets (and sadly DJ Azuhl's one as well). I was impressed by the turn out too, heads came in their numbers and I spotted a few "celebrities".

Apart from Youngsta, on the line-up was Bonzaya and Andy Mkosi (who are both working on albums with Arsenic and his Metaloid Lab label). The host of the night was Arsenic's partner and spouse, DJ Ruthy Pearl who did quite a great job - no bullshit, just hosting the event, introducing cats and giving an insight into who they were before they hit the stage. Arsenic was on the ones and twos with two turntables and a drum machine. Up first on stage was veteran MC Bonzaya. He did what he always does and that's rapping. I have respect for this cat but my criticism has always been his content-based approach. He pretty much just raps and adds nothing to his sets. His hooks are always rapped and quite wordy thus failing to get stuck on the audiences' heads. But he did say that his music appealed to those who are into lyrics and content which I'm sure it does. Don't get me wrong though, dude is a good MC and he held his own that night.

Right after him was half of MelloVizion, Andy Mkosi otherwise known as AndyLeigh to render her set. She held her own as usual. She also did a great deal of interacting with the audience. Somewhere along her set, she brought her buddy, MC, Supreme Soul to hype her up and dude did exactly just that. Overall she gave a laid back yet solid performance.

After Andy, was the man of the night, Mr 25 mixtapes and 6 EPs himself, and that's none other than Youngsta. I've seen dude perform a couple of times and in none of those times did he come close to giving a lackluster performance. I was really curious to see how him and Arsenic would blend - and blend they did. Arsenic was playing the beats live on a Roland Sp404 with an Akai MPD controller and Young'n kept the crowd captivated with his smooth and at the the same time 'hard' flows. What impressed me more was his lyrical content and his effortless delivery antics. I've always known dude to be cocky but there was not much of that on the night. He was spitting pure sense - a very rare feat in Hip Hop these days. He called out his pals, the Y?Generation to help him out on one joint. Honestly, they didn't bring any mind-blowing features to the set and so did a vocalist he invited to help him on one joint. But overall, dude's performance was worth the cover charge at the door.

In general, the event was a success and I really couldn't locate any flaws (and I tried really hard). The performances were on point, the sound was crisp, the lighting was stellar and the audience was very attentive and responsive. The event did achieve the aim which was to launch Metalloid Lab Productions and the artists they are working with.

 All photos by Sarah Isaacs Photography 

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