Ghostface Killah and Adrian Younge - The Mayan - 3/28/13
Ghostface Killah with Adrian Younge
Somewhere between a classic film score and an adventurous concept album is where Ghostface Killah and Adrian Younge meet on their upcoming album Twelve Reasons to Die. Inspired by Tarantino and the RZA, the album is heavy in genre specific homages. Mixing Ghostface's lyrics and Younge's instrumentals is an exciting alchemy, and last night the Mayan hosted the first show of the supporting tour.
Promoters Art Dont Sleep had openers including Blu & Exile, Dag Savage, Roc Marciano, The Gaslamp Killer, House Shoes, and Mark Luv. All told, the show was nearly six hours. It went something like this:
6:55pm: The sun sets in my rear view as my car dives into the belly of downtown. Felli Fel is interviewing Lil' Wayne on Power 106 while I've been stuck in traffic. Lil' Wayne doesn't like his new album, he says. He thinks MTV doesn't like him. He also lives in the top of the Hollywood hills where there are "mountain lions." But enough of all that.
8:15pm: Inside the Mayan now. Blu comes out, smooth as the tide, and after a couple of songs he's joined by rapper MED of Stones Throw. The two quickly give a lesson on west coast flow.
8:32pm: People are still settling in, and from the main floor I can see The Gaslamp Killer checking out Blu's set.
8:35pm: Blu comes equipped with guest rappers galore, first Dag Savage grabs the mic, and then before long Aloe Blacc joins the party onstage.
8:47pm: As Blu and his guest crew end their set, Mark Luv reminds us that it's House Shoes' birthday, and we can see him cueing up on the side of the stage. He begins his set and plays a dirty beat that samples "Money" from Pink Floyd.
8:55pm: I find myself in the balcony as Aloe Blacc walks past, looking for his people. He gives hugs to well-wishers, fans, and colleagues.
9:05pm: House Shoes drops a Dilla beat.
9:25pm: The crowd is beginning to thicken. House Shoes plays MF Doom's "Accordion." The energy is building. Mark Luv appears onstage -- "We got Roc Marciano!" Roc enters to the classic soul of Willie Hutch's "I Choose You." He takes the mic, a cup of brown liquor in one hand, the mic in the other.
9:55pm: Roc Marciano ends his set. We can see The Gaslamp Killer behind his fortress of electronics onstage, wagging his hair back and forth, loosening his neck like a boxer before a fight. A couple of girls introduce me to Dag Savage, who's now by the bar watching the show. I tell him that he definitely brought the energy up as soon as he grabbed the mic. Gaslamp's beats start to throb in slowly... space sounds... a slow, dirty grime beat grinds in.
10:30pm: The Gaslamp Killer's energy is infectious. His huge hair bouncing everywhere as he moves back and forth, cutting this, cueing that. It's like he's playing his anger out through his music. Like when you're parents would yell at you, but then tell you it's because they love you. Almost as if he's waiting for you to hate what he does, but he knows full well you'll obey his every beat. He's the strange kid in class, playing acid rock to a head-nod hip-hop crowd and completely selling it.