Recap: LACMA, Through the Mic With Freddie Gibbs, Madlib, Blu & Exile, And Nocando

By | October 11, 2012 at 10:36 am | No comments | Featured Post, Interviews, Recaps | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art brings out all of the lights every night with their display of street lamps on the side of Wilshire Blvd. The 20th of September was no different as the lanterns framed an outdoor stage behind the elements of hip hop. It paired the grit of the street to the works inside of the museum, well those weren’t actually on display during the event, but the thought of them and their value to the community was in the air. The venue would definitely be an ILL spot to screen Exit Through The Gift Shop, but on this night, Through the Mic, presented by the curators at LACMA in cahoot with MURS, brought us Nocando, Fashawn, Blu & Exile, Madlib and Freddie Gibbs.

And that’s straight slammin’… you should already know what to expect from the Baby Face Killa, and the host of the Low End Theory. Now combine that with the Grizzly City’s own head chairman, the duo which had you “Dancing in the Rain” Below the Heavens, and the man that knows the last true whereabouts of Lord Quas, and you got a line-up that’s sick as Pneumonia. And on top of that… it was free, for everyone. Mad props to the people who organized this.

Nocan wrecked shop and represented the Bomb Zombies well with DJ Nobody behind him on the decks. He spit the kind of Hellfyre Club flames you’d expect from the 2007 Scribble Jam Champion. If you’ve never seen him jimmy a lock off the top, catch him live in full effect at the Airliner every Wednesday night off Broadway, unless he’s out on the road representing Project Blow’dien styles worldwide. His new single “Where’s the Money?” should be evidence that Jimmy is anything but a burnout.

Murs held down the hosting duties with the skill of a true Living Legend. It’s fresh to see him constantly elevate hip hop to a higher platform. He’s an elder statesmen in the game and has always found ways to give back to this culture. His collaborative LP with Fashawn, This Generation, dropped a few days shortly after this event.

Speaking of Fash, Fresno’s own made a guest appearance during Blu & Exile’s set and let the crowd know exactly why he’s a phenom with the bar work. Meanwhile Blu was rocking Stussy, hugging the back corner of the stage like a boxer getting ready to come out swinging in a heavyweight title bout. Blu showed and proved with the live performance that night, getting the crowd involved, throwing their peace signs in the air and all that. Exile held down the one’s & twoski’s and then broke it down with a live beat set on the MPC. Definitely give these two their flowers while they can still smell them.

Madlib hit the Pioneer CDJ’s next and spun a set with everything from familiar classics like instrumentals from the Madvillain album to unheard of gems straight from out of his vaults. There was a little beat juggling, some scratches and he definitely kept it eclectic.

Freddie Gibbs arrived behind the scenes while this was going on and posed for some flicks rocking that Pink Dolphin. After sufficiently marinating with his kinfolk, the Gary, Indiana legend took to the stage as Madlib continued to DJ. Gangsta Gibbs greeted the crowd with an enthusiastic “Fuck The Police” and the crowd returned his sentiment. Then Madlib dropped the instrumental for “Menace II Society” off of Freddie’s LRG sponsored mixture, Cold Day In Hell.

Dom Kennedy wasn’t there to rap his verse alongside Gibbs, but that’s all good, the Baby Face Killa got plenty of sure shots in his catalogue to rock the crowd. His project with Madlib, MadGibbs, doesn’t have a release date, but it does have a couple of singles. The crowd went dummy as Freddie Gibbs proved to be maybe the most trillest cat to keep it straight thuggin’ since ‘Pac got his stomach tatted up.

That’s a lofty comparison, but really tho, Gibbs has been crafting away, creating his own lane. Songs like “Shame” are a demonstration of that. BJ the Chicago Kid accompanied Freddie on the LACMA stage in front of the Chris Burden’s Urban Light statue to sing the hook to that song live. BJ has the kind of voice you’d only expect to hear in the 70’s along side all of the swag you’d expect from today in bucket hats and jeans jackets. I was amped to learn he’s laced the MadGibbs project with vocals and harmonization’s on several occasions. Look out for more work between the Chicago Kid and Madlib.

The whole performance was Str8 Killer. Gangsta Gibbs ended the set the same way he came in with a “Fuck the Police.” After burning the stage down and taking countless instagram polaroid flicks with his adoring public, I got the chance to ask Freddie a couple of questions…

ISM: What are three essential things that every goon needs for a night of thugging?

Freddie Gibbs: Three things you need for a night of thugging? You need some weed. You need some bitches and you need some mother fucking… alcohol.

ISM: Allright, yeah… Besides Madlib, what makes you mad Gibbs?

Freddie Gibbs: What makes me mad? Bitches that don’t want to give up the pussy.

ISM: Truuu…What makes Gary, Indiana unlike any other place on the planet man?

Freddie Gibbs: The Moo & Oink and Harrow’s Chicken.

Word up… you heard it here first. Make sure you check out those fine dining locations next time you get a chance to visit Gary, and if you need some more quality hip hop in your life, download Freddie Gibbs’ newest mixtape, Baby Face Killa. It’s a thoroughbred banger for sure. Walk your pit bulls off the leash to it. Know what I’m saying? This was the 5th hip hop event that Through the Mic had put together at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, hopefully there will be many more. Make sure you keep your ears to the street and fall through to LACMA next time it’s going down.

-you know ya man’s DropJewelz.
All photos by Ivan Trejo

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