Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Hip-Hop takes the stage in ‘Rhyme Fest LA’

Less than a week after young talent Tyler, the Creator, had the legendary producer, Kanye West show up to his carnival and oddly only perform two songs, a Los Angeles hip-hop veteran, 2Mex performed in three different sets under three different acts none of which were him as a solo artist.

Rhyme Fest LA at the Ukrainian Culture Center, right next to LA City College, on Nov. 15 was where those into the real hip-hop should have been because one of the biggest names in the genre’s history, KRS-ONE and Akil the MC, performed.

The evening began with the Self Provoked the MC who is from Sun Valley representing the 818 and feels hip-hop is becoming too soft so he’s been making aggressive music that proves he can school fake mc’s if they ever met in person.

He’s shared stages with other hip-hop legends before, like Wu Tang Clan’s Raekwon the Chef and is inspired and influenced by music from the 1990’s includings outside the West Coast like Cleveland’s “Bone Thugz N Harmony” and Chicago’s “Twista.”

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There were different aspects of the hip-hop culture spread throughout the night such as break dancing B-Boys. Time would feel like it stood still the moment before, KRS-ONE took the stage.

When he stepped into the building he didn’t want to waste one minute with his set. The Bronx born rapper completed a sound check with the crowd while paying homage to fallen Hip-Hop pioneers Run DMC’s Jam Master Jay, Notorious B.I.G., Tupac, and Wu’s ODB.

He tested the audience’s dedication to hip-hop by performing his classics dating back to when he entered the hip-hop world as part of the group, Boogie Down Productions. He took the time to teach the audience some history by freestyling a time line of hip-hop year by year beginning with it’s birth in 1973 to 1986 when KRS entered the scene.

Even more than a quarter century later the rapper performs better than some new acts and he to this day makes music. KRS-ONE sung songs against immigration, “Invader” and detailing a relationship between a man and his weapon, “Nina.”

KRS spreads a message that should be heard beyond the late 80’s and early 90’s generation, he formed the Stop the Violence Movement fueled by the shooting death of one of his fellow group members Scott La Rock.

The night featured a lot of Alex Ocana, an L.A. Rapper that performs under 2Mex who stepped on stage along with lyricist Xololanxinxo as “Of Mexican Descent” and Whittier’s Awol One and finally along with the six member “ Visionaries.”

Group member, DJ Rhettmatic, who grew up in Cerritos was named 2013’s Best DJ by the OC Weekly who recognized him for being a founding member of The World Famous Beat Junkies and noted that he does his thing the first Thursday of every month at The Crosby in Santa Ana.

There was a special short performance from Akil the MC, a member of “Jurassic 5” which broke up in 2007 that has since reformed to perform for festivals such as Indio’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and San Francisco’s Outside Lands.

More legends graced the stage with their musical talents including a few “Living Legends,” Scarub, Luckyiam, and Sunspot Jonz performing the night under the name “The Darkies.”

Before they went on stage Luckyiam and Sunspot Jonz, who came into Hip-Hop as the “Mystik Journeymen,” recited lines for their new song while Scarub had his verse memorized.

They performed songs from their “Living Legends” records such as “Rabbit Hole,” and “After Hours,” while also doing their solo work like Lucky’s “Epiphany” off his album “Time to Get Lucky” released earlier this  year.

The venue for the concert seemed ironic since it would seem that a culture center wouldn’t be the right place to hold a rap concert but as the Peruvian rapper Self Provoked’s lyrics say “Don’t judge the book by the cover or the rap by his voice.”KRS-ONE, who is of Jamaican descent, told all the only way to cleanse your soul is to respect their ancestors, a message suitable for more than a cultural center

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David Flores, Reporter

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