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STS and the Gold Rush Tour @ The Blockley.

March 27, 2013

NAsts1Text by Edward Barrenechea. Images by Naveed Ahsan.

It was around 8:p.m. on a cold and lonely Sunday and all I could think about was the Gold Rush Tour at The Blockley.

The scene was thin at first – a few people were scattered around the dark, purple-lit venue waiting for the lineup to begin.

After I drank one cup of Yuengling, the show slowly unraveled as equipment was brought in. More people poured through the doors for the event, which promised a lineup of Mz Lynx, The Wurxs, Asaad, Truck North, Grande Marshall, Reef the Lost Cauze and Sugar Tongue Slim – some of the most creative MCs in Philly.

NAdjafrodjiak01

DJ Afrodjiak

Mz Lynx

Mz Lynx

The Wurxs

The Wurxs

NAasaad01

Asaad

Grande Marshall

Grande Marshall

Truck North

Truck North

Reef The Lost Cauze

Reef The Lost Cauze

Jakk Frost

Jakk Frost

STS

STS

Philadelphia DJ and producer Chaisley Lussier held down the crowd by blending sounds in the form of a soulful amalgamation of Missy Elliot, Snoop Dogg and DJ Premier beats.

As everyone settled into the night, DJ Afrodijiak, labeled a Creative Ambassador by Philly360.com, joined DJ Bear-One on stage and played stand-up to an eager cluster of drunk college kids and rap enthusiasts alike. Although not a comedian by trade, Afrodjiak is a talented producer who recently dropped a mixtape on Valentine’s Day called “Fock Luve.”

DJ Bear-One is also a unique character who described himself on his Myspace page back in 2007 as “the crazy thug hustler,” taken from Broken Language by Smooth Da Hustla. An original gangster with many ribbons in the game, his recent productions with everyone on the Goldrush Tour has made him a lucrative asset to hip hop in the City of Brotherly Love.

Mz Lynx, hailing from North Philadelphia, gave a spectacular performance while the women in the audience cheered relentlessly during her freestyles. Her single “Special One,” which is an ode to the bond of love, was an instant favorite among the fans by the show of hands that waved across the smoke-filled venue.

Suddenly, the male demographic at The Blockley shifted back with the next lineup – The Wurxs stepped quietly in front, almost floating on stage in unison with the smoke. Nonetheless, the Philly duo broke up the tranquility and delivered raw lyrics that matched the intensity from their EP, “2nd Win.”

By now, the crowd had been given a small dose of excitement. One person yelled “Afro,” causing DJ Afrodjiak to compliment on his pronunciation. Another person in the audience caught my utmost attention. Abi Remetz, a twenty-something fan sporting a cherry red sweatshirt, took home the gold as one of the most interesting people at the event.

“Real hip-hop tonight,” Remetz said proudly.

Like the majority of the patrons at The Blockley, he was waiting for Reef. However, this popular artist was still a few moments away.

Next, Asaad took the baton with the slow headbanger “Ain’t Enough Money.” He is known as the rapper who blasphemed two of hip hop’s greatest artists by using a painted image of 2Pac and Notorious B.I.G. in a sexualizing manner as a cover for his single “Boss Status.” While some never had the pleasure to listen to his music, his nonchalant demeanor had made most of the crowd into his followers.

As Asaad finished, a confident Grande Marshall took the next shift. He is a prime example of an artist who I constantly check on Soundcloud for exclusive new joints. As expected, Marshall planned a good evening with tracks like “Lupin III,” which was received by the crowd as a nice blend of soulful melodies and percussions. His appearance on stage gave the audience a small taste of his character.

Next on the list was Truck North, an affiliate of the Legendary Roots Crew and member of the Money Making Jam Boys. His entrance was nothing less than energetic when the horns blew loudly, causing a wave of excitement among the crowd. His freestyles were on point, rhyming over samples from A Tribe Called Quest and Lords of the Underground. Hip-hop connoisseurs around me quickly recognized the tracks that North was rhyming over, singing the actual lyrics from the original artists.

Finally, after about two hours into the show, the audience was ready for one of the major players of the evening.

Reef the Lost Cauze stepped on stage with nothing but a black hoodie, beanie cap and nasty lyrics. He began like everyone else, talking about life and spitting a few bars. Then, he suddenly exploded into the crowd. The amount of energy on Reef was enough to keep anyone awake for hours.

One minute, Reef was on stage. The next minute, he jumped into the crowd during his track “Fuck Rappers,” off his seventh album, “Your Favorite MC.” Everyone went ballistic, chanting “Reef is my favorite emcee!”

He continued his sets with “Problems,” from his album “ A Vicious Cycle,” “The Puzzle,” from his second album, “Invisible Empire,” a cover song from Bob Marley, “If You Feel Loved,” and “Commander in Chief,” from his third album, “Feast or Famine,” all while sweating immensely.

Jakk Frost made a cameo appearance during Reef’s final moment on stage as the Beard Gang General.

After Reef’s spectacular performance, Sugar Tongue Slim (or STS) blessed the crowd with some of his own, ultramodern music. Some of his popular tracks on YouTube are “Make Some Noise” and “Making Moves,” which is currently the theme song of WWE’s tag team The Prime Time Players.

Overall, it was a crazy gathering of Philadelphia hip-hop heads and a crazier lineup of Philly talent.

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