dead prez at The Oriental Theatre, 1/18/13
Tom Murphy Bianca Mikhan at the Oriental Theater
Bianca Mikahn, a veteran of Slam Nuba, is an MC who is clearly more informed than most. You have to admire anybody who can reference Stockholm Syndrome (though in this case, reversed, "Syndrome Stockholm") in a song and make it poetic. At one point during her set, she commented that she was a weirdo. But the way she embraced being a so-called weirdo made it not seem at all weird, and in one of the songs, she deftly, and correctly, pointed out that "There's no such thing as normal."
Tom Murphy DJ Cavem Moetavation at the Oriental Theater
Before DJ Cavem's set -- or in conjunction with the beginning of it -- Jai Harris performed after a bit from the film Boyz n the Hood, where Laurence Fishburne's character says, "Any fool with a dick can make a baby, but only a real man can raise his children." Cavem doesn't just take the impulses requisite for a "conscious artist" to the next level. Both his songs and what he advocates give his listeners not just good music but music with practical advice about eating healthy and pursuing an active lifestyle as the foundation of a healthy, productive life.
Cavem's energetic and diverse performance incorporated guests such as 2MX2, Harris of course, Bianca Mikahn, a gifted R&B vocalist named Janae and Soul Rebel, the son of local hip-hop luminary Jeff Campbell (aka Apostle). In one song, Cavem gave a shout out to Qknox for a beat -- easily discernible with the jazz inflections that is the signature of Qknox's beats.
Tom Murphy Lucifury at The Oriental Theater
Mid set, Cavem brought Theo "Lucifury" Williams to perform some poetry. First he joked about him knowing what we were thinking -- that he was the love child of DMX and another hip-hop celebrity whose name got drowned out a bit by laughter from the crowd. Then he performed a fake news item imitating the voice of Barack Obama talking about things in a way Obama never would but it was amusing in the way that those fake news items Public Enemy used on its albums could be.
Bias: First heard "Animal In Man" in 2000 because a co-worker was listening to it. Been a fan of dead prez since.
Random Detail: Ran into Doris Brown (formerly of the Haircut) at the show.
By the Way: dead prez has a deluxe edition of its latest album, Information Age, which we were told includes five new songs and is coming out on January 29.