photo: Julian Murray
On Dec. 7 Danksquad put it down for a sold out crowd of hip hop heads at Urban Lounge—all eager to see some of hip hop's living legends and possible future legends. Los Raka's took the stage first and began their set. These dudes were pretty sick despite a language barrier. Over half of their tracks were spit in Spanish or Brazilian, but the crowd didn't seem to mind. The night was early and everyone was getting their drink on even though the majority of the guap had work or other priorities in the morning—gotta love a mid-week drunk sesh! This was Los Raka's first tour ever and from what I saw I think these two may be on to something. They had good presence, energy, and the crowd responded to them despite the inability to comprehend what they were saying. They got a rhythm like a time bomb and the crowd wanted to explode. Check them out on their myspace page.
Eligh was up next and stepped to the mic and spit some of his traditional words of wisdom. His tracks always seem to tell his fans about the items of higher importance in life—fatherhood, overcoming obstacles, dealing with loss—all conveyed with his doubled up delivery. His style is one that has been appreciated in the underground hip hop scene for years, and he has been collaborated with many other heads in the scene. Grouch and Eligh have toured together for years now and have been steadily stacking work like a Mormon family playing Jenga, only way more entertaining. The two even played a handful of tracks together prior to the Grouch's solo set.
Before any of that went down, The Truth (A.K.A. Brother Ali) did a mash-up type set with some of his older tracks like “Bad Mu'Fucka” and “Rain Water” followed by a couple tracks off of his new album Us, which came out 2009. This albino is one of the sickest emcees on Rhymesayers and the new album continues to convey his skills. Keep killin it Ali and stay outta the sun my dude.
Finally the good ol' Grouch. The “How the Grouch Stole Christmas Tour,” ended in Salt Lake with a bang. Eligh and the Grouch did their set playing tracks that they had stacked in their collaborative careers that continued to not disappoint. The mob sized crowd continued to stay in the palm of Grouch's hands for the remainder of the night. The Grouch ended his set around 1 a.m, but I'm sure that if Urban would have allowed it, the party could have gone all night. Big ups too all the artists, Urban Lounge, Danksquad and the ever growing Salt Lake underground fan base.