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Old 04-14-2004, 03:28 AM   #1
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Very high quality hip hop!

Last night, in lieu of studying for the 2 exams I had today, I travelled to Toronto, and the Kool Haus to witness the Quannum collective putting on a mad, mad show.

Quannum is an underground hip hop record lable, and my favourite one at that. At least for this show, Quannum consisted of: Blackalicious (Gift of Gab produced by Chief Xcel), Latyrx (Lyrics Born, Lateef the Truthspeaker), Lifesavas (Vursatyl, Jumbo the Garbageman), plus solo performances in various capacities by most of those involved, and other combinations of the same people like the Maroons (Lateef the Truthspeaker produced by Chief Xcel), and then Joyo Velarde and some cool dude on back up vocals, plus the DJs who were the backbone of the show: DJ Shadow (among his toys was the only DVD turntable in the world right now), Cheif Xcel, DJ D-Sharp, and some other dude whose name I cannot recall. Basically it's a big happy family all working together in different capacities. They presented it that way too... rather than each artist playing a set, after a short DJ intro by D-Sharp it was a free for all as the different emcees came on and off stage, constantly pounding off song after song of glorious, mostly very upbeat, hip hop for three hours straight. Quannum, which used to be called Solesides, have been purveyors of quality hip-hop since 1992, and we were constantly reminded that this (well the tour anyway) was the first time they've all appeared live on stage together. That is indeed reason to cheer.

Lyrics Born rocked that show, I think. He was totally tight, had such a great lyrical delivery, and just so fun to watch him bobbing around. I thought he seemed to be having an inordinant amount of fun goofing around with Joyo Velarde.. and I just read that they are in cahoots romantically.. which explains all the giggling. Gab was awesome, but got a little muddled and was sometimes a little hard to understand... mostly because he was rapping faster than the speed of sound. He did alphabet aerobics perhaps even faster than the recorded version, but overall he didn't have quite the same feeling as he does on record. I also was reaaally impressed with Lifesavas.. They rocked! I didn't get into their album too much before, but they really knew how to move the crowd, and now i've been listening to the album and loving it, it was super cool when Vursatyl chatted with a prerecorded version of himself on the video screens during 'hellohihey'. All in all everybody was great. Lateef looked kinda like he wouldn't be out of place in a band like Staind... except that he has creative spirit and is an awesome lyricist, so big difference there.

I gotta say, though, I got a bit sick of the pandering for crowd noise.. I guess it's sort of the 'hip hop thing', but they coulda kept that to more of a minimum for great effect. I was cheering so much I was short of breath and hardly able to cheer anymore anyway, so when that wasn't enough I got a little cranky. It feels much better to cheer when things are awesome and great (which they were) rather than because the mcs are asking us to constantly. I guess I'm still getting used to this type of sorta quiet crowds.. the first concerts I went to were the floor of U2 shows.. and at those the crowd is always so insane there's really nothing the band could say to possibly change that. I wish everyone was like that all the time. Or at least while at concerts.

Kind of shitty they decided to not let me bring my digital camera into the show.. I didn't bring it to the ninjatune show at kool haus last month cause i heard they'd probably take it away, but they didn't give me any trouble so i figured this time it'd be clear sailing. Not so though. At least I got my newly bought Spectrum CD signed by Lyrics Born, Vursatyl, and Gift of Gab who were out chattin with fans after the show.. that was quite awesome! And as the night wound down I had all sorts quannum tunes raging through my head for a really long time, and now i'm listening to 'em in a constant sort of nature. I'd quite like to go back to the show right now.. and that's the mark of a good time. Wish I had a setlist though, cause while I recognized most of the songs, I didn't know which ones they all were.
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Old 04-14-2004, 04:20 PM   #2
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4th Dimensional Rocketships is set to release on May 11th!

I thought I read somewhere on the Internet that Quannum Collective is coming out with another family compilation... a la Quannum Spectrum and Solesides' Greatest Bumps... Is this true? or was I imagining things?

-zoefoe
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Old 04-14-2004, 04:42 PM   #3
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I've read that online, too.. I'm not sure though. Gab didn't mention it in the upcoming release schedule that he informed everyone of after the show so I'm not really sure. I'd love to see one though.. so hopefully!

The releases that are coming up, beyond 4th dimensional rocketships (which has been widely available online for a long time unsurprisingly) is new Blackalicious in early 05, and the Maroons album in September. And DJ Shadow DVD pretty soon I think, too.
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