Despite all the local and national attention Oakland’s “Best Duo Ever” Main Attrakionz has been receiving lately, the Independent was less populated than I expected last Tuesday night. It was an appreciative bunch, however, with a handful of bloggers and collaborators joining fans to show the act love.
There’s something strange and wonderful happening in independent hip-hop these days – rappers, producers, managers, and friends from an array of backgrounds and styles have formed a diverse and tight-knit circle via the Internet, and a family vibe was apparent at Tuesday’s show.
Cloud rappers Main Attrakionz came out the gate with crazy energy. MondreMAN wore a flannel (with tag on), Super Mario t-shirt, and fuzzy white beanie. Squadda B was in head-to-toe sweats. Oddly enough, Main Attrakionz’ manager Walkmaster Flex took on the role of hype-man for the evening.
I exchanged knowing glances and smiles with James Laurence of Friendzone during the dreamy, sedated, Friendzone-produced “Chuch.” Even without the verse from Detroit, Mich.’s Danny Brown, “Cloud Skatin’” from Blackberry Ku$h was a personal highlight. The set also featured a cameo from one of my favorite up-and-comers and Green Ova family member, Shady Blaze, who showed up to throw down on “Hood Nigga.” Though the turnout was lacking, those in attendance looked thoroughly impressed (and pretty high).
I’d been listening to some of headliner G-Side’s melodic hip-hop in the weeks prior to the show, but I consider Tuesday’s set my first proper introduction to the Huntsville, Ala., duo. ST 2 Lettaz and Yung Clova have been rapping together for over a decade, and this pair has amazing chemistry and is flat-out great at rapping. The crowd filled out and got moving for G-Side’s highly animated set, which featured vocalist Joi Tiffany, lots of weed, and an encore. By the end of the night, I was a full-fledged fan of the sweat-drenched Southern duo.
All photos by Diego Gamez.