Now, what you hear is not a test—I'm rappin' to the beat/ And me, the groove, and my friends are gonna try to move your feet/ See, I am Wonder Mike, and I'd like to say hello/ To the black, to the white, the red and the brown/ The purple and yellow/ But first, I gotta bang bang the boogie to the boogie—“Rapper's Delight,” by the Sugarhill Gang, a work often cited as one of the first authentic hip-hop songs in rocanrol history.
With all the necessary ingredients to conquer America in place—from an alluring beat to an all-inclusive musical philosophy—hip-hop came into its own and began to infiltrate American pop music. Within 15 years, the battle was over. Hip-hop nation ruled, distilling itself into a fine art and giving rockers an opportunity to revisit their work and begin innovating, just to keep up. As of 2016, things have pretty much worked themselves out, cross-fertilization became the key to good music, period. This week's concert previews are set on demonstrating that awesome outcome, but you better go check them out in person, just to make sure.
The Sugarhill Gang: “Rapper’s Delight”
Speaking of intense cross-fertilization, Launchpad (618 Central SW) presents the local iteration of the Summer Sickness Tour 2016. That's the tour that features Mesa, Ariz. punkers Authority Zero, as well Burque's rockin' reggae unit TheRiddims and the deeply R&B influenced ensemble known as Citizens of Tape City. Authority Zero have been stalwarts of the scene in Phoenix for nigh on 20 years. In that time the group has seen a slew of line-up changes, but their latest version is still edgy, sun-soaked stuff imbued with equal parts of anarchy and melodious outrage. The Riddims are a sextet (Myles Chavez, vocal/lead guitar; Chris Cruz, drums; Donovan Ortiz, rhythm guitar; Petey Gabaldon, keyboards/percussion; Nicolas Chavez, saxophones) who use the confluence of roots music and high desert rock to create a sound that grooves with grunge. Citizens of Tape City include the cray yet creamy crooning of vocalist Josef Scott. This 13+ example of how different genres can work together for the benefit of humankind costs only $10; doors are a 7pm and the sick sickness goes into effect at about 7:30pm.
G-Eazy and Logic, two millennial rappers with beautifully disturbing back stories that respectively include a parental suicide and an in-depth relationship with familial cocaine abuse, perform their introspective, rhythmically complex and overall heady versions of hip-hop at Isleta Amphitheater (5601 University NE) on Friday, July 1, as part of the Endless Summer Tour. They're co-headlining this series of essential events while Yo Gotti, a dude famous for singles like “King Shit” and “Cold Blood” begins the night’s proceedings. G-Eazy's album These Things Happen went to the top of the charts on the strength of tuneage like “Lotta That,” which featured A$AP Ferg, while Logic made his name through a mixtape called Young Sinatra: Undeniable, a plaintive recording that documented the vida loca Logic endured on his way toward expressive, raptastic redemption. Together or apart these three artists speak to the powerful, sometimes painful process that produces heart-pounding hip-hop. Tickets range in price from $62-677, there aren't any age restrictions and the sounds begin seeping from the stacks at about 6:30pm.
Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW) has got a helluva bill scheduled for Saturday, July 2. That's when a CD release party illuminating local funkmeisters MoonHat, Bandwidth No Name and Pata d’ Perro comes together to groove grandly and with gravitas. MoonHat is a sextet that happens to feature long-time Burque rock drummer Ernesto “Zoom” Crespin (Splinter Fish) among a group of innovative veterans including band leader and instrumental wizard Kevin “Kookie” Jones. Their new CD is titled Crash! Boom! Bang!. Their recordings, produced by longtime Burque sound man Jesse Ehrenberg are among the ginchiest available for lovers of fantastic funk. Bandwidth No Name is an Albuquerque-based seven-piece outfit that fuses hip-hop, rock and reggae into an intelligently intricate yet danceable discourse that really defies description but is memorable for playful percussion, swinging bass-lines and the furious flow of emcees Nick FuriouStylz and Epic Beats. Bandwidth No Name uses its influence in the scene to spread a message of global community imbued with deep thoughts and even deeper rhythms. Pata D' Perro opens. This 21+ multi-genre feast for the ears is designed for dancing. It costs only $5 and will be served beginning at 9pm.
Team America Fest 2016 takes place at the Co-Op (415 Central NW) on Sunday, July 3. A testament to all that is fine and fun in American rocanrol, the musical melange features performances by a slew of alternative, hard rock and metal bands, both local and touring. Included in this onslaught of freedom, forgiveness and fundamentally rocked out noise are Orange County metalcore maniacs Burn Halo and local new-age thrash metal monsters Blinddryve—who happen to feature the slithery, spell-bound guitar work of Frankee Romero. There's a slew of other Burque rock bands playing, including Throw the Temple, Fade the Sun, So Say We All and Port Alice. It's only 10 bucks to get into an all-day celebration of really loud American musical musings; like our great country itself, this is an all-ages dealio. It begins at 3pm.
If the aforementioned proves to get one unconditionally psyched for the pure American holiday that follows, then do me a favor and check out some homegrown jams. A reader's best option for this sort of celebratory situation involves checking out the Village of Los Lunas Battle of the Bands. It'll be held on Monday, July 4, at Daniel Fernandez Park (1103 Highway 314, Los Lunas). The battle will happen on stage two of the said green space, in the midst of much patriotic pride. While there, check out Los Lunas hip-hop heroes Blunt Trama, metalcore masters Kairos, ska scenesters A Fort-Knight, alt-rockers Nonpaerelle (featuring the winsome vocals of Katelin Jackson) and prog metal proponents Patema. It's free, meant for all ages and could be a proper introduction to the start of the coming age. This sonic war starts at 5pm.