Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
The state's premier alternative weekly continues to support wholeheartedly, this time from the pen of new local music guru Chris Conti. From the February 10, 2009 issue, our first cover story:
Poorly Drawn People are ready to slay in '09
By CHRIS CONTI | February 10, 2009
This could be a defining year for the revered Providence-based hip-hop collective Poorly Drawn People. Or not. Check out this post from lyrical frontman Storm Davis at poorlydrawnpeople.blogspot.com: "It's either going to be a beautiful year or a beautiful disaster. If nothing else it will certainly be a year to watch. We will either blow the roof off of 2009 or it will cave in upon us, and you can come visit the rubble and reminisce in the years to come." Poorly Drawn People were forced to cancel a New Year's Eve gig at Local 121 thanks to inclement weather, but bounced back a few weeks ago at a packed Jerky's, opening for veteran wordsmith Apathy. PDP closed out '08 with their second mixtape, Shoot For the Stars, Hit the Ceiling, the official follow-up to '07's Nothing Stays Gold. PDP resident emcees Dox, Reason, and Storm Davis bob and weave seamlessly atop beats provided by longtime 'RIU turntablist DJ Sterbyrock and in-house producer Entity. The result is 80 minutes of hip-hop sure to satisfy indie-hipster backpackers, aging suburbanite rap fans, and street-corner solicitors alike. Storm in particular sounds more feisty and hungrier than ever since his acclaimed 2006 solo debut Kegstand Poetry for the Recovering Alcoholic, with a vocal inflection somewhere between Everlast and Group Home's Lil Dap.
PDP will return to Local 121 on Valentine's Day in what Davis dubbed "The Billy Ray Valentine's Day Celebration," with family tree cohorts Labeless Illtelligence supporting. It's fun to shoot the shit with a fellow ol-skool fiend like Davis, and one track in particular on Shoot For the Stars, "No Interruptions," bombarded me with goose bumps. Those in-the-know may recognize the sample from "Somethin' New" by an obscure Golden Era emcee named Grand Daddy IU, a Hempstead, NY rapper with a molasses flow who released his debut album Smooth Assassin on Cold Chillin' Records, then home to Juice Crew heavyweights Kool G Rap G Rap, Master Ace, and Big Daddy Kane. I caught up with Storm and asked him what differentiates a Poorly Drawn People performance from the typical rap show.
"Energy — above all else," Davis said. "Our mission is to have a good time on stage, and we invite the people to join in. Plus, if you pack the place with enough ex-girlfriends, it creates a palpable tension that could develop into chaos at any moment.
"The Living Room was definitely our favorite spot in Providence, and right now we're still trying to find our footing in a world without it," Davis said. "We've done really well in Brooklyn and Baltimore, and the crowds are definitely more responsive on the road at this point. Providence is rightfully sick of us to a degree, and it seems they'd like us to go make a name for ourselves nationally or be done with our little charade."
I asked if the passion for hip-hop music remained a few decades after guys like Grand Daddy IU helped pave the way for underground rap music. "That passion for the music other people create has faded from that 'fanboy fever' that you feel when you first discover it, but not the passion for actually making the music," Davis said. "I feel like there comes a time when it's no longer your job to be inspired by albums, but to try and make the albums that inspire other people."
Storm confirmed a March release for the new Poorly Drawn People EP Motion Not Emotion, followed by a solo platter (produced by Dox) titled Robot Rock & Necktie Blues, and Reason's new solo album, Deconstructing Passive, should arrive this summer.
POORLY DRAWN PEOPLE | LABELESS ILLTELLIGENCE | AK SLAUGHTER | DIRTY DURDIE | Local 121, 121 Washington Street, Providence | February 14 at 10 pm | 21+ | $5
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Members of the lonely hearts club and blissfully involved hip hop couples alike are encouraged to spend the after-dinner/before babymakin' hours of their hearts & flowers day at Local 121, for a special Valentine's twist on the monthly old school night from Dox & DJ Save1.
The usual celebration of all beats 80s and 90s is peppered with performances by Baltimore's AK Slaughter and Labeless Illtelligence homies Dirty Durdie, plus special appearances by Labeless' Cas Uno & Esh the Monolith, as well as Reason & Storm Davis of PDP. And its only five bucks.
Come give us the love we're so sorely missing in our lives on this, the most Hallmark of holidays. No Vermont teddy bears required for entrance.
Saturday February 14, 2009
DOX & DJ SAVE ONE present:
BILLY RAY VALENTINE'S DAY CELEBRATION
with performances by
and appearances by
CAS UNO & ESH THE MONOLITH
REASON & STORM DAVIS
121 Washington St
21+ / $5 / 11pm - 2am