Thursday, November 20, 2014

4 generations of hip hop: clas/sick at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts 11/8/02014

The energy in this room is incredible.

We started with turntables and have moved to live mcs and a band.

The couple in front of me is in their 40s dancing with each other like they are back in college. Ain't nothin' but a G thing by Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre is on and a solo hip hop dancer is on stage with a gorgeous copper afro.
Crazy that even though I am not the biggest hiphop fan, I remember how seminal this music was. It changed house parties. It invited more folks to the dance floor with its hypnotizing hooks. The "head bob" was the dance move all men had to master.

The head bob distinguished East Coast youth from West Coast youth in America. East Coast head bobs emphasized the up motion with the head, emphasizing the "What's up" gesture. West Coast head bob emphasized the down motion; the chin pulled to the ground, grounded to the beat.
Next up is a tribute to Wu Tang Clan. Violins, upright bass, grand piano, conductor, and soprano on stage along with the mcs. Definitely a wild take on what was already an edgy art form in the early 90s.

This is a throwback to pre-corporate hiphop.

I would love for more of today's artists to genre bend like this and push the edge of their music.

Arrangements like this remind me of why I was drawn to the violin. It is an instrument with so many voices: like me. It can be elegant, driving, disquieting, soothing...

Oh wow...they just started dropping "Cash Rules Everything Around Me (C.R.E.A.M.)."
The crowd throws the chorus back at the MCs.

I stand like an anthropologist, surveying the vibe, entranced by the hip hop clarinet that just debuted on stage.  The solo dancer is a thick dude the color of deep amber, dressed in black, glowing with sweat and pumping his body; he has become percussion.

Four generations of hip hop are here. It reminds me of salsa. The dance floor and stage are for all called to move. Parents bounce babies on their laps, 20 somethings oscillate impossibly, the 40 somethings in suit jackets maintain a grounded groove.

DJ is up y'all. Taking off my reviewer hat and getting my dance on.

This event is dope. Thank you, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

The boricua is outtie to get her dance on...

No comments: