The old Surreal Ultra Lounge, and whatever it was before that, is now Club In (Seventh and Pacific Avenue). It's newly remodeled and has now hosted a spattering of hip-hop shows. There's a big one coming up Friday, March 30called March Madness Reggae/Rap Fest. The show is being planned by D'Rocc and will feature performances by him, Big Myke from San Jose, and Second Family. (Have ya seen the video for "Curtis Mayfield" yet? Casket-fresh!).
With hip-hop now at Hell's Kitchen, The Harmon Taproom Underground and now Club In on a regular basis, it looks like our music will be fully represented in the downtown region of the Tac'. There's also an all-ages, hip-hop show coming up at Tahoma Tea & Co., for icing on the cake. Details will be in a future column.
I've gone far too long with this column without mentioning any 253 female MCs. My badness! A good place to start is Tacoma's Lady Versatile. Even though Lady V's only 23 she's been honing her lyricism in the public's eye for nearly 10 years. I personally have seen her give gut-wrenching emotional performances at open mics throughout the city. Recently she's matured into a full-on hip-hop artist. "Like" her page on Facebook then go to YouTube and watch "Tear Drops" and "Bad Girl." Lady V spits like a hungry youngster and her love-rap odes are more mature than most. She's a strong woman who does not play into stereotypes - two positive things hip-hop needs more of.
I recently rocked a mic with an MC by the name of Cheeks. We both spit a few tracks for Eeetree at a show in downtown Tacoma. Cheeks' music can be found at cheeks360.bandcamp.com, also like him on Facebook. Cheeks' is a technically superior rhymer, with knowledge, wordplay and an old-school, party-rocking aesthetic that gives him a Golden-Era vibe. When ya hear him throwdown, it's no surprise he has Michigan roots. This is a state that has produced an incredible team of Detroit- and Ann Arbor-area MCs. One cannot come up in this environment and not have skills. Cheeks is another fine example of this.
Next week we'll get into Eeetree, OC Notes, and Second Family.