The week leading up to Revelry was jam-packed with music releases from two Madison-based artists. Both artists are members of a spoken-word scholarship program at UW-Madison called First Wave. Lord of the Fly dropped his much-anticipated album “Not Safe For Work” via CATCH WRECK Collective & international street wear brand, Mishka. CRASHprez released a track produced by *hitmayng, titled “Thom Yorke is Black” that continues to gain recognition from numerous blogs and several large artists, including Atmosphere. The outstanding new music combined with the great vibes in the air due to the UW-Madison holiday that is ‘Cinco de Mifflin’ made for quite possibly the best performances that I’ve witnessed from each of these artists (I’ve seen each artist perform countless times). In fact, considering the draw that each of these two First Wavers had (especially compared to the shows before and after), it was surprising that they did not play on the main stage.
Lord of the Fly began his set strongly with “Bitch I Go Pt. 1 FreeStyle (MiAMi FLOW)” straight into the sequel version that isn’t ‘Safe For Work’ “Bitch I Go Pt. 2”. The crowd immediately turned up and it was evident that people were extremely excited to finally see what the Lord planned. It made for an interesting start to the show when a woman who was enjoying an afternoon on the terrace brought a note to the stage and said to the Lord “this is a place for children, stop cussing.” Lord replied by saying he was paid to do the event and that it was out of his control. I’m wondering why the terrace stage was booked for a rap show if the general public was still allowed on the terrace? Oh well, carry on. Transitioning into a meaningful turned-down song titled “Song Abt Nbdy”, Me eN You joined the Lord on what may be my favorite track on the album, “Sippin”. It’s safe to say this song was a crowd pleaser as everybody blissfully sang along, “Sippppiinnnnn myyyy liiiiiiife awayyyyy”.
Lord jumped into the crowd to join some of his most loyal fans on the “Lord of the Fly [Extendo Mix]”. After Lord “talked his shit” as he says on the mini-rant during the second half of the Extendo Mix, *hitmayng seamlessly transitioned Kendrick Lamar’s “Backseat Freestyle” into the sample from one of my favorite tracks off of NSFW titled “All My Life” featuring –nesh. I could not wait to see this song performed live because -nesh has an incredibly beautiful voice. Needless to say, the track was a hit, and the crowd sang along with all three performers as they moved into the performance of “Gold$”, a single with a very unique video released a few days prior to NSFW’s release. The crowd was ready to go nuts one more time as the set was coming to an end, and “Just Sane” featuring Yung Simmie was the perfect track to end the performance. Me and a few of the close homies jumped on stage and jumped around in celebration, including BoatHouse, an incredibly dope producer out of Chicago who is responsible for the beat on “Just Sane” & several other tracks on the album. Overall, Lord of the Fly absolutely shut the stage down and set the bar extremely high for CRASHprez and the rest of the lineup.
CRASHprez’s set began with Amy Alida singing the national anthem, oh so beautifully (Side note: A few weeks back I saw Amy Alida as well as Me eN You [EJ Newble] & -nesh [Hiwot Adilow] perform as members of The BellHops in a jazz ensemble titled “Honey In My Tea” at the Line Breaks festival. With elements of blues, hip-hop and spoken word, the BellHops performed a collage of narratives with themes of survival and womanhood that were extremely relevant and necessary on this UW-Madison campus.) CRASH entered the stage from the audience, draped under an American flag, setting the stage for his agenda-filled set. He immediately began by performing his new single, “Thom Yorke Is Black”. The song’s producer and DJ of both sets, *hitmayng, joined CRASH on stage and got the crowd extremely hyped as everybody sang along, “I’M THE DARK SKINNED THOM YORKE”. At this point the crowd was energetic and ready for CRASH to spit his agenda-filled raps. The set moved onto “VERSACE REMIX” which is CRASH’s conscious take on the over-hyped Drake hit. An alternate title for the anti-conformist track that gives you a better feel for the song’s content is “LOL OMG WOW EXPENSIVE CLOTHING”.
The next few songs were from an EP that CRASHprez and *hitmayng released titled “fear itself.”. The collaborative EP was definitely a success, and it made for a very meaningful set from CRASH. The acapella performance of “Kill Me Dead” was particularly moving, as it became evident that rapping is both a passion and outlet for CRASH. I looked back at the crowd and almost everybody was awe-struck with a dropped jaw while watching whole-hearted realness spew from the prez. The show went on with “Do Somethin’” which was released as a video under the title “Young Black man robbed, shot, lynched in America”. Many people regard the eye-opening visuals as one of the most poignant videos in hip-hop history.
In transition, Lord of the Fly joined the stage for one last track off of NSFW, “Wreckless” which features CRASHprez Defcee. This track was a culmination of the two sets and it was obvious to everybody enjoying an afternoon on the terrace that hip-hop is alive and thriving here in Madison. The final song that CRASH played, “SiLENCiO”, is my favorite song off of “fear itself.” Through a call and response with the audience, “CRASH got the juice! End of Discussion!” it was obvious that there is something special brewing here in madison. The set ended on a moment of honesty & sincerity from CRASH, something along the lines of “rapping is the only thing that has really kept me going lately, thank y’all.”
Support these young, extremely talented artists and show the world what they are missing. Both Lord of the Fly and CRASHprez are members of CATCH WRECK, “A music collective that rly hates genre labels.”
Download Links for la musica that I mentioned: