Underachievers Review

UA and affiliates definitely made it a Thursday night to remember with this one! For a city that brings in rap acts with less frequency than other Midwest venues, Majestic definitely highlighted the fall for Madison’s Hip-Hop heads through this show and has been doing a very good job with rap acts as of recent. A beastly amount of East Coast talent got to rock the stage shaking the crowds and ground from back to front and top to bottom with each feature.

So it’s only appropriate to go in order.

Bodega Bamz

 

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Breaks my heart to say I was only present for the end of Bodega’s set, especially because he was one of the artists whose records I definitely anticipated seeing and hearing. Lesson learned boys, girls, and non-cis identifying individuals: Don’t guess set times based on who you’ve seen in media output more often. = O

Surprisingly enough, I would have guessed  his set to be third to last with Pouya and the Buffet Boyz opening the night, but I’ll get into that below. Anyway for the few tracks I caught from Mr. Bamz, he hands down represented as hard as his boys and him do in the “El Rey” video.  Obviously playing some of the cuts off of his Sidewalk Exec project, Bamz left the audience in the air after a very hopping ending. Good stuff man. Put on for Spanish Harlem and the Afro-Latin@ diaspora with ya Puerto Rican  and Dominican self.


Moving forward:

Kirk Knight

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The Beast Coast 47 crew member came out strong setting the mood with a dark blood moon for atmospheric decor as seen above. Knight’s energy stayed consistent throughout his set, starting off with various boom bap style records like “Check Me in God” off of his Late Night Special Project. Kirk was able to share a few laughs with the audience to show his conversational human side by playing with them and checking in on their energy after each track and responding with a Tony Montana accented “okay” in response. Still, as much as there were 47 fans in the audience, they didn’t rock with him as much as it looked like Kirk was looking for with his beginning tracks.

But he was sure to switch that up with the second half of his set. Getting the audience engaged again with what he said was the last of his chill tracks on stage, Knight commanded the audience to torch their lighters for fallen crew member Capital Steez. In all love, the Majestic was lit with a moment of silence toward the boy Steelo.

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To pick the energy back up, Kirk brought the  Majestic back into Frenzy with double timed trap tracks like “Knight Time”; and there you have it, the crowd that obviously came to jump up and down gave Kirk all their energy roaring the hook “what the fu*% you know about the knight time!?” Additionally, to set the mood for the ladies, a female audience member was brought on stage as a special surprise and awkwardly serenaded in front of everyone for his “One Knight” track. A final highlight of the night was the closing track “Extortion”. With a strong take off, Kirk got through the end of the first verse and had a decent portion of the crowd yelling the hook “Who want war?!”; but, it wasn’t enough for him. He restarted the track demanding more from the audience sending the Majestic into an earthquake. Are rapquakes a thing? Apparently; people got so rowdy that he ran the record again for a grand finale and spectacular finish with Madison fans.


Next up, with what was a surprising place in the set lineup to me:

Pouya and the Buffet Boyz

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Now when I got to the set to surprisingly only catch the end of Bodega’s time, I was very confused because I hadn’t heard of the Miami front man Pouya and his Buffet Boyz before. Why their set time was put second to last confused me at first, but as soon as the rowdyness commenced, I knew exactly what the Majestic or UA was intending, whose ever idea it was,  to get the crowd going. Pouya’s DJ immediately got listeners lit with hyper energy, trap cuts, and a lot of head banging. I had a lot of respect for his energy on stage; later I would decide it was a surprise that he wasn’t rapping himself.

When Pouya and the Boys came out, I was even more confused. I’m not one to judge on looks, but the two main front-men were indeed a unique pair, one just short of 5’6″ with a slim physique and the other contrasting significantly taller and bigger with blonde dreads. I tripped out, but looks don’t matter when it comes to raps. The two got the crowd jumping for what would be an hour of straight moshing and staying in the air 3/4’s of the time. A third man whose name I didn’t get usually backed with adlibs, but also had a few solo verses of his own on certain tracks.

Overall, content was consistent and stayed in the realm of party oriented trap music about youth issues and a trill means to deal with them. I can’t knock’em though. Pouya held his own showing the crowd he could rap in multiple tempos quite distinctly. He even backed up a homie of his from stage (who I at first thought was Bodega) because he got into a brief physical altercation with an audience member while in route to the bar for a drink. Screaming, “Ay! don’t you put no hands on my boy!” He called off the antagonist as well as the security and got his buddy back to stage safely for more partying. All in all, Pouya and the Buffet Boys ended up doing their thing appropriately for an audience that came to rage. They put on for their hometown Miami, and although a full set of trap tracks is not particularly my style, I was genuinely entertained for most of the set.

Last, but not least:


The Underachievers

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With an energy consuming set by Pouya and the Buffet Boys, you’d expect the audience to have been tired by this point in the set. Clearly this was not the case, since the crowd had already been off their feet for three sets straight; they were now conditioned and hungry for Los Underachievers. Entering the arena with the same tempo as that of the previous act, the Brooklyn duo were prepared to give Madison a proper conclusion to the night.

Playing mostly work from their latest project Evermore: The Art of Duality, UA maintained an expected coordination throughout the stage as they did in their past show at the Majestic when they  performed with Flatbush Zombies. Switching back and forth across stage and trading microphone time with their back and forth style verse structure, it could clearly be seen that the two were having fun with it. Showing good energy to the fans, AK shook up with front audience members to keep the love going.

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Of course it wouldn’t be a show unless they brought back some of their most prestige records. A proper response came from the audience when “Herb Shuttles” came on. With a couple of other tracks playing from Indigoism, UA gave the audience a good selection of both old and new material. Once the show came to an end, I was surprised for two reasons. First, the set seemed to go a lot faster than Pouya’s, perhaps because I wasn’t familiar with the Miami collective’s content; but, I actually came to realize that Pouya played a longer set. Why did that happen? Maybe the Underachievers weren’t feeling the crowd or maybe the set time was cut short. I guess we’ll never know. Even after leaving, no type of applaud for an encore came about. I guess the crowd did get tired.

That wasn’t particularly the best thought to leave with, but overall, it was still great to have a gang of East Coast talent in the Midwest. I do look forward to the next act from the east that Majestic brings to Madison.