All the “real” hip hop heads in OC came out on a Tuesday night to see two of the westcoast’s most lyrically thriving underground emcees, Blu & M.E.D. (Medaphoar).
And if you’re asking Blu who? M.E.D. who? Then you just ain’t up to proper knowledgeable par on this multifaceted hip hop shit.
But hold up… I won’t just leave you to do the research all by yourself, but please do yourself the favor of brushing up on these two artists, if you have yet to.
Most of us colored our world BLU when the young emcee released a classic gem alongside producer/deejay Exile, together they brought us Below The Heavens. As for M.E.D. you may know him through the reputable Stones Throw imprint.
M.E.D. stepped foot on the Constellation Room stage within the Observatory OC venue very proper like, energy level high and ready. He performed crowd favorites such as “Where I’m From”, “Can’t Hold On”, “So Real”, and “Blaxican” among others. He managed to keep the atmosphere in the room on a real easy flowing, hip-hop-souled out tip.
But As for Blu, I can’t honestly say his performance was as smooth going.
When Blu stepped on stage the crowd welcomed him with much love. It’s almost needless to say that the people present in the room were primarily there in support and admiration for Blu. After all, the now 31 year old emcee has earned that respect with his penmanship, however I’d beg to differ the respect live on the mic.
Blu stuck strictly to performing cuts off his 7th and most recent album Good To Be Home. Of course fans were ecstatic about it, being Blu’s most favorable release since Below The Heavens- however that is not matter I’d like to discuss.
There was an unsteady balance in energy throughout the performance. At points the crowd was amped up and Blu wasn’t, at times vice versa, and then there was those instances where things ran in correlation.
I understand this happens to every artist at some point, at every show. However, the Constellation room which holds about 350 people, offers a very intimate and close setting between the fan and artist, this plays a crucial role- it’s so easy to notice the faults in the performances that come from both the crowd and the artist.
For one, I believe the artist is mostly responsible for keeping their audiences’ full attention on high and I wasn’t so pleased with Blu’s ability to do that. A few fans began leaving about half way into his set. This could have been one of two things, either they were as disappointing as I was that he wasn’t touching any of his past material or the fact that he mostly stood on the right side of the stage starring up to the ceiling reciting his verses as if in full-focus trying to keep himself on point. It didn’t seem to work so effectively because he managed to still fumble a few.
You know, there’s a downside to being a lyrical emcee of the caliber such as the one which is Blu. At least speaking for myself, I have an expectation as a fan. I want the excellence that I hear on track bumping out of my speakers to be matched with a quality live deliverance. I don’t want to see the crowd being more enthusiastic to be there than the artist. I don’t want to see the same with the roles reversed either.
The audience feeds off the artist and the artist should feed off of them and if at some point the audience lacks, as a artist you are entitled and have full power to check them on that- after all, they’re here to see you!
Remember a couple years back where Blu made hip hop headlines about being drunk on stage and delivering a horrible performance consisting of outbursts and not even being able to recite and recall his own raps? Well, this wasn’t exactly that but it’s definitely something you recall when you see him not being fully engaged in his own show.
I admire Blu as a artist, but to me his performance was a bit weak. I feel as though the show thrived more-so because of the acclaim Blu has behind his name and skills within hip hop. I’d like to see Blu grow and match his stage presence with the very much respected presence he’s acquired within his music alone.
Overall, I’m sure fans left content seeing one of their favorite emcees live and getting their merchandise signed for which he took time to do. He even mingled with the crowd throughout M.E.D.’s set which allowed a lot of them to snap a few shots by his side. Tell me fans wouldn’t leave happy about that… at the end of the day that’s all that really matters to most, all the other details become meaningless.