Presented by Digiwaxx, The Bloom Effect and Miz Metro and hosted by Canada’s own emcee Eternia, CMJ’s Official International Hip Hop Showcase appeared at 92Y|Tribeca last Thursday night (October 21st), with a talented lineup of artists from around the world.
Opening the show was Philemon, a suave rapper from France, who freestyled to the beats of DJ Mikey Fresh in French and English; but who is also the son of a famous Congolese singer. Second to the mic was Erin Barra, a Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter who fuses old school hip hop and R&B (think: Salt n Pepa and Mary J. Blige covers) with new school electro funk sensibilities. Sagol 59, also known as the Godfather of Israeli hip hop, came to the stage with five album releases under his belt, a stage presence that made you think –and he flew in from Israel just for CMJ.
Midway through the show, the energy level kept on rising; and bringing more stage presence was dub emcee, CherryL. Hailing from St. Lucia, the dancehall singer had the audience rocking and swaying to his upbeat rhythms and fun personality.
Though it was hard to play favorites because so much talent graced the stage…even Eternia rocked the mic for a minute; but the baby of the bunch, 17-year old LidoLido, essentially had the crowd in the palm of his hands. Representing Norway, the kid has all the makings of a young rap star: swag, flow, energy, and production skills. Obviously I’m not the first to notice because the Norwegian rapper has opened for Snoop, Mos Def and Talib Kweli.
Closing out the show was the BABcollective (Bad Ass B*tches) featuring the eclectic performance styling of Miz Metro, FeliciaCruz, Adrienne Mack-Davis and Erin Barra with special guest Oveous (poet, emcee and five-time winner of Amateur Night at the Apollo); and officially ending the night on a grimy note was DJ Logan Sama out of the UK. Sometimes dubstep gets a bad rap for whatever reason; nonetheless Logan did his thing despite an empty dance floor.