Sportn' Life can throw a party – let's just get that out of the way. Shows in Seattle that are thrown by a local act or label tend to have one guarantee: the heads will be out and it's likely to get a little rowdy, and the night billed as "Four Star Friday" was no different - but ain't that what makes a good Hip Hop show?
With several Sportn' Life acts opening up the show the real start was with the arrival of Action Buddy – a group that not only was playing jams that any producer would be crazy not to want to chop up but also a group that is making it's return after twenty years away from the industry. Action Buddy merges elements from punk, reggae, funk, rock, Hip Hop and soul into an amazing performance that was filled with energy and most importantly just made you want to dance!
While it would be hard for anyone to follow up the energy packed performance that was Action Buddy, the Physics stepped up and did their best. With their names ringing out lately high expectations had to be in the air, they most certainly were for me. And yet I didn't really pay any attention to them. Yes I was at the bar, but if you can take the stage for thirty minutes and not even capture the attention of someone who was looking forward to hearing you, how can you ever expect to capture the attention of an entire city, let alone the country (Seattle artists have to be thinking outside the 206).
Local celebrity Brainstorm held down the hosting duties and with his partner Bean One on the turntables you knew they had to do something – and something they did with Brain spitting a couple verses from those always enjoyable Dyme Def cuts! And the party was only just getting started…
Grayskul continues to impress with a great stage presence that has been honed by years on the road with Atmosphere and many others. Onry and J were well aware that they were the odd group on the bill and they attacked the issue head on, luckily bangin beats translate to one thing and Grayskul delivered a set that pleased all the long time Oldominon heads in attendance (they appeared out of nowhere and vanished without a trace after Grayskul's set) and at the same time they introduced themselves to an audience that wasn't familiar with 'em.
And then there was one act left and we were all ready for him to make his entrance. With Bean backing him on the ones and twos, and the homie Space their to play hype man D. Black took the stage and did what he does best – got loose! Well actually that was a little later but you get the drift. GMK made a blazing guest appearance only to further emphasis what a problem he will be in the not to distant future (and he makes beats!).
As last call approached D. Black showed no signs of slowing down performing right to the wire and then walking straight into the crowd only to sign autographs and give dap to all the fans. It is often that I hear the bartenders screaming last call, but it is rare that they are screaming "We're closed" moments after the set ends. But there is something rare about an emcee that will give his all on stage and then give the rest of himself to the people.
Orginally posted here on February 2nd, 2008