Live Concert Photography: Digable Planets with Joey Purp at House of Vans 5/18/17
Comprised of Seattle, WA-born Ishmael “Butterfly” Butler, Silver Spring, MD-born Mary Ann “Ladybug Mecca” Viera and Philadelphia, PA-born Craig “Doodlebug” Irving, the members of Digable Planets can trace their origins to when the then-New York-based Butler was interning at New York-based label, Sleeping Bag Records. At the time, Butler used to visit his grandmother in Philadelphia, when he met Irving, who was a member of an Dread Poets Society. With a completed lineup of Butler, Viera and Irving, the trio signed to Pendulum Records in 1992 before relocating to New York and releasing their critically and commercially successful debut full-length 1993 debut Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space), which had their crossover hit “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat),” which peaked at number 15 on the Billboard singles charts, earned gold certification by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.
The trio’s sophomore effort Blowout Comb was a stark sonic and thematic departure from their debut as it made overly political references to the Black Panthers, featured Communist imagery and featured guest spots to Jeru the Damaja, Sulaiman and Gang Starr’s GURU among others before splitting up in 1995 due to “creative differences.” In 2005, the trio briefly reunited and embarked on a reunion tour, which was promptly followed by the release of the Beyond the Spectrum: The Creamy Spy Chronicles compilation which featured previously released material with remixes and B-sides. Between 2009-2011 Butler and Irving toured with a live band across the US, Canada and Europe with a live backing band, the Cosmic Funk Orchestra — and the tour also included frequent tour mates Camp Lo and Butler’s new, current primary project Shabazz Palaces as openers. Interestingly, with that slate of occasional reunion shows, there was a rumored release of a new single and album, which is still highly anticipated.
Last year, the members of Digable Planets went on an extensive reunion tour, which has continued through this year and it included a stop at House of Vans with up-and-coming Chicago, IL-based emcee Joey Purp. Check out photos from the show below.
Born Joey Davis, the Chicago, IL-based, up-and-coming emcee Joey Purp may arguably be best known as a member of Leather Corduroys and Savemoney. With the release of 2016’s iiiDrops, which featured guest spots from Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa and others, Joey Purp received a growing national profile, with Pitchfork listing the mixtape as one of that year’s best new music. He opened the night with a set of bass-heavy singles.