Phranchyze, F. Stokes and Slick Rick
January 10, 2013
Last week I was at Brooklyn Bowl with two dear friends to catch hip hop legend Slick Rick along with openers Phranchyze and F. Stokes. And to be honest it was a thoroughly disappointing show. From being in the crowd and later in a VIP section, the crowd was one of the strangest crowds I had been around in quite some time – considering that we were all seeing a legend, the energy level for most of the crowd seemed way too low, and it struck me as odd. In fact, both openers tried their best to amp the crowd up but nothing they could do seemed to get the crowd all that interested. Whether they jumped and ran around the crowd, had someone piggyback them around the room or a variety of other things, it felt contrived and cliched.
As for particularly memorable moments from the opener – and there weren’t many of note. F. Stokes who was from Chicago, bore a similarity to that Common but without the same level of poetry. He had a track that was about small town life that I couldn’t associate with as a native New Yorker.
And before I forget Phranchyze played a set of fairly stereotypical Southern-styled hip hop. Big beats and big swagger but not a whole lot of substance and very little to distinguish it from anything.
A follower of mine on Twitter mentioned that Slick Rick had been playing with a live band, in a similar fashion to that of the GZA, who had toured with members of Grupo Fantasma last year. However, within a couple of songs I wasn’t impressed with Slick Rick’s backing band – as my friend said to me (and I agreed with it), they sounded like a hip hop wedding band or the type of band that would play at Groove on West 3rd Street. In other words, incredibly cheesy. And because of it some legendary material suffered and suffered greatly. Perhaps worse yet, the legend seemed a bit off, as though he were sick or something. It was a shame because I’ve seen him be better and more energetic.
This guy was the running joke of our night – he kind of looked like dreadlocked Druid at some bizarre ritual.
Slick RIck celebrated his 48th birthday, just the other day and they did something for the occasion.
For these photos and the rest of the photos from this show, check out the Flickr set here: