Last Night: Kool A.D., Fat Tony & Chingo Bling at Fitzgerald's
Call it Underground Rap, or Alt-Rap, or Underground Alt-Rap, but whatever the fuck you call it, these guys won't really care. They are making music, spitting rhymes, touring the country, and having the time of their lives doing it, and that's the only real consolation they need.
Categories are invented and implemented by some guy wearing a suit, sitting in an office, who will never ever set foot in a music venue unless it's in a private suite far above us common folk. Luckily, the fans showed up in force at Fitz, on a Tuesday night no less, ready to hear good music and disregard the bullshit.
In your face, music industry!
The proverbial "they" in this case is Kool A.D. of the NYC-Based rap crew Das Racist, hometown boys Fat Tony and Tom Cruz, and the Ghetto Vaquero Chingo Bling. Each of them is currently going through a creative growth, elevating their talent, style, and fan base in the process.
Kool A.D. is strutting his solo stuff with two recently released mixtapes called The Palm Wine Drinkard and 51. Fat Tony and Tom Cruze are pushing the album Double Dragon, a frantic party record that was well received on their recent tour of the country.
Chingo Bling has traded in his cowboy hat and boots for streetwear, making danceable beats and club raps at a frenetic pace, booking shows from San Francisco to Detroit, Kentucky and Oklahoma, on a mission to find his old fans and add new ones.
Franchise n Yung
In other words, these muthafuckas be grindin!
The artist lineup was stacked Tuesday, with opening sets churned in by Hollywood FLOSS, DJs iPod Ammo and Third World TV, and interesting rap duo Franchise n Yung, who opened by rapping over everyone's favorite song of heartbreak, Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know."
I told myself that I would barf if I ever heard that song again, but this was surprisingly good. The melding of indie music and rap can be hit or miss at times, and this hit.
The other surprise of the night was provided by young upstart Amber London. Decked out in a Chicago Bulls jersey, skinny jeans and Jordans, this 20-year-old rapper confidently knocked out lines like "Watch me do No. 2, take a dump on your shit" and "Wake up early in the morning, smoke a sweet."
Amber London pulls no punches when she raps.
She rapped from a dark, raw place, something that could be attributed to her upbringing in Southwest Houston. I look forward to hear more from her in the future.