Show Recap: Blu & Company Rock Brooklyn’s Public Assembly
Photographs by Sean Ryon
Spring showers weren't enough to discourage the crowd this past Wednesday April 10 at Public Assembly. Fans came out to the quaint venue in one of Brooklyn’s trendiest neighborhoods, wet sneakers and all, to enjoy a full line-up of hip-hop purity with California MC Blu. Opening acts Fugitive 9, Adrian Lau and Nemo Achida soothed some of the audience’s suspense while waiting for Blu to hit the stage. All three acts brought an excited vigor to their performances that set the tone for the remainder of the evening's performances.
Although unannounced, ScienZe and Sene - who collectively make up the Stoop Kids - made their way to the stage. The pair flared with chemistry, building off one another’s performance. ScienZe stared intently into the crowd, his arm motioning to his every word for emphasis. Sene’s conviction is instantly noted, every word flowing out of his mouth assuring us it’s the honest truth, a telling of his own experiences. Performing tracks such as Sene's “Brooklyknight” and ScienZe's “Enjoy Tonight,” as well as group cuts like "Suicide Kings," ScienZe and Sene brought a new energy to the room, making a perfect transition into a more bubbly set from TiRon & Ayomari.
Taking a breather from the boom-bap sounds of the night, the California duo open with a track from their newly released EP The Wonderful. TiRon & Ayomari exchange witty remarks between songs, engaging with the crowd as they speak to various people in the audience. The personal element brings a particular ease, no longer making you feel like you’re in a room full of strangers. “This song is dedicated to the women who may not have had a song dedicated to them,” says TiRon before they break into “Her Theme Song,” a fan-favorite from their acclaimed A Sucker For Pumps. Both sitting on the edge of the stage, they continue playing off the element of intimacy.
Shortly after midnight, the host called headliner and XXL Freshman Class of 2009 alum Blu to the stage. His Charlie Brown charm draws you in, glowing with a very comfortable, calm presence. His lack of charismatic appeal may have left a handful disappointed, but true fans already know what to expect, allowing themselves to get lost in the air of his lyrics. Performing tracks from acclaimed efforts like No York and his collaborative debut with producer Exile Below the Heavens, Blu gave an earnest and technically spot-on performance that while not particularly exciting, was nonetheless enjoyable. There's only so much enthusiasm you can have while watching an artist rapping to you from a motionless place on the stage. Luckily for Blu, concert goers aren't looking for anything even slightly riveting, but a chance for intimacy with their favorite artist, and that's exactly what he gave them. - Written by Miss Ls (@MiSSLs)