While driving over to The Five Spot, Contra™ commented on the full moon that was on the horizon. It was at that point that we suspected the night had the potential to be magical or disastrous. And it was actually a little bit of both. The Crew disassembled from Voltron form for the last night and actually covered two events. It was at point that I learned I was to be the red cat… literally as I was thrown into video camera duties. Much respect to BK and The SP Agency, because I felt like I would need an arm transplant by the end of the night. But enough about me, on to the next one…
Even though he didn’t show up for his assigned set time & bogarted the stage later on, the night belonged to Grip Plyaz. He’d been floating around the venue all three nights and was on stage with several of the local acts.
GP wasn’t scheduled to be on stage at the time. In fact, he was well over an hour late for his slotted 8-minute set. When he finally arrived, the stage manager and event coordinators tried to preemptively evade an incident and come to some sort of professionally happy medium.
The guy started out extremely unassuming and transformed into a certified rockstar right before our eyes. As soon as the bass dropped for “Fuck Dat Hipster Shit,” the entire stage area was seemingly filled by a mob of people bouncing up and down to the beat. The crowd was up in a tizzy and I swore Grip was going to stage dive at any minute, but it wasn’t meant to be. Or perhaps it was divine intervention, because there was so much energy pent up that the amp blew. I’m 95% sure that amp being blown either A.) kept the stage from collapsing B.) kept a hipster from dying or C.) both. Coming from seemingly out of no where, I have to tip my hat to Grip, who despite his attire, is definitely not a hipster.
It was a high energy night all-around and for people on the actual bill, Hollyweerd takes the cake for top performance. I’d imagine this what George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic looked like when they started out. They had a fog and strobe light, that should’ve made their frantic act come with an epilepsy warning. They also had dancers who were wearing white usher gloves and one of the guys was in a full Boy Scout outfit. Interesting to say the least, but they put on a good show from an energy standpoint. Being so close to the speaker, I had no clue what was being said, but the crowd knew what was going on. From what I could tell though, if you’ve ever listened to them from your computer, you’re not getting the full experience. They were a spectacle to say the least, but my favorite part was when the guy with the dreads — whom was dressed up like Garth, ended the set with an alto sax solo.
The crowd rocker in the face of adversity award goes to Nola Darling. They came out in varsity sweaters and I thought they were gonna be on some Solange Hadley Street-type steez. Next thing you now, both of them are rapping like fellas. Then, Jaq gets a water bottle stuck in her heel and I was sure the calamity was on its way. She tried in vain to get it unstuck while still performing, before finally saying eff it and kept going. I’ve seen rappers just stop the show because they forgot a line or verse, so for her to continue singing and gyrating like nothing was wrong is commendable. Plus their music seemed decent at worst and were both easy on the eyes.
U-N-I made the crowd rock with them. It was bumpy in the beginning, but they managed to get a crowd that was hell bent on leaving to stick around a little while longer. Handing out plastic cups filled with liquor helped loosen the haggard bunch up and they eventually won them over by the time they closed out their set with “Hollywood Hiatus.”
The Cali contingent of El Prez, Jay West, TiRon and Diz Gibran all put on good shows. But Diz & El Prez stood out as their music translated really well to a live performance. Nobody was ready for Rockwell Knuckles however, as he greeted the crowd like he was selling magazines door-to-door, but he had the crowd going after transforming from nice guy to crazy at the drop of the beat to his latest smash “Government Name.”
As for local acts, Nobody Famous and A. Leon Craft stood out. N.F. didn’t have the best show, but he gave the people incentives to check for his product down the line. A. Leon was a Grade -A nut and if he can breakthrough, while this “I’m A Martian” phase is still around, he could do a little something. If not, he has enough charisma to do what he did Saturday night for a few years in anonymity.
As of right now J. Cole is more of a rapper than a performer. Star’s are born, but they’re also made. Dude has the breath control and lyrics to go places, but he can’t ‘just rock back and forth like Jay-Z yet and expect people to be with you. His fans will be cool with that, but he won’t win over new fans in that manner. Bear in mind, that given the choice between seeing Killer Mike and Rakim perform, a packed house full of Hip-Hop heads chose J.Cole. That in itself is a statement. But given the general post-performance consensus, one could say that statement is “We believe in you, sir, now do something great.
All in all, top to bottom, the show was nothing less than fire, leaving everyone bouncing off the walls with energy and positive vibes. The festival couldn’t have ended on a better note; with more promise for the years to come. With very few exceptions, everyone on the bill did their thing, which set this night apart from the other two. There wasn’t really any artist that once they started performing, that made you say “what are they doing up here.” They went from song to song with little fanfare and it helped what was a long night move along at a decent pace.
Many thanks to the entire Perfect Attendance crew. Major salute to J.Cole for taking time out to do the interview with us and for actually checking the site. You have excellent taste, sir. Big up’s to Fred and Mizzle from the LAX Paper Boys for hosting the night and shouting us out on several occasions. And major props to Donny Goines for wearing his TSS T-shirt on Saturday night.