Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Friday, January 29, 2010

Last Night: Left Fest w/ Souls of Mischief, Hieroglyphics, Crowne Royal, Supernatural, Exile, Alexander Spit

Posted By on Fri, Jan 29, 2010 at 9:39 AM

Page 2 of 2

Crowne Royal
  • Crowne Royal

After DJ and Media Player Classic specialist Exile exchanged rhymes and drum machine mixes, he gave a final shout out "to everyone who died recently: J-Dilla, Mac-Dre, ... but it wouldn't be right if I didn't mention this one guy, the King of Pop." He then burst into a few bars of "Thriller" before handily remixing the Michael Jackson epic.

Up next, Crowne Royal featured the collaboration between Athletic Mic League's Buff1 and legendary DJ Rhettmatic. Buff paced the stage spouting complex poetry and looking like a young Wood Harris ("Avon Barksdale" on HBO's The Wire). "Sometimes I think I'm plagiarizing/ cause the rhymes just come to me like I paid a writer," rapped Buff.


Then the Hieroglyphics Crew took over, beginning with the Chosen Few, an instrument-and-emcee combination that included a baby saxophone and, at one point, ushered in San Rafael's M-Jaf to play a startling violin background as forcefully punctuated as "Bittersweet Symphony."

Had that been all, the show could have been enough. Each successive artist had raised the stakes, the rhymes had been fun and tight, the beats were jolting. But you know how you can walk the crowd at some gigs and just tell everyone is getting laid that night? Thursday, that vibe was missing. The feeling, if not quite boredom, was a kind of restlessness.

Souls of Mischief
  • Souls of Mischief

It wasn't till Souls of Mischief seized the mics that the audience began a swelling movement. The MCs jockeyed in and out of place, almost attacking the front of the stage as their parts interchanged within the verses, an interposition of voices contributing a chorus of dissent. Just as the verbal velocities reached a peak, the beats changed gears to a slow rocking.

"You know what I'm feeling?" Opio asked the crowd. "I'm feeling enough energy, we can step into a time machine!"

As the DJ turned to a melodic sample calling back the early 1990s, SoM's Tejai stepped out and hollered, "We just found out the Raiders and the Niners are in the Super Bowl!"


Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: I went to the rival high school in the same town as Crowne Royal MC Buff1. Their mascot was a River Rat.

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , ,

About The Author

Lars Russell


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"