Last night, Hot 97 hosted their weekly showcase, Who’s Next? live at Sounds of Brazil in the Lower East Side, bringing to the stage some of the most promising local, underground artists throughout New York City, all tunes spun by DJ Juanyto. The room was practically packed to capacity even before special guest host Shani Kulture introduced the first performer. Commencing the showcase was rap duo Weekend Money (W$), comprised of NYC/Philly MC Ne$$ (member of A-Alikes) and Brooklyn by way of Iraq producer/vocalist Baghdaddy. The two set the vibe of the evening at heighten lev
els of energy with their eclectic yet heavy “hood swagger, spaced out beats”, moving the crowd with familiar tracks off of their debut EP, Naked City.
Next up was Dave East, brought on stage by Hot 97 veteran Cipha Sounds, the emerging artist from East Harlem took after W$ and kept the energy at 300. His performance surely confirmed many listeners’ beliefs that his sound to have the sort of potential to “become a staple within NY’s new-school of hip-hop.” Thereafter, Queens-based collective Slow Bucks Over Everything (S.B.O.E.) crushed the stage – literally – with a crew deeper than security at the door, spinning trap beat after knuckle-breaking bass and 808s, shifting the mood from contained excitement to kinetic overdrive. And to finally conclude the evening was other Harlem native, Vinny Cha$e, accompanied by his crew from Cheers Club as well as Kid Art, finishing the showcase with an epic of tracks laced with impressive drum and bass, rhythm and lyrical finesse. Cha$e did translate into someone largely influenced by neighborhood heavyweight A$AP Rocky in regards to live presentation and aesthetic, though, his performance proved otherwise, that he is truly an artist of his own breed and kind.
The response from the crowd after the performances confirmed that Hot97 is doing an incredible job curating talent for their weekly showcases at SOBs, giving me and all hip-hop heads hope that the culture of NYC still has a pulse and time to rebuild its empire within the music industry once more.