Believe the Mic

Life is carried by the mic but buried by the hype.
Cherub: Mr. Smalls 10/8/14
On a night where Porter Robinson was drawing much of the attention of Pittsburgh’s young people in the direction of Stage AE, a smaller more dedicated crowd gathered at Mr. Small’s to spend their evening with Cherub. The Nashville electro-pop duo is gaining a larger fan base in the last couple of years, and spends much of their summers hitting festival stages. Mr. Smalls’ more intimate venue was a nice change of pace from the large festival landscapes I have previously seen them in. When lead singer Jordan Kelley entered the stage he was greeted with his first birthday gift of the night, a new guitar. This only served to elevate the energy of the already charismatic front man and send us rolling into the night.

   
The band pulled no punches and hit us with a solid chunk of their discography. Through each song, the crowd kept pace and once again I began to get that rock star vibe from the duo. This is a band on the cusp of serious notoriety, yet they keep their stage presence light and act as if they are playing a small party with friends. Still, large sound resounded as they funked their way through “xoxo” and got down and dirty with “Minez & Yourz.” As always, “Doses and Mimosas” stood as the most popular stand out track, with the whole crowd emphatically tossing the sounds back towards stage. The chemistry between Jordan’s vocoder tube harmonies and Jason’s smooth, power-thrusting guitar licks had everyone locked in and subject to the quick-rhythm whim of the pair. “Monogamy” served as another fan favorite and by the time the encore began, Jordan had received a J Dilla style mpc to add to the birthday festivities. To close, the band rocked “Obviously,” which they featured on with Ex-mag on the most recent Gramatik album. This was unexpected to say the least, and capped off what amounted to an epic night. Cherub’s distinct sound and unique stage presence are the type of intangibles that separate them from the other short-lived noise that fades out of the music scene. 

Cherub: Mr. Smalls 10/8/14

On a night where Porter Robinson was drawing much of the attention of Pittsburgh’s young people in the direction of Stage AE, a smaller more dedicated crowd gathered at Mr. Small’s to spend their evening with Cherub. The Nashville electro-pop duo is gaining a larger fan base in the last couple of years, and spends much of their summers hitting festival stages. Mr. Smalls’ more intimate venue was a nice change of pace from the large festival landscapes I have previously seen them in. When lead singer Jordan Kelley entered the stage he was greeted with his first birthday gift of the night, a new guitar. This only served to elevate the energy of the already charismatic front man and send us rolling into the night.

The band pulled no punches and hit us with a solid chunk of their discography. Through each song, the crowd kept pace and once again I began to get that rock star vibe from the duo. This is a band on the cusp of serious notoriety, yet they keep their stage presence light and act as if they are playing a small party with friends. Still, large sound resounded as they funked their way through “xoxo” and got down and dirty with “Minez & Yourz.” As always, “Doses and Mimosas” stood as the most popular stand out track, with the whole crowd emphatically tossing the sounds back towards stage. The chemistry between Jordan’s vocoder tube harmonies and Jason’s smooth, power-thrusting guitar licks had everyone locked in and subject to the quick-rhythm whim of the pair. “Monogamy” served as another fan favorite and by the time the encore began, Jordan had received a J Dilla style mpc to add to the birthday festivities. To close, the band rocked “Obviously,” which they featured on with Ex-mag on the most recent Gramatik album. This was unexpected to say the least, and capped off what amounted to an epic night. Cherub’s distinct sound and unique stage presence are the type of intangibles that separate them from the other short-lived noise that fades out of the music scene. 

​​Stitches: Rex Theater 9/19/14

If you are familiar with the hip-hop scene in Pittsburgh the name DJ Afterthought should not be new to you. Afterthought is one of the biggest proponents of hip-hop in the city and is frequently responsible for hyping the crowd before national and local rap acts. This past week he performed at the Rex Theater before one of the most insane rap spectacles around. Miami born Stitches is a YouTube viral sensation whose debut track “Brick In Yo Face” features the young rapper toting guns and talking about his passion for selling cocaine. With an AK-47 tattooed on the side of his cheek and inked stitches painting a permanent smile on his face, the 19-year-old internet star is terrifying, to put it lightly. Still, he was more than willing to take pictures with his fans before the show and was surprisingly courteous.

After a DJ set from Afterthought and a group of openers, my partner and I led the giant tattooed teenager to the stage and then got the hell out of the way. What ensued was an hour long set with enough psychotic energy to rival the Flatbush Zombies on stage hysteria. Stitches worked the crowd into a frenzy while he played stand out tracks like “Mail” and led the crowd in belittling his one-sided rival Young Jeezy. During his colossal hit “Brick In Yo Face,” Stitches took a zip-lock bag of flour and tossed it all over the crowd while yelling, “I love selling blow.”  This was all quite entertaining, but the moment that truly amazed me came at the end of the show. I had heard that Stitches has done cocaine on stage, but it is still difficult to prepare yourself for the momen​t when the guy who is 3 years younger than you grabs a bag of narcotics from the crowd and invites fans on stage to do key bumps with him. Needless to say, DJ Afterthought, my partner Zack and I stood out of the way while a small army of fans climbed on stage to partake. Plenty of rappers claim to do drugs; this dude actually does them, ON STAGE. The scene played out for a while longer…and then it was over. We stepped out of the theater with the knowledge that tomorrow, in another city, with another crowd; this madness would all begin again. Did we see the next Jay or Nas? No, but you will be hard pressed to find a rapper this enthusiastic about his performance and his fans’ experience. 

Childish on the “Telegraph Ave” flick.

Jet Life crew hits us with a new tape. Click the pic. 

Jet Life crew hits us with a new tape. Click the pic. 

New K. Dot, “i”…no explanation needed

Joey Bada$$ kicks a freestyle for Toca Tuesday.

Sugar Tongue Slim and Black Thought come together on a new one.

Check out the latest tape by Krizzle, See Me On Top 4.

Gunplay and Ricky on the “Aiight” flick.

The G-Unit crew head over to LA Leakers to rock a freestyle.