The line stretched clear down the block Sunday night, as some of Los Angeles’ hip-hop faithful and top notch emcees waited for the show to begin. Deep downtown, the jump-off was about to jump off at The Grand. DJ Muggs vs. GZA “Grandmasters” album release party was underway, and hundreds of hip-hop heads were on line early, ready to hear the Wu Gambino and the Soul Assassin do their thing. Also scheduled to rock the house that night were Swollen Members, I Self Devine, and a handful of emcees and surprise guest. As the security barked at the line and cleared the sidewalk, I walked up to the door, greeted by the low rumble of the Swollen Members tour bus that was parked next to the club. After meeting with the Live Streams LA.com crew, I stepped into the arena, ready for a night of hip-hop heavyweights.
DJ Muggs and GZA have been on the grind promoting this new CD. The two have been on the road, hitting Washington, Colorado and ripping shows from San Fran to San Diego. This was my third time seeing the show, but it was clearly the hottest performance of the tour. The shows at The Knitting Factory’s were tight, but the size of crowd at The Grand was one of the most impressive turn outs that I’ve seen. The place was packed, and all the emcees that took the stage that night had one of the best crowds they could ask for. The Chinky Eyed event was about to jump off!
Between running back and forth with the LSLA crew, trying to catch interviews, I managed to catch most of the show. Dumbfounded, The Crux (with the ill mariachi band intro killing it!!) , L.O.R.D., and various members of Project Blowed hit the stage and ripped shit, getting everyone ready for the main act. No doubt about it, this was a hip-hop crowd! Looking down from the balcony, I saw a few cats break into windmills and backspins and thought LSLA mastermind Steve M was about to get busy with the pop locks!
When Swollen Members was about to hit the stage, they went nuts, screaming “Swollen…swollen….swollen” until the Canadian mic barbarians stepped up. SM blessed the crowd with their hits and brought the movement to Los Angeles. Phil Da Agony and Planet Asia took the stage with them as well and the set was a good look for the Battle Axe representatives.
The headliners shook the building, as the “Grandmasters” song intro welcomed DJ Muggs and GZA to the Grand stage. Dreddy Kruger and Just Allah worked their magic and ran through several of GZA’s hits and cuts off the new album. Wu fans were in the spot as usual, throwing up their W’s and reciting lyrics from some of GZA’s classic darts. GZA finally closed the show and hung around onstage, showing love to the crowd, shaking hands, and reaching out to the people for a minute before hit bounced.
All in all, it was a great night for hip-hop in Los Angeles. The spirit of the “Unity” parties was definitely in the house, as everyone was showing love and paying respect to Bigga B and entire Unity crew. Is it possible that we may see Unity parties in LA again in 2006? You’ll have to stay tuned for that, to see catch some highlights from the night, make sure you check out the videos!
Peace to everyone who came out and made it one hell of a night. Shouts to Swezz for another top notch event, and Fatty for the Subway Scooby Snacks!