| Wanted for Hip Hop Murder
Sunday, September 18, 2005
By Joe WCitizens Press
Bombs went off. Smoke filled the area. Everyone came out happy and smiling.
While the rest of the country reflected on The World Trade Center disaster on Sunday, September 11, hip-hop fans in Lansing exploded with applause after stellar performances by Royce The 5’9" and Little Brother at The Temple Club. Both critically acclaimed artists killed their respective sets, knocking new and established fans dead with their outstanding verbal skills and stage presence.
(Left): Royce the 5 9 (center) and company. Photo by Joe Walker.
Lansing was the last stop for Little Brother before heading to New York for the release of their first major label album. "The Minstrel Show", released by Atlantic Records September 13, is the group’s sophomore album, and one of the most anticipated albums of the year. Group member Phonte asked the crowd on hand how many of them already had the album. Several audience members screamed confirmation.
"I asked the people in Toronto last night how many of them had already downloaded the album, and the place exploded," Phonte told The New Citizen’s Press before the concert. "I was like, wow! [Our first album] ‘The Listening’ only sold like 35,000 copies, but we have a platinum following. As long as people continue to spread the word about us, I’m cool."
Phonte and partner Rapper Big Pooh (group member 9th Wonder was absent) had the house under arrest from the second they touched the stage. Red stage lights flashed above them; every audience member pulled over, stage side, with their hands in the air. The group performed numerous songs from "The Listening," "Chittlin Circuit 1.5 Mixtape," and Rapper Big Pooh’s solo album, "Sleepers." They closed the night with their new single "Lovin It."
Earlier that night, Royce The 5’ 9" got the crowd moving with an energized performance. Spitting numbers from his new album, "Independence Day," Royce showed those on hand at The Temple Club why he is known as "The King Of The Underground." His microphone presence was flawless. His delivery was as on-point and clear as it is on any of his albums. No studio effects needed – Royce has the voice, and the lungs, to make his signature, long-winded verses sound awesome live.
"I’m a murderer," Royce said with a laugh after the show. "I grab a microphone and I kill them."