Review: Lyricists Lounge Vol. I

Lyricists Lounge Vol. I, showcasing several of Seoul’s top-notch MC’s, has come and gone. I shared in some excellent music with friends, made some new ones, and lost a little bit of my hearing, gaining some knowledge in the process.

Reinforced admiration for British rhymes. I’ve always been a fan of hip hop from the UK, the kind that spits in that gritty, proper dialect. Matt Mike Skinner of The Streets is a frequent contributor to the shuffle rotation on my iPod.

Shrugging off the responsibility burden that goes with being the first performer of the evening, Agonist blasted Freebird with an energetic verbal assault. His amped bellow of “Oh, oh, you can’t shove it down my throat, it’s not gonna get my vote!”, ensured that the already hyped crowd was good and ready for the night of music ahead.

At times, it was a bit difficult for my American ears to decipher his British vernacular. In fact, I mistook his name Agonist for Avalanche, only to be corrected later that night in the streets of Hongdae. Standing outside the DJ Craze show at 3am, he ran by my friend and I. “Yo, are you Avalanche?”, we shouted. He turned around, greeted us with a chuckle and a correction, and now Mr. Agonist and I are officially facebook friends, or should I say mates.

Space Rhyme solo shot. My man Benny Fax of Space Rhyme Continuum fame took the stage alone, unaided by the witty retorts and comedic improv his cohorts in Space Rhyme Continuum assist in providing. Not only is Benny as quick as he is hilarious when put on the spot for humorous purposes, but he can hold his own when it comes to being taken seriously as a gifted MC. Here’s his track 5th Element.

Nezumi Kozo likes pot. Clowns and face paint scare the hell out of me, but I’m glad I approached Nezumi Kozo with an open mind. His raspy articulation delivered a well received pro-marijuana, smoke em’ up performance. Joining him on-stage was who else… JoshRoy. Is it me, or is JoshRoy the busiest man in Seoul entertainment?

DA can freestyle. With Big DA around, there’s never any worry of uneventful down time between sets. He treated the crowd to some of his impressive, seemingly effortless off-the-cuff freestyle as we all waited for the DJ to set up. And his performance was, as always, masterful and full of audience participation and chanting, “This is it, WHAT!”

Get your Hawaiian reggae while you can. I walked away from my first Hosana experience hungry for more, although at first he left some of us scratching our heads. He took the stage and declared, “Have you guys ever seen your parents have sex?” Did he just say that? But then he backed up, got into self-proclaimed Prince mode, and crushed it with a reggae inspired medley that had the patrons of Freebird grooving and singing along. Hailing from the great state of Hawaii, he’s only in Korea for a limited time.

One of the best around. With his confident stage presence and relevant songs, Pinnacle was on point yet again. Dude is so down to earth, that I was chatting him up between sets and didn’t even realize who I was speaking with, and I’ve seen him perform on numerous occasions. When I asked his name, he gave me his actual name followed by, “Some call me Pinnacle.” My bad, I didn’t recognize him without that Cinci hat yanked down over his eyes.

Got beef?
Alongside his captivating show closing performance, also worth mentioning is what was the talk of the day leading up to the event, organizer Dbstk Crzzy’s newest battle rhyme. See it for yourself, complete with explanation of his beef with Samuel Swanson at his youtube page.

Dbstk and Venus put on a solid event. Some love needs to be tossed at the artists not featured in this writing, they contributed the success of the evening by rocking it out as well. Freebird was a fitting venue, offering abundant sound and a transcendent light show, tattoo Korea was on hand providing air brushed body art designs, and everyone in attendance seemed to enjoy the talent showcase. Some friends involved with Vol. I have informed me that future events are in the works, tentatively slated for October.

Keep a look out.


~ by ripcitytoseoul on August 23, 2010.

4 Responses to “Review: Lyricists Lounge Vol. I”

  1. […] Review: Lyricists Lounge Vol. 1 […]

  2. […] familiar faces from vol. 1, and a handful of new additions grabbed the stage for vol. 2. The following video is a collection […]

  3. […] Volume 1 Volume 2 […]

  4. […] Lyricist Lounge Vol. 1 Lyricist Lounge Vol. 2 Lyricist Lounge Vol. 3 […]

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