Orlando enjoyed a night of retrospective music for a young audience of hip hop junkies who showed up to be schooled by a few living legends.
Setting the night off was Orlando’s own DJ Kittybat with a Hip-Hop, Funk, and Soul set, tastefully catering to the crowd’s wide age bracket by blending the old . As sort of a short intermission set between DJ’s local beat box extraordinaire Rubox did his colorful one-man-band-cum-hip hop producer and emcee. When he arrived at the art of emceeing, freestyle fanatic Mad Illz joined him on stage with a barrage of off-the-cuff flows.
After a few minor technical glitches, DJ Craze had his set in full swing a little after 11 p.m. Recognizing a predominately twenty-something crowd, Craze dealt out a heavy dose of 80s to mid 90s hip hop. With the crowd now putty in his hands, he raised the energy into some classic Miami Bass, right on through dubstep, and ended the set with some drum and bass classics, leading the crowd through his entire set without losing them once.
Before DJ JS-1 of the World Famous Rocksteady Crew began his set alongside Rahzel, he made sure to acknowledge DJ Craze and all his DMC world titles, sardonically admitting that Craze came to New York and “whooped everyone’s ass, including myself.” JS-1 and Rahzel are a tremendous team on stage that sometimes resemble a comic duo. Much of the set consisted of JS-1 throwing down a beat and Rahzel recreating the entire instrumental with his mouth and the microphone, but this would occasionally cause JS-1, in the middle of the show, to stop his turntables and to sit down, fed up that Rahzel could “make all the beats himself.”
The night began to slide into a VH1 Storytellers with Rahzel heart-to-hearting with the crowd about his disapproval with the direction of mainstream hip hop, thereby confirming his old, half-loony fear of hearing “another damn T.I. song on the radio.” At its longest, these tirades went one for about 15 minutes at a time, with Rahzel handing out a dozen fresh roses to all the single ladies.