Not sure how Hot Cat Club pulled this one off? A hip hop show on a Monday night – where everyone is encouraged to freestyle, a special rock band was set to perform, and a dancer named Joe would I don’t know, be on hand. Seriously folks – a dancer named Joe. It was also a chance to see MC Chronmaster, the end all of hipster white boy rap in Beijing, along with local MC BloodzBoi, capped off with Dub Zen Melodist on the decks. Color me curious, this had to be seen to be believed, and lord behold, this is perhaps the most packed I’ve seen the joint. I guess curiosity killed more than just the cat.
First off, when did a hip hop party need a band to open for them. Better yet, an emo rock band whose main selling point was taking me down memory lane to the late nineties when I would be singing (emoting) right along with this tune.
Yes, nostalgia is a bitch ain’t it. Really though, as turned off as I may be by this kind of music, there is a dark place, tucked far far away in the tiniest nook of my membrane where I’m still a pimple-faced thirteen year twerp who believes that Rachel Leonard is going to ask him out. Ugh, enough of that. Hip-hop please.
Just when I was starting to worry something was amiss MC Bloodz Boi brought some west coast flavor with a tint of dirty south to the mic. A breathe of fresh air – hip-hop, embrace me.
Kid’s only 19 years old mind you. Let that sink in. Lad has more attitude than some whole classes of kids his age. Now that’s rep. While the flow of a party of this sort requires certain skill – a rhythmic management wizardry – for the most part they captured the tone, seamlessly going from beat to beat, bring up guests, and even a few reluctant freestyles whose idea of a freestyle is going down a list of who you love – BIGGIE, 2PAC, EMINEM – you get the idea.
And then MC Chronmaster completely shattered that entire image – flipping the entire idea of what gangsta rap. Alright, that might be giving Jordan Mitchell a bit too much credit – as the idea of poking fun at hardcore rap while at the same time evoking your love for it isn’t anything new. But there’s a definite mischievous to Chronmaster that I must admit was fascinating.
Lyrically the staples are all there – misogynic womanizing, getting trashed on a list of drugs, and straight up boasting. And when he pulls it off with the swag that he does, you can’t help but grin a little. Whether or not I can take it seriously, that’s a whole other question. But hey, that’s half the fun. So thanks Hot Cat for bringing back hip hop to the hutongs – at least to some degree. Never did see Joe the dancer though. Sign.