By Amber Magruder
Brooklyn! You got it goin on? Who got it goin on? We got it goin on! Yall got it goin on, and so it began, as Andres Dres Titus of Black Sheep took the stage at Brooklyn Bowl on Thursday, January 15, 2015.
Our crowd was a mixture of old and new hip-hop heads only interested in one thing- a feeling. We wanted to be moved. Dres did not disappoint. He started with the classic, Flavor of the Month, and the transitions to other Black Sheep favorites from there, were seamless.
What makes this emcee a true artist is his connection to the audience. He involved us in every song, and commanded that we sing along. It didnt stop there. Although his former partner in rhyme, William “Mista Lawnge” McLean was noticeably absent, Dres brought a few friends to help him out: Jarobi White (A Tribe Called Quest), Chi- Ali, and Sadat X (Brand Nubian).
There was nothing but love up there on the stage. As Dres said, They were Native. He and Jarobi broke from the 90s, and quickly shuttled us into the present with a hit from their fresh, new group Evitan,Hot Damn. Familiarity with the lyrics wasnt an issue; as long as you shouted , hot damn, when Dres pointed, it was all good.
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Engine engine… So of course Black Sheep closed with, The Choice is Yours. This is the ultimate party song, and whenever its played, wherever you are, when you hear those lyrics, you are to crouch and prepare to jump. Apparently, some members of the audience were not familiar with this tradition, so what did Dres do? Stop the song in the middle, and provide directions for those who didnt know, or were too cool to indulge. By the end, it was clear; the set was a joint effort.
Drayz and Skoob, the East Coast duo who comprise Das EFX, appeared on stage out of nowhere, and owned it. From the first song they let it be known they were not performing for us; they invited us into their cipher and allowed us to rock with them.
Clad in the unmistakable 90s gear of oversized denim and Timberlands, Das EFX gave us no choice, other than to move our bodies to the rhythm as they commenced with Mic Checka, at the top of their set.
Their set was a story punctuated by comedy and nostalgia, as Drayz entertained us with stories, secrets, and musings of basically whatever came to mind between songs. It was those unscripted details, which allowed us to ride out with them. Seeing us entertained, entertained them, which entertained us more.
The last song, They Want EFX, culminated in the end of not only a concert, but an interactive journey through time.
Enjoy these up close videos of the best of the show:
About the Author:
Amber Magruder was raised in a house filled with ZZ Hill, Phoebe Snow and Stevie Wonder. A wild child of the 90’s, she found her true love in hip hop with the Native Tongue movement, and never left its side. A die hard House Head from the South Side of Chicago, she loves a solid beat, but appreciates intense lyrics even more. Some of her favorite artists: N*E*R*D*, Bebel Gilberto, and Bjork.