The Los Angeles-based Hellfyre Club invaded the Lower East Side on Thursday night and rocked a packed Mercury Lounge with 3+ hours of eclectic indie rap. Touring in support of Dorner vs. Tookie, the diverse 4-man crew of Open Mike Eagle, Busdriver, Milo and Nocando delivered wit, innovation, crowd interaction and humor all blanketed by the bright visuals of director/rapper WC Tank.
Two years after I caught a mediocre performance from Nocando at the Soda Bar in San Diego, the man showed genuine signs of transformation. If his heart wasn’t in it before, it’s unmistakably there now. He started his set with an acapella verse, wove in substantial new material and finished with a track set to Atmosphere’s “Denvemolorado“, all to hearty applause.
Open Mike Eagle followed and delivered a set worthy of the snowballing hype. His name was chanted during and post-set, his delivery was as effortless as it was flawless, and his shout-rap second verse on “Password” remains one of the most fun things one can witness at a hip hop show in America. Though I partially wanted to murder the drunkards behind me rapping along to half of Mike’s songs, I was with them in spirit. …MORE