Written by guest writer, Cy.
On Tuesday, April 11th, the Bronze Peacock Room of the House of Blues was packed with a crowd of people ready to get their entire week shaken like gale-force winds to the chest. This marked the second Texas stop on Dumbfoundead’s Yikes! Tour.
My legs are still wobbly from how shook I was in the presence of all that fire.
It’s ballsy, reserving an hour-long set for a DJ — especially for a crowd of barely sober K-hip hop fans. Zo is a marvel on the tables. He most definitely knows his audience — minor slip-up while hyping the crowd notwithstanding. He plays what you’d expect: Top 40 hip-Hop and sprinkles of late-90s, early-2000s pop for giggles. But he also reaches into the deep-seated nostalgia of the crowd, mixing in classics from Selena y los Dinos. Zo has mastered the art of creating suspense, keeping the audience on edge (and lit beyond what should be allowed) in anticipation of the main acts.
The revelation that you’ve almost missed something truly spectacular opens your eyes to all the things you may have glossed over in the past. Such is the case for me when Nafla walks on stage. I suppose I did have some preconceived notions. With the rapid increase of rappers coming out of South Korea, one has a basic idea of how these young MCs tend to present themselves: all swag, perhaps little substance. Nafla, on the other hand, while confident, has a level of humility in him that lends itself to somewhat greater authenticity than maybe I’d initially given him credit for. The absolute joy in his performance, all bright smiles, and eyes wide with elation, is infectious. The crowd is so utterly captivated by his presence that when he announces his final song there’s a ubiquitous sigh of resignation.
That sense of loss lasts the amount of time it takes for all of us to catch our breaths.
Year of the Ox
Comprised of MCs Lyricks and JL, this duo has a flow and lyricism that’s ridiculous. Within the first 30 seconds of their appearance, we can barely keep up. Between Nafla’s energy and YOX’s absolute brutalization of the mic, we can hardly breathe. There aren’t enough words to truly describe their undeniable ability to own the crowd. Just when the audience is about to lose all sense of propriety (if a raucous crowd of tipsy hip hop fans has any propriety to begin with) their set ends and we’re all standing there, gasping for breath and buzzing. YOX leaves everything on the stage, and we’re left there to bask in the aftereffects.
Then the moment we’re all here for…. Dummy descends, and from note one of “Protect at All Costs (PAAC),” the audience is once again thrown into a frenzy. Dummy gives off an aura seething with energy. He infuses his performance with a personal touch, invites each and every person to be a part of his family, his on-stage tribe of hooligans and talented MCs. He’s a smart performer, knowing how to keep the audience involved, leave us hanging on his every word, every lyric, every beat. When he invites Nafla and YOX back on stage, everything ratchets up about 12 notches. So moved is one audience member, he muscles way onto stage twice to headbang on a couple of particularly nasty beat drops.
Wild doesn’t begin to describe this stop on the Yikes! Tour. Every artist on that stage performed like he was on a mission to give the audience a performance that would leave us elated, exhausted, and with a memory that won’t soon fade.
Cy is as simple as her name. She loves music, she loves writing, and she loves pretty things. She’s been writing professionally for over ten years, has had the honor of talking with many aritsts, and has been blessed to eat different foods. If there’s one thing to know about her, it’s that she loves deeply and uncondtionally—from her family to music and writing.