Soul Position | Blueberry Hill, St. Louis | 04.21.06

Every hip-hop concert is weed scented, but very few feature a rapper wearing cargo shorts. Rappers tend to wear baggy jeans, and sixth graders tend to wear cargo shorts, so you can understand my surprise.

 

I just found out that bass—the kind that makes your chest thump at a concert—releases endorphins in your brain. That could have been why I liked this concert so much. Or it could have been the Pabst Blue Ribbon, which definitely releases something in the brain. Maybe it was the girl dancing in front of me who had no idea what she was doing but was certainly doing it. It could have been the fact that the first time I saw Soul Position there were boos, not from the audience but from Soul Position themselves. I was embarrassed to be there.

There were no boos in either direction in the weed-scented Duck Room at Blueberry Hill. Every hip-hop concert is weed scented, but very few feature a rapper wearing cargo shorts. Rappers tend to wear baggy jeans, and sixth graders tend to wear cargo shorts, so you can understand my surprise. Blueprint, cargo shorts and all, and his turntable running mate RJD2—together, the duo that is Soul Position—hit the stage and put on a short but solid show. It got officially started when RJ dropped the Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime” on the tables, and Blueprint, who can rap over absolutely anything, spit a verse. David Byrne was not in attendance.

They did a solid mix of new and old material, most of it off their current release Things Go Better With RJ & AL. Blueprint is a top of the line live emcee, and he showcased that talent on “Blame it on the Jager” and “Priceless.” They brought in older material like “Right Place, Wrong Time” and “Final Frontier,” but didn’t do “Mic Control,” the song I came there to see.

The highlight of the show was Mo’ Buttons, RJD2’s seriously clever second identity, a man who can push the buttons on an MPC like he was born to do it. Wearing a button-down and covered head to toe with shiny black buttons, Mr. Buttons threw the MPC around his neck like a guitar and left the turntables behind. On the spot, borderline perfection, he recreated the beats to “Jerry Springer Episode” and “I Need My Minutes,” not the most complex beats but a serious feat nonetheless.

The “I Need My Minutes” performance showed how good of a live act these guys are. There was RJD2 looking like a fool, covered in buttons and playing the beat from an MPC around his neck. There was Blueprint rapping—and actually rapping, as opposed to the standard procedure yelling you get at most rap shows. And the duo were doing the “I Need My Minutes Dance,” a choreographed routine that let each and every one of us know the most stylish way to screen a call to protect your minutes. These guys actually perform.

Bass, Pabst, a drunk girl, cargo shorts, buttons, and some rapping on the side. Respect.

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