Poorly drawn people
Providence has a few hip-hop posses, each one located within a different community, motivated by different reasons, and focused on certain aesthetics. Poorly Drawn People is the cadre of emcees and producers drawn to the early ’90s beats of Soul II Soul, Eric B & Rakim, and the chill, literate school of rap. It diverts the idea of hip-hop away from the bling-based concept and directs it to social concepts: words, action, meaning — and great beats.
Poorly Drawn People features a handful of likeminded rappers, including Storm Davis, Reason, Dox, and SymmeTry. They intermingle on each other’s albums, and Dox, aka Justin Sayles, produces much of the material. This weekend, SymmeTry, aka Mike Slap, celebrates the release of his second full-length, Dusty Pickup and, frankly, it’s a cause for celebration. Built on creative cornerstones of jazz, soul, and R&B samples, the album finds Slap, 22, going old school beat-wise, with a progressive and well-tuned lyrical edge. Produced by Dox, who supplies a bevy of tasty sampling, Dusty Pickup finds Slap musing on some serious issues similar to the approach of local rap hero Sage Francis. By avoiding the genre’s miserable clichés, Slap finds freshness in his content, from drug addiction to more traditional lost-love type of stuff.
In addition to SymmeTry’s latest, PDP has a new Storm Davis disc on the horizon. Davis, who released the eye-popping Kegstand Poetry for the Recovering Alcoholic in May of ’06, is a chatty philosopher savant with deeply emotional undertones and some serious rhyme skills. We look forward to his next outing, and from here on we suggest that if you’ve lost your patience with hip-hop, find it again. And once you do, check out Poorly Drawn People, the hope and future of Providence beats.
Symmetry + Waterbed + Channel Zero + John Tierney | March 23 | The Living Room, 23 Rathbone St, Providence | 401.521.5200
It’s a pleasure to see NEAL VITULLO and his longstanding, high-energy blues rockers THE VIPERS back in action. Chan’s will host a CD release party on Saturday, March 24, at 8 pm. Admission is $10. Call 401.765.1900. That same night at Stone Soup, it’s the rising talent pool of the Rhode Island Songwriters Association. The catchy cabal is throwing its third annual “Evening of Ocean State Songwriters” show, with two sets of four songwriters performing their original works, all with serendipitous accompaniment. Participants include ERIC FONTANA, KEITH WHITE, MICHELLE CRUZ, KIM LAMOTHE, and ALAN HAGUE. Tickets are $12. Call 401.457.7147.
Starting on Wednesday, March 28, and continuing every other Wednesday (alternating with Thom Enright), KEITH MUNSLOW (keys and vocals), TOM PETTERUTI (drums), and TOM FERRARO (guitar) will throw down some full tilt boogie at Nick-a-Nee’s in the Jewelry District from 9pm to midnight with no cover. It never hurts to go back to the basics. Call 401.861.7290.
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Bob Gulla: email@example.com