Everyone who turned up to catch the phenomenal El-P and Killer Mike show at downtown-venue Grand Central Thursday night was a die-hard fan. When either artist turned the mic to the audience, the crowd faithfully roared its reply. The room wasn’t full, but everybody in the building was packed to the front for the cult classic rappers.
All photos by Jesse Meadows
Killer Mike took the stage first with DJ Trackstar, who along with scratching and mixing, rapped backup vocals for every track in the set. Not that Killer Mike needed any help there, he rapped with a passion too honest to be based in shallow rhetoric. Classics like “Kryptonite”, which he says he wrote after a particularly dank blunt in Miami, got the crowd started. But it was the political lyricism of “Reagan” (“They declared a war on drugs/like a war on terror/But what they really did was let the police terrorize whoever”) and the rest of his recent underground-hit album, R.A.P. Music, that really set things off.
El-P himself was accompanied by a guitar-wielding bongo player and a keytarist. The set covered most of his recent underground hit, Cancer 4 Cure, but had the feel of an album that has grown after being performed a hundred times. Keytar solos abounded and fat bass lines took the place of crowd talk.
Killer Mike took the stage once again alongside El-P and, to everyone’s surprise, Miami’s own Wreckonize dropped a short but sweet freestyle and disappeared back into the crowd.
After an encore and an hour-and-a-half long set, everyone got behind the merch booth to meet fans and sign records, posters, and shirts. For a show full of politically charged lyrics and fat grungy beats, there was a lot of love. Killer Mike went on record saying, “I really like Miami.” Well, guys, Miami really likes you too.
To see many more photos from the show, visit the Beached Miami Facebook page.