The Brooklyn based hip-hop artist and rapper I.O.D. brought his lyrical musings to McCarren Park Friday evening for the 2016 Northside Festival. His tracks have a seductive rhythm and sobering honesty. I.O.D. rapped his signature track “’Round Here” and the hysterical “Ebola” where I.O.D. talks about a promiscuous woman who may have ebola. The best part of I.O.D. was his post show. He and a group of friends had a circle going where I.O.D. and an older woman had a dance off.
Radamiz followed I.O.D. at McCarren Park. A DJ laid the background sound while the rapper recounted the struggles he has overcome to get where he is today. Radamiz began performing in the lunchroom of his high school, has since graduated from NYU and performed shows at Summer Jam Festival Stage. Friday night he performed tracks from his newest project Writeous, which he calls an “expression of self.”
The 19 year-old rapper from Evanston (just outside of Chicago) held the third slot Friday night. Collins’ style carries the cadence of Drake with sprinklings of Kid Cudi. Yet, his sound, often laid against sampled tracks on Garage Band, is unique. In much of his music, Collins plays the role of the witness- watching poverty and violence unfold in his city. Viewers at McCarren Park heard his poetics while the lyricist strolled from the left to right of the stage. Collins was signed to Closed Sessions when he was in high school and recently released his debut full-length album, Nat Love– named for an African American folk hero, cowboy and former slave.
The multi-talented hip-hop legend and DJ Grandmaster Flash closed McCarren Park with a dance party. Flash is known for his pioneering scratch techniques but it was his variety that kept the audience enrapt during the show. Songs by Michael Jackson (which segued into Suzanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner”), Rihanna, and DJ Kool were woven together with precision. The crowd went mad when Flash transitioned from old school hip-hop to the intro to Damien Marley’s “Jamrock.” Though the line to get into the free concert stretched around the block, once inside viewers witnessed the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer scratch and spin for ninety minutes.
Best Behavior at Muchmore’s
The Brooklyn based garage band, Best Behavior, played three shows during Northside. The second show was on the intimate stage in Muchmore’s. The stage was a little cramped for the foursome, but they managed to bring their surfer-attitude rock to the crowd that amassed around them. The band was awarded Best Emerging Band in 2015 by The Deli and has become one of Brooklyn’s staple groups.
Diet Cig at Baby’s All Right
Diet Cig may have been my favorite act on Friday. The pop-punk duo from New Paltz, New York held the late night slot at Baby’s All Right. Lead singer Alex Luciano stood at the right of the stage shouting out lyrics and hysterical self-reflections. One moment she was dedicating songs to her “hot Mom” who was in attendance and the next she was bouncing across the stage and jumping off Noah Bowman’s drums. She was like a toddler in that you had to keep an eye on her at all times so you didn’t miss something. Bowman and Luciano create music that is both playful and manic. Word on the street is they are working on a second album to follow their debut, Over Easy.
Article: Alx Bear