Music

Fucking in the Streets

A Review of Truckasauras's Massive Rap Spectacle

Fucking in the Streets

Joseph Wiscomb

TRUCKASAURUS

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Truckasauras's Kevin Collabo rap show last Friday at Neumos was a massive undertaking. On top of managing to pull 36 MCs together, local electro crew Truckasauras also wrote 17 new tracks for their guests to rap over. Several of the songs were sparer than the band's usual material, sometimes a simple looped, locked-in groove or two rather than their usual pile-on of synths and drum machines, leaving more room for the rappers to get in between the beats. But the new cuts still displayed the band's artful ear for arranging and their deep appreciation of what makes a beat, hiphop or otherwise, really kick.

The evening began with a set of Truckasauras originals, some of which the band's Adam Swan said they hadn't played out in a while. He was unnecessarily apologetic in introducing their instrumental set—it sounded fantastic, the bass thick and punchy, everything dialed in even better than at their also-exceptional-sounding Block Party set there last month. They end-ed the set with Tyler Swan and Trent Moorman on drums (it takes a ballsy drummer to try to compete with an 808), and with more people dancing up front than I've ever seen at a Truckasauras show.

They split the rap portion of the evening into two sets. Asun started things off with one of the more successful freestyles of the night ("This is all right now/The only thing that was written down is the chorus"). Next was Canary Sing, whose upbeat "Light Years Away" was an early highlight. The first and biggest dud of the night belonged to Virus, who introduced his rap by saying, "I got some conceptual shit for you here"—his concept being, basically, syllable-intensive El-P worship—and ended it by futilely announcing, "I got CDs!" Neema brought the momentum back up with an authoritative set, then DJs Introcut, WD4D, and Scratchmaster Joe joined the band to scratch over an instrumental number, and Tilson closed the set with a typically adept, affable rap that referenced Prince's "When Doves Cry" backed by Tyler Swan and Moorman on drums.

The second set began with a false start from Specs One, who took the stage wearing a backpack before ditching it and settling comfortably into his usual weed-hazy space-neighbor steez. Mash Hall rushed the stage four people deep for their busy blast-off "Meet Your Replacement." Blue Scholars' Geologic and Thig Natural of the Physics came out Gore-Tex-clad and snapping 35 mm cameras, asking, "Whatever happened to the focus on the rap?" Champagne Champagne closed with a rap about "Earth Girls Are Easy" over an old Truck track, Mark Gajadhar and Tyler Swan on drums, Pearl Dragon drinking onstage for a second before security promptly relieved him of his cup.

Things closed with everyone returning to the stage for an interminable freestyle hand-off over the Truck's version of "The Bridge Is Over." Like the night itself, it was an inspired, ambitious spectacle that became something of an endurance test toward the end. Still, here's hoping the Truck can work their organizational magic again to get these tracks laid down in the studio; it would be a good look for the MCs, the Truck, and the whole town. recommended

 

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