Temple5 is one very smooth, 7-piece, organic hip-hop jazz group out of Wilmington, North Carolina. After rockin’ the Pour House for the April 14 edition of Local Band Local Beer with Durham natives The Beast and Zoocru, one could only expect more sweet vibes from them at the always beautiful Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival of Music & Dance. And after performing at the fall edition of Shakori last October, Temple5 knew what a great audience would be waiting to jam with them.
Temple5 was scheduled to play the intimate Cabaret Tent on Saturday night, and after setting up all the mics and instruments, including drums, bass, guitar, saxophone, trumpet, keyboards, and Moog synthesizer, they jumped right into the first track. However, not without playin’ the crowd a little first. Left wondering where their front man MC was, saxophone player Malik Rae introduced him after some soulful intro jams.
Their set was filled with rhythmically driven hip-hop swing with layers of talk box guitar licks, jazzy piano measures, and powerful brass melodies. On top of all this head bumpin’ goodness was some quick paced, intelligent bars from MC Louis. And even though the MC took center stage, they all took turns playing lead roles, dealing out solos, and bouncing with the audience that came to pack out the little tent in the mud.
They jammed on some of their own tracks like “Drop The Mic,” but also played some great covers including The Roots’ “Get Busy,” Missy Elliott’s “Sock It 2 Me,” Digable Planets’ “Rebirth of Slick (Coole Like Dat),” A Tribe Called Quest’s “Can I Kick It?” and a little tease of The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Warning” and “Machine Gun Funk.” These weren’t just normal covers either. Temple5 was always keen on adding their own lyrical and rhythmic flairs to these hip-hop classics that definitely got the crowd goin’ wild. After confirmation with the man behind the soundboard, they even gave in to the audience’s plea for “ONE MORE SONG!” and finished the night strong.
Temple5 is an extremely talented group of musicians, gratefully supporting the local hip-hop jazz scene. Definitely somebody to check out.
Temple5 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Templefive/
Temple5 Bandcamp: https://temple5ilm.bandcamp.com/
– DJ Sundae