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Music News and Interviews

Last Thursday, Thrill City and Glass Reflex proudly presented Professor Toon, Well$, Cosmoe, Tim Stack$ and special guest G. Yamazawa at the Local 506. This incredible lineup transformed a normally Chapel Chill into Chapel Thrill with the first drop of the beat. Every member of the audience seemed to radiate a genuine love for hip hop and that couldn’t be fabricated. Tim Stack$, New York rapper from the 516 got the crowd hype, crushed a few bars, and most importantly got his name out as an up and coming rapper.

After Stack$’s set, a teenager from the crowd sauntered on the stage wearing a paintball jersey and what had to be a fresh haircut. This teenager was none other than Carrboro’s own Cosmoe, a high school student pursuing rap and utilizing local venues to showcase this talent. Sampling an older Rihanna song as a beat is a bold move but I definitely respect it.The previous sentence more or less sums up the entirety of Cosmoe’s set.He’s young, with a lot of untapped talent and has a hidden love for Rihanna (who doesn’t).

Up next to the stage was the special guest G. Yamazawa and he definitely not only put the “spec” in special but also in spectacle. This guy is someone to watch. G. Yamazawa is 24 year old born and raised in Durham, North Carolina by Japanese natives. Small in stature but phat in rhyme. Immediately when he was handed the mic, G was spitting effortlessly constructed double entendres faster than the bartender could hand out Red Bulls to underaged concert goers. 

Completely blown away by the guest, everyone GUESSED that the next to the spit was none other than Charlotte native, Well$. With a few members of the audience wearing t-shirts repping Well$’s record label Immaculate Taste and everyone pumped on adrenaline, Well$ had his work cut out for him. 2014 was a big year for the rapper and I can tell he is planning to go even bigger in the new year. Over the past few years Well$ toured with Ab- Soul, performed with Pac Div and G-Eazy and also signed to record label Immaculate Taste. Something about Well$’s nonchalant manner and casual cool seems to draw people in and his music does not disappoint. He even stopped in the middle of his set to announce that people should mosh and those uninterested should step aside. If that’s not courtesy, I’d like to see what is.

ALL OF THESE GREAT PERFORMANCES AND WE HAVEN’T EVEN GOTTEN TO THE HEADLINER: PROFESSOR TOON.

photos from Facebook

Professor Toon is a Baltimore, Maryland native and a current resident of the 919, more specifically Durham. Also known as Toon from Toon and the Real Laww, Professor Toon had a crazy past couple of years. To clarify I mean crazy as in sharing the stage with names like Run the Jewels and De La Soul, while further establishing himself as an artist by performing at Hopscotch, and co founding the DURM Hip Hop Summit. The DURM Hip Hop Summit is a collective started by Toon and the Real Laww in 2012. They plan on having an event AUGUST 15th, 2015 (SAVE THE DATE.) The event is set to include the original 5 Pillars of Hip Hop:  DJing, Beat Boxing, Break Dancing, Graffiti and the MC. So for all of you complaining about real hip hop being dead (we’ve all seen your YouTube comments) come to its resurrection in August put on by the DURM Hip Hop Summit. Professor Toon brought his “A” game to the Local 506 and after sitting down one on one with the rapper his music and personality both leave little to be desired. The professor kept the crowd going while presenting himself as excited yet humble and truly appreciative for his fan base. Performing his new song “The Elephant” which manifests a part of Professor Toon’s childhood and his love for the special woman in his life that worked to give him a good upbringing, his mother. His mother was front and center at the show rocking a ReverbNation t-shirt, dancing her heart out and she wasn’t the only one.

Check out my exclusive interview with Professor Toon where he talks about Growing up in Baltimore, Lil Bow Wow vs. Lil Romeo, Female rappers and his up and coming ventures.

IMPORTANT DATES

: JANUARY 24TH at the DUKE COFFEEHOUSE catch PROFESSOR TOON, TURQUOISE JEEP, and BARF TROOP

AUGUST 15th mark your calendars for the DURM Hip Hop Summit

-Dilemma, WKNC Underground Music Director

Listen to the interview. 

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Music News and Interviews

Durham’s Toon and the Real Laww helped kick off the 2014 Hopscotch Music Festival with their performance opening for De La Soul at City Plaza. Listen to their conversation with Walter-Ego before the big show.

Listen here.

Categories
Music News and Interviews

Carolina Grown Podcast: Oct. 11 w/ Toon & The Real Laww

The second week of Carolina Grown was an absurd amount of fun to record, even if there was only one guest on for the show. I was joined in-studio by Professor Toon and The Real Laww of the fantastic hip-hop duo Toon & The Real Laww. The two were preparing for their big EP release show at Kings Barcade with the iconic Cesar Commanche opening up, so naturally we had quite a bit to cover during the hour that these guys were in the studio. While North Carolina is known best for its ever expanding indie rock scene, there are many other facets of this state’s music community that shine just as bright as the college rock crews that started up in Chapel Hill. Actually there’s quite a few more than even I knew! Which is why I chatted with Professor Toon and The Real Laww about what brought them to the state, what keeps them here, and where they think the scene is heading.

We delve into some of the duo’s first interactions with hip-hop, the planning that goes into their ridiculously energetic live shows, and their process behind writing and producing their own tracks. I’ve been addicted to hip-hop since my adolescent self stumbled upon OutKast, Eminem and Busta Rhymes, but even I had no idea about how deep some of hip-hop’s roots extend to North Carolina’s music scene. There’s a lot more than Petey Pablo raising and Little Brother’s total domination of the scene. Check out the full 45 minute interview and learn a bit about North Carolina’s hip-hop community and some of the past and future endeavors that are in store for Toon & The Real Laww.