Black Milk At The Voodoo Lounge San Jose California ~ BNR Artist Spotlight
Some of the inspiration for the first few radio shows on BNR back in 2005 came from Black Milk, One Be Lo, Elzhi, Kev Brown and a bunch of other tight artists from the Detroit / Maryland area. Selections from “Sound Of The City” by Black Milk like “So Gone”, “Swing Dat Far”, “Holla Like U Know Me”, “Duck”, “Danger” and “Sound Of The City” all get rotation on Big Noise Radio. Moving forward, selections like “About Me”, “One Song”, “Home Of The Greats”, “Shut It Down”, “Action” and “Three Plus Some” did not disappoint. Black Milk is one of those prolific artists always dropping something hot and new, his soulful sound and organic timing is very refreshing at a time when allot of folks are still stuck in the Boom-Bap sound of the 90’s. Today he is still bringing the business by dropping hot timeless music that we can all enjoy.
Showcasing artists like Black Milk on the radio it was always a hope in the back of my mind that he would one day come to San Jose and rock the stage showing some of our local up-and-coming artists how its done. Well this year through the hard work of Jason Dooley our dream came true. On February 25th 2011 Black Milk came and did his thing at the Voodoo Lounge, one of the last shows to be held at the South Bay venue. There were 2 opening acts worth mentioning, Rey Resurreccion and Dem One who did a great job on stage compared to the opening acts you typically find at a SJ hip-hop show, I hope we see them at more venues.
When we got to the club myself and El Cali had not taken time to get on the guest list, I asked the door-man if the promoter was around, he promptly and professionally introduced us to Jason Dooley whom I had not met yet. I explained that we were from Big Noise and we wanted to take a few pictures, to my surprise Jason was very accommodating and made sure that we got in with no problem; my hat goes off to Jason Dooley, we need more promoters like him in our town! Good music and good people – those should always go together right?
Black Milk performed with a band and DJ – Daru Jones on drums, Ab on keyboards and of course Black Milk on the MIC. Daru Jones is an up-and-coming drummer who I networked with around 2006 when starting the radio station he is a talented hip-hop drummer / producer. Ab is a soul singer / performer who worked with Slum Village on a few projects. Their set started off with the band building up to Black Milk’s entry onto the stage. They started off with the band playing music live for the tracks including “So Gone”, as they got into it the DJ would bring in the original music on some of the songs while the band played over them. I thought that sounded the best as I’m a big fan of sampled music production.
They performed joints like “Action”, “The Matrix” and “Deadly Medly” – Black Milk was definitely enjoying himself on stage. He has great crowd control, tight vocal timing on stage and you can definitely feel the digging-in-the-crates influence on him and the band. The music and interludes were very soulful and Black Milk blessed us with some James Brown like adlibs during his performance. He had the whole club rockin’ with everybody’s hands up through the whole set. I saw one of the security guards on stage looking surprised like “wow I never seen them rock like this before… who’s this Black Milk guy”, Black Milk is off the chain!
I’m looking forward to seeing more artists like Black Milk perform at San Jose venues, in the next few years we hope to have a few shows featuring Black Milk, The Regiment and Nemesis to name a few. Hip-hop has always been alive and well at it’s core, yes the mainstream has turned their back on us and misrepresented our culture with unbalanced presentation, but we have the power seek and find that good music. Please support artists like Black Milk and the other artists mentioned in this article; buy their music, get them in your town at your venue, tell your local radio station to get with it…
Keep it locked to Big Noise Radio for authentic hip-hop music from Black Milk and other Detroit artists!
Photo: El Cali