I remember when Phoenix had no hip hop nights except for Blunt Club. Now there are multiple nights, all across the Valley, including this one. Taken from Public Enemy’s Rebel Without a Pause, The Rhythm The Rebel, is a hip hop night put on by the man affectionately known as Uncle Dumps along with Tricky T, and DJ Fact135. Throw into the mix host Roqy Ty’Raid and you got a dream team of Arizona hip hop legends leading the charge. And it did not disappoint.
First of all, Roqy worked the crowd like a seasoned pro. He quizzed them on hip hop knowledge, advised them to throw their hands in the air, and grooved along to the beats being dropped. The track selection is definitely meant for the underground, independent label crowd. In one cycle, I heard Nas, Fashawn, Run the Jewels, and two Action Bronson songs – Baby Blue with Chance the Rapper and Strictly for My Jeeps. If you like rap music, and I mean stuff you won’t hear on the radio – this is definitely the night to check out.
The place was packed but not overly. The bar was full. About 40 people stood in front of the stage and all the tables were occupied. Conversations were brewing which definitely made the night feel more like a weekly where people get together to chop it up and appreciate good hip hop.
Although the headliners were the Beatnuts (which really fucking unfortunately I couldn’t stay for), I was there to see local artist Mr. Miranda, who kicked the night off with a smack to the senses. Man has he come a long way.
Dude had an intense and focused demeanor onstage. He came out rugged like R.A.; a seasoned professional demanding attention by looking the audience in the eyes as he spit raps. Lyrically, he comes across as an underdog who’s not afraid to grab a seat at the table. At one point, he spit he might not be big but he’s big to somebody. He is anhonest man who puts the mirror on himself, not for vanity reasons, but to self-identify who he really is. His lyrics come across honest and authentic and at times really funny like when he spit that he Camps Lo like Sonny Cheeba and Geechi Suede.
In the end, he brought M.P.R.E.S.S. on stage to do We Don’t Care. The song could play on the radio but that’s not what this night is about. It’s about showcasing the hardworking, lyrical emcees Arizona has to offer. It was freaking dope seeing a bunch of people there supporting that idea whether they came like me to see Miranda or the Beatnuts. A bunch of people were there for it all, which tells me Arizona can support all the hip hop nights being offered now - which is a win for us all.