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The guys at UndergroundHipHopBlog did it again.  They returned for another installment of their marquee Halloween event, Night Of The Living Dead. On October 26th, underground hip hop fans from around Los Angeles packed into the upper level at Catch One. The venue featured 2 fully stocked bars, merch stands, a glassware stand, a smoking patio, a side stage and a main stage.  With G-Mo Skee, Twisted Insane, Madchild, and Necro at the top of the card, I knew I was in for a full long night of hardcore hip hop.

The venue had two main rooms.  The entrance area dubbed “The Loft” was home to merch vendors and a fully stocked bar.  It also featured a small stage in the room that showcased some local hip hop talent such as Mad Illusions, Monzarmy, The Bermuda, and Hunner.  The main room dubbed “The Disco Room” featured the main stage, elevated couches, and second fully stocked bar.  The main stage was warmed up by a few acts such as Mykill Miers, Pawz One, and Parallax.  Special shout out to both MC Lyfe for hosting all night and DJ Survive for holding it down on the ones and twos between sets.  Let’s jump into the main performances of the night.

Up first was G-Mo Skee.  The Richmond native took to the stage in his signature fur hat to spit a set of that Bay Area “filth” as he calls it.  This was the point where The Disco Room started to pack in.  G-Mo Skee dropped an engaging performance that set the tone for the rest of the night.  Up next was San Diego’s own horror-core veteran, Twisted Insane. Twisted Insane put on one of the most creative hip-hop sets I’ve seen in a while. He entered the venue donned in a black robe and a Lucifer mask.  He performed this insane dance in between verses that personified demonic possession.  And he also performed his hit song, Pick Your Poison, while reenacting death by heroin overdose.  In an era where grabbing your crotch and rapping is the standard, seeing Twisted Insane roll some theatrics into his set was a refreshing take on the genre as a whole.

The co-headlining performance was the one I was most eager to see. Growing up in Canada in the 90s, I couldn’t ignore Madchild’s accomplishments.  Swollen Members had won a slew of Juno awards and Much Music awards for hits such as "Breathe", "Fuel Injected", and "Black Magic" in Canada.  In recent years, Madchild has gone on to be the most successful member of the group.  This success and fame came at a price though. Madchild was banned from entering the United States for a few years based on his alleged association with the Hell's Angels motorcycle gang.  After years of lengthy legal battles, Madchild regained access to the United States, but his performances are still a bit of a commodity.  He dropped verse after verse of raw honesty addressing his personal demons like his addictive personality that still haunt him today.

The last act needs no introduction. If you’re throwing a Halloween horrorcore/hardcore rap show, no act makes more sense. The King of Death Rap, the originator of the term, and curator of the genre – Necro. Assisted by Mr. Hyde, Necro played all the old classics such as "I Need Drugs", "Dead Body Disposal", and "Murder Your Life". I’ve gone to a lot rap shows in my life. Necro shows are different. Once he took the stage, you noticed a shift in energy in the room. The metal influences in his music came out in full force. Necro loves his fans, but he understands that his thuggish demeanor is why he’s amassed this cult following. He taunted the fans into starting a pit in the center of the room. I’ve seen some “mosh pits” at rap concerts – most of which are nothing more than random shoving matches. This was different. It included the circle motion and organized chaos.

Midway through the set, Necro stopped the music. Since it was Halloween, it was only right that Necro acknowledge the holiday and call all the ladies to the stage for a costume contest. Naturally, the costume contest involved a bit of dancing and a bit of twerking. After the contest, the party ensued on stage as entourage and girls packed in. Necro pushed himself pretty hard as he started to lose his voice, but he pulled through the set like a champ. Anyone who purchased VIP was also invited to remain behind for a good ol’ meet and greet with Mr. Hyde and Necro after the show.

For me, this show was a bit of a flashback and a trip down my memory lane. My tastes in hip hop over the years have strayed away from the extremes and have landed somewhere in the palatable middle. But this show and this line up took me back to the fringes. Back to the roots. Where lyricism, verbal technicality, and aggressiveness took precedence. The genre might not be for everyone, but everyone’s got to experience a live show of this caliber. Keep an eye out for these guys if they come through your town. It’ll get a little violent. It’ll get a little sweaty. But it’ll be a hell of a great time.


Kris Kuganathan

Photojournalist - Orange County

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