Styles Of Beyond / Skratch Bastid The Marquee Club, Halifax - April 1, 2004

Styles Of Beyond / Skratch Bastid The Marquee Club, Halifax - April 1, 2004
Peace to Tachichi for dancing like he was born wiggling, and especially to Sofa King Raw entertainment for dragging underground poster boys Styles of Beyond straight up from L.A. and across the country to the Marquee, breaking up an annoying recent Halifax trend of arena rap-pop. The show was the last on the SOB's Canadian tour alongside rock star extraordinaire Skratch Bastid, part of their grander plan to promote Megadef, their much-anticipated sophomore release. Openers Johnny Hardcore, Jay Bizzy, DJ IV, T-boogie, and special guest Kaleb Simmonds stumbled through their respective but uncharacteristically lukewarm sets, while the Bastid, attentive as a good DJ-lover should be, got the embers warmed up. Despite a modest-sized youngish crowd and some kinks in the recently reopened Marquee's new design, Ryu, Tak and DJ Cheapshot played off the rising energy levels in the room with the command of a big stadium act — gracious, charming, playful and with their best rap swagger in full effect. With their rhymes as supple as ever, the MC duo showed that even after a six-year hiatus they still hold one of the tightest rapports in hip-hop. SOB eased through a mix of big tunes from their 2000 Fold LP and newer sounds, punctuating their set with the metal guitar riffs of "Superstars" and the over-slick bounce of "Mr. Brown" and "Outta Control." The SOB of 2004 seems angrier, sharper and cleaner than they were six years ago, but they still settled comfortably into the old grime of "Style Wars." Tak was especially on point, encouraging the audience to "shake your tail feathers!," teasing them playfully with the promise of crowd surfing — his first time ever. Maybe it was all pillow talk, or maybe the obnoxious throng of over-aggressive boys in the front changed his mind, but SOB traded that jump for an encore instead.