I consider myself to be a bit of a Dumbfoundead superfan. I’ve been following him for quite a few years now—listening to all of his albums, looking up his old rap battle videos on Youtube, hunting down any track that he’s featured on. The only thing I hadn’t done until last night was see him live! In light of this, I thought that instead of rambling on about all the stuff I already know about Dumb, I’d share some of the new things that I learned at the show—
- His love for Minneapolis runs deep. The morning of the show, I checked my Twitter and was surprised to see pictures of Dumbfoundead and Slug from Atmosphere hanging out together. How cool is that! During the concert, he talked about their lunch date being the quintessential Minneapolis experience, which sounds about right to me. It’s cool to know that Dumb is in touch with our local scene, and I’d I love to hear him do some features for Rhymesayers artists in the future.
- He keeps good company. A lot of my favorite moments of the night actually happened during Year of the Ox’s set, which was a welcome surprise considering I hadn’t been too familiar with their music beforehand. They’re a great rap duo with a lot of energy, charisma, and technical prowess. The way they trade verses/lines so organically reminds me of other great two-man groups like Outkast and Run the Jewels. Also, those branded surgical masks they were selling were one of the coolest hip-hop merch items I’ve seen in a minute.
- He can rap. Like, for real. Going to see a rapper live for the first time can be a somewhat nerve-wracking experience. I usually have a lot of questions bouncing around my head before the set starts. Will they do all the rapping themselves, or will they delegate most of the work to a backing track? Will they use a variety of vocal registers, or just yell everything as loud as they can? However, as soon as Dumbfoundead sauntered onstage and launched straight into “P.A.A.C.”, one of his more technically demanding numbers, I knew I had nothing to worry about. Just like other great MCs that got their start in battle rap, his time on the battle circuit has clearly honed his performance skills to the point that breath and cadence control aren’t a problem.
- He has a top-notch fanbase. One of the things that made this concert so enjoyable for me was the crowd’s respectful behavior. A crowd’s energy level is a tricky thing—too much can create an obnoxious, even unsafe atmosphere, but too little, and the performer is given nothing to feed off of. I thought that this crowd did a great job of showing their enthusiasm without being disruptive.
All of these things combined with the charming weirdness of Loring Bar (miscellaneous metal tendrils and all) made for an excellent night out. Good music, good venue, good crowd. I’m glad that I finally got to see one of my favorite rappers live, and I’m hoping that he comes back soon!
Image Courtesy of Dumfounded Facebook