Photos by David Rubene
Prince is God in Minnesota but hip-hop is a very close second! – Metasota
I couldn’t agree more.
The local hip-hop community came out by the masses last night in order to support resident partyboy Prof’s homecoming. It was a night that will be remembered by many and a night that truly showed to power of the local hip-hop scene that I have come to love. Last night was the final night of Prof’s Time Bomb Tour and there was no better place to hold the show than Minneapolis’ own, First Avenue.
As the sold out crowd filed in, they were greeted by the DJ skills of Willie Wonka who would later be the DJ for Prof. Willie was a charismatic young man with enough energy and personality to make me forget the fact that I’m not a huge fan of watching DJ’s. Typically I get bored when watching someone just standing behind a computer but Willie came out from behind his post multiple times with a smile on his face and dance moves that were nothing short of contagious.
After an hour of warming up the crowd, it was time for the first rapper of the night, Cashinova. Hailing from Saint Paul, Cashinova seemed to cash in on his Asian heritage as he blasted through a quick twenty minute set. His brand of rap had a more unfinished sound than the rest of the night but I don’t mean that as it was amateur or anything. It was truly just a much more raw sound than what was to come and that made him stand out during the show. It is also what continues to make him stand out in this scene. Although his set was short, it was not ignored and Cashinova showed just how quickly he is moving up the local hip-hop ladder.
DJing for Finding Novyon was Metasota. Normally Metasota isn’t his DJ but, as Finding Novyon explained, there wasn’t enough room in the van for each artist on this tour to bring their own DJ’s so that had to improvise. Had they not said anything, I wouldn’t have known that Finding Novyon and Metasota didn’t regularly perform together. The duo was a force to be reckoned with and, even when they switched spots and Metasota was front and center with Finding Novyon behind the DJ booth, they proved that these two are some of the front runners in the ever growing local hip-hop scene.
The reason I love Prof so much (beyond his live show) is his personality that shines like the brightest light you have ever seen. Although I’ve only met him in passing with a quick hand shake or high-five, his smile is contagious and his energy is that of true positivity. Even playing in front of a sold out crowd at First Avenue, there’s no denying that this guy comes off as that best friend you had growing up. He seems approachable, friendly, and down to earth.
Prof played through his hour set and followed that up with a two song encore. Prof played a variety of songs that showed off just how versatile he is. He apologized before playing “Hotel Room” just in case his voice cracked during some of the higher notes due to just getting over being sick. The apology ended up being unnecessary as Prof nailed every single note in the vocally treacherous song. It didn’t matter if he was playing a slower ballad about sleeping with a stranger in a hotel room or one of his upbeat songs that showed off his narcissistic side, Prof completely nailed every single song he play last night and had the crowd in the palm of his hand.
Prof’s last song had him doing his signature move of crowd surfing through the crowd in a giant raft as he flung confetti out at the crowd. Sure, he does it every single time and you know that’s it coming but it doesn’t take the excitement away at all. As he and Willie Wonka tried to point the crowd into the direction they wanted to go in, the crowd did their best to oblige and safely got the performers back up to the stage.
The local hip-hop community showed their teeth last night and I’m still trying to figure out how the hell I ended up getting involved in such a truly beautiful scene.
Welcome home boys.