Props due: Los Angeles-born MC, Busdriver, isn’t satisfied with the status quo. His up-tempo electronic soundscapes thump with heavy bass, highlighted by pleasantly quirky sounds. And his energy is off the charts. Yet in trying to push the envelope, Busdriver tore it to smithereens at Webster Hall on Friday. The bulk of the crowd, who appeared to have just gotten out of a freshman English class at NYU, seemed to be feeling it. But I couldn’t help notice that the Epitaph Records signed MC was missing the beat entirely and giving the crowd jazz hands (no joke). After what was probably beer number four, I went to the bathroom, wondering if I was getting old and out of touch. The attendant was playing Gang Starr, and I decided to camp out for awhile and wait for Rjd2 to come on.
Rj, the underground hip-hop luminary, who brazenly impressed – or entirely pissed off – fans with his new genre-bending opus, The Third Hand, likely won over any naysayers in the crowd on Friday. Taking stage with a live band, throughout the night, the Columbus, Ohio, native rotated between guitar, bass, keyboard, his sampler and the wheels of steel, playing a well-balanced mix of new and old material: from the peppy, soul heavy "Good Times Roll Pt. 2" to the Beatlesesque "Laws of the Gods." RJ’s crooning was also impressive, proving it wasn’t just good technology that made his vocals strong on the album.
Beer number seven came and went, and I rushed downstairs to use the restroom. Yet even though the bathroom attendant was bumping Boogie Down Productions, I didn’t tarry. I was eager to return and see what Rj would do next.