Nomadic Allstar Global Hip-Hop Throwdown

Wednesday, November 1st, 2006 | All Things, Events, Music

Continuing on with NYU’s (unofficial) distance learning program…

After cooking up yesterday’s collards, I sat at home, debating whether to venture out again. The night was still unseasonably warm, I had invitations in hand, and the venue was just two subway stops from my apartment.  I fought off entropy to meet SYB.

Nomadic Wax — the self-proclaimed “underground ‘guerilla-style’ record label — was in town for the NY Hip Hop Dance Convention‘s International MC Showcase at T-New York. The event featured international artists from all parts of Africa, Latin America and Asia culled from Nomadic Wax’s last CD, Nomadic Mixtape Vol. 2: East African Hip-Hop Beatdown.

As soon as I approached T on 52nd Street, I recognized it as the tri-level space formerly known as Temple, formerly known as Float. M and I attended the opening of its last incarnation in late 2004 — a night of free-flowing vodka tonics and much dancing, that I still recall with quite a bit of fondness, and a little queasiness.


Korean-American rapper El Gambina (shouldn’t this be La Gambina?) was on the stage when we arrived. She is a member of Organic Thoughts, a New Jersey based hip-hop crew. El Gambina was a charismatic performer, and “cute” as SYB noted — an assessment clearly shared by the eager male fans in the audience. Still, there’s something about East Asian rappers I find oddly discordant.

Next up: Chee Malabar, one half of the hip-hop outfit Himalayan Project, from San Francisco by way of India. His style was more laid back than his lead-in’s… heavier on the beats and thick with sociopolitical commentary. Malabar’s was the performance I enjoyed most of the evening.

Chee Malabar

Balozi Dola, a hip-hop artist from Tanzania, performed a short, frantic set as part of a trio of rappers.

Balozi Dola

The acts were each introduced by the MC of the evening, a striking woman from Kenya, who promised to perform a song for those staying through to the end. We didn’t. Minutes into the set by LF (from São Paulo) and DJ Laylo (from the South Bronx) we quietly slipped out.


Strolling through the theater district, we passed the Neil Simon Theatre, where fans were gathered on the sidewalk outside, post-show. The stage door opened and we heard a buzz of excitement run through the crowd. Hairspray star Shannon Durig emerged, smiling and gamely signing autographs for those assembled.

Shannon Durig

I suspect that at least a few of the people there were waiting not for Durig, but for a glimpse of American Idol Season 3 runner-up Diana DeGarmo, who rejoined the Hairspray cast in September after a three month stint earlier in the year.

There's 1 comment so far ... Nomadic Allstar Global Hip-Hop Throwdown

November 9, 2006

Distance learning, heh.

Go for it ...