Hip-Hop groups keep Billiken Club movin’

Hip-hop is the culture of many African American youths in the inner city. It’s not just music or dancing; it’s a style and way of life for many young people.

Saturday night, three groups, Double B, Say Panther and King Cobra, performed hip-hop music to audiences at the Biliken Club.

The first musician to hit the stage was Bobbi Williams-also known as Double B. The South Bend, Ind., native started his show by introducing what he referred to as the “fundamentals” of hip-hop: 1) Move your right hand in the air and 2) Do whatever you have to do to get hype. He then proceeded to do a call-and-response portion.

In one song, about an elevator, he asked the crowd to repeat, “This elevator should move any minute now, I’m sure help will be here soon,” along with a few other lines. The crowd, who could not remember these long phrases, fell silent. When the crowd finally did make noise, it was to laugh at the young musician, who used similes such as “Back like a vertebrae,” in his rhymes. There are times when he raps so fast that you don’t know what he’s saying, but when you finally catch on, all you can do is laugh and say to yourself, “Is he serious?”

Although Double B may lack some skills when it comes to the overall style of hip-hop, one thing that did help his show was his enthusiasm in getting the crowd hyped.

In one song, he unexpectedly moved through the crowd of people, literally tripping over them, saying, “I don’t know where I’m going.”

The next group to perform was Say Panther, whose style contained a mix of pop, Indie and Afro-beat sounds.

Say Panther, consisting of group members James Bishop, Michael Ivancic, Wesley Powell and Robby Ritter, started off with a techno sounding beat. The crowd seemed to respond well to them; unlike for the previous performer, the crowd remained standing around the stage.

These musicians really displayed their talent through their instruments-especially the guitars. Even if you don’t like their style of music, their great beats will have you up and dancing in no time.

The last group to perform was King Cobra. These performers were surprisingly good as far as vocals are concerned, but, just like Double B, they lacked the essence of hip-hop. To members of the hip-hop culture, their performance even may be viewed as offensive.

Despite any negative opinions surrounding hip-hop, its culture is more than using profanity in every other word or talking about the “ice” you have.

As soon as King Cobra stepped onto stage, the foul language started to roll out of their mouths. There’s a time and a place for everything, and to curse for no reason at all except to only imitate what they think is hip-hop, is not the time. These performers have been watching a little bit too much BET.

During their show, the group also experienced technical difficulties with their beats and had to end a few songs short. However, true MC’s would have “rocked the mic” with or without background music. In fact, many of them would have just improvised by freestyling.

In real hip-hop lyrics, a meaningful message is conveyed to listeners. Hip-hop is something that binds people together-it communicates common experiences shared among people. While hip-hop does involve the crowd in order to get them hyped up, or may use obscene language to get a point across, it’s much more than these things; it’s a way of life.

Although quite entertaining and humorous, these performers seemed to be mocking hip-hop instead of being a part of it.