Last Friday night the intimate Bushwick gallery space 3rdEye(Sol)ation hosted the second installment of Art Release Therapy, a hip-hop showcase featuring sets by local rappers and producers. By 10 p.m. the lights were cut and the quirky, oddball portraits and landscape paintings along the walls were visible only by the alien glow of spasmodic lasers. The DJ programmed bass-heavy, percolated fragments of old soul records, beckoning a small group to incite an impromptu dance battle.
Hosted by Brooklyn-based art and music collectives like Bed-Stuy’s Cypher League, DOPELEAGUE and ArtForSkins, six hip-hop artists performed at the packed-to-capacity gallery space late into the night. Dom O. Briggs, Dynamic Equilibrium, JohnNy U, Nicholas Hunt, Salomon Faye and Enasni Leber were among them, playing simultaneous sets that were split by five-minute DJ interludes. A Tribe Called Quest’s Scenario made the bill twice that night, both times ushering mass approval.
By 2 a.m. there were still more people filtering into the gallery, with sweaty, enraptured crowds circling headline artist Salomon Faye and his featured guest rapper Enasni Leber. On the far wall, a few of the painted canvases were leaning precariously, and more than once did the rickety amplifiers threaten to topple over. Otherwise the night was a complete, usefully calamitous success—a community of creators and like-minded individuals, representing all five boroughs, and gathering to celebrate the music they love.
Photos by Angel Eugenio Fraden.