Andrew W.K. and company capped off an excellent week of Santos shows with the True Till Def showcase, a melange of hip-hop, hardcore and metal, with a lineup heavy on NYC representers. The two simultaneous stages prompted frequent trips up and down the staircase and a number of confusing stage swaps, which only made the already-crazy evening that much wilder.
Main Attraktionz polished off a busy CMJ week with a celebratory set that was all fun. Despite the smaller early-evening crowd, the duo plus DJ kept the energy level at 100, jumping offstage into the crowd to get hyphy with the front row fans. The Oakland MCs ran through a set of cloud rap anthems, including many from their newest mixtape, 808s And Dark Grapes II, and did an outstanding job of translating them for the stage into irresistible swagged-out bangers.
Next on the downstairs stage was Queens native Action Bronson, who kick off his set by playing a Bobby Brown song, lighting a monster joint and passing it off to the crowd, effectively smoking up the whole first four rows of fans. Bronson’s classic New York boom bap brand of rap sounded gigantic blasting from the speakers in the Santos basement, a fitting soundtrack for a big man with an even bigger personality. Bronson played a 30-minute set that included “Bag Of Money,” “Barry Horowitz” and “Ronnie Coleman” before peacing out to “go get stoned.”
Brooklyn’s own Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire kept the energy up with a high-power set of gritty East Coast bangers. In a prime time slot with a ton of industry eyes on him, eXquire tore through songs from his acclaimed Lost In Translation mixtape as well as new ones, with a small army of a crew on stage to back him up. For a guy most widely recognized for his ode to getting fucked up (“Huzzah”), eXquire was entirely composed and lucid, and nailed his lines with unhinged intensity.
Lightspeed button pusher AraabMuzik closed out the night with a set of hip-hop and electronic beats re-arranged by the whiz himself aboard his MPC. Seamlessly twisting one song into another, AraabMuzik pieced together certified bangers, showing off his virtuosic, quick-fingered beat-making abilities, but also his crowd-rocking know-how.