Rock City Holds Passport Showcase in NYC [Exclusive Coverage]
New York, NY -- It was just another manic Monday in Manhattan, with one difference: a certain Virgin Islands twosome was in town on a mission to make New York City rock out.
The chicly-concealed Red Bull Space, located in Manhattan's upscale Soho region, hosted Rock City’s Passport Showcase. The stylish flyness of everyone in attendance was a surefire sign that their wings were in place, and the sponsor had done its job.
The stage was setup early for the duo (comprised of brothers Theron “Da Spokesman” and Timothy “Don’t Talk Much” Thomas) to get their audience in the mood for fiyah riddim, classic hip hop, and everything in between. As Kanye's familiar song about illumination dropped, so did the ultra-vivid neon lights and automatic blinds designed to keep those not rockin’ on the outside. With the exotic and eclectic DJ Miss Saigon warming up the party on the 1s and 2s, the crowd partied away, awaiting the gentlemen of the evening, who would not disappoint.
After a fashionably late arrival that included some mixing and mingling, the R. City boys proceeded to burn up the stage. Over a screaming crowd, they cleared a few things up: “A lot of people told us, y’all from the islands, man y’all don’t know nothing about no hip hop,” said Da Spokesman, “We want to show y’all how hip hop influenced us!” he proclaimed, before the band of brothers showed just what they knew about what they called “the birthplace of hip hop.” They dropped gems like “Planet Rock,” “Me Myself and I,” and “It Takes Two.” The crowd--which included celeb-vets like Busta Rhymes and new-school vintage-lovers like the Retro Kidz--went wild.
When the guys were done warming their crowd up, they went into mash-up mode with "Stop Lying," spitting an insightful, reggae-tinged hook: “if everybody’s supplying and nobody’s buying, then one of these muddaskunt lying/ and if everybody’s killing and nobody’s dying then one of these muddaskunt lying/ stop lying.” The duo performed a plethora of single-worthy tracks, including their latest, “Losin’ It,” which will appear on their new album, Wake The Neighbors.
The two have come a long way from their humble beginnings; they’ve written smash hits for Sean Kingston, Macy Gray and Janet Jackson, and now their longtime friend Akon has taken them under his wing, giving them a chance to shine on his Konvict Muzik label.
As Da Spokesman said in an exclusive DJBooth interview, “it’s weird that we were famous …when we came to Atlanta, it was hard because you walk in the room and you say, 'We’re from St. Thomas. Virgin Islands, and we want to rap!'” Judging from their extensive and diverse catalog, anywhere can be Rock City.
By Erica Lamar