June 27, 2012 marked The Illixer‘s premier event. It was held at Timbuktu and featured 11 unique Milwaukee talents. DJ Ty worked the one’s and two’s, keeping the atmosphere alive. King Kamonzi of the Zulu Nation was an entertaining host who kept things light-hearted but real. The audience was a little smaller than expected. However, they were energetic and showed all of the performers a lot of love and support. Also, the performers gave each other a lot of respect as well. So it was still an encouraging environment. The staff of Timbuktu were friendly and efficient. Everyone got their drinks and food in a timely fashion. The Blaqlizt Entertainment team spread themselves throughout the venue to help out, ensuring everything ran smoothly. And the performers showed up and showed out from beginning to end. Local photographer Steve White was on deck to capture it all. Things ran a little behind schedule but really took off once they got going. Check out a top 10 list of memorable points from the performances after the jump.
Top 10 Moments:
10. King Kamonzi‘s a-capella rhyme. It takes a lot of talent for any artist to go without music. But the daring way he came at mainstream artists is what really set it off. Kamonzi has no problem speaking his mind and that’s one of the many things that makes him such a well respected figure in the Hip-Hop community.
9. Gat Turner’s performance of his song “In Killwaukee.” Even though he was missing his partner Viva Fidel, he still owned the moment. He had the audience all turned up and ready to start a revolution. Gotta love a dope conscious emcee.
8. July Eihth‘s performance of his song “Spread Luv.” It’s always nice to have a little positivity in any situation. And he gets brownie points for taking the stage while injured. One couldn’t even tell. He was upbeat and energetic the whole night.
7. Mz. Nova doing her “Mother Earth” poem. She always comes off very powerful when she does this piece live. Also, the words of the poem really resonated well with the audience. They seemed to connect to the message and were definitely feeling the number. And it’s a beautiful thing to see appreciation of a different art form.
6. Tiki Da Poet making her spoken word debut. It is always special for people to have first time experiences. And it is no easy task to share something as personal as poetry in a room full of strangers. But she rocked it and the crowd was behind her 100%.
5. Cezar performing “Hater My Motivator.” He really zoned out and went in for this track. Also, the crowd really enjoyed it. And the song itself is just dope, one of Cezar’s best.
4. Bass Head Music‘s entire set. They delivered a free spirited energy to the event. Plus, it’s really fun to sing along to party tracks like “Shwasted.”
3. Son “Em All and his a-capella freestyle. Again, you have to respect any artist who can rule a mic sans music. Additionally, he put a lot of heart into his performance. He went out of his way to make sure the crowd heard his words and had an understanding of where he was coming from.
2. Kia Rap Princess and her entire set. She performed tracks from her new upcoming mixtape, Heiress 2 The Throne: Volume 2. She came full of charisma as always and had the whole crowd going from start to finish. She even had some bonding moments with her fellow Blaqlizt family members July Eihth and J Hyphen. Kia never fails to entertain her audience and leave them wanting more.
1. Trunk Bussa had an incredible set. He took the stage eagerly and went on to carry out each track with much intensity. His best moment though was when he debuted his future single “Survivor.” He had a lot of emotion and left his all on the stage. Other standout moments from his set included him allowing his family to shine and the special interaction he shared with his boo. Mad props to Trunk Bussa, glad he ended up on the bill.
**My Two Cents: So the event got started a little later than it was supposed to. There were a few technical difficulties and the turn out could have been better. But all things considered, it was a nice first event. It was a great networking and bonding opportunity and all of the artists seemed to genuinely connect. And unity is much needed in the Milwaukee scene at the moment. So that was a joy to watch. I learned some things as well. So I’m looking forward to applying the new knowledge and trying my hand at another event. So stay tuned for future details. Much love to everybody who had a hand in this first one. Be sure to check out pictures from the night here. -MinM