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Friday the 13th at the FOE and Saturday the 14th at the Huntley VFW

Slickwitted (left) and Mephitis (right)
Slickwitted (left) and Mephitis (right)

Platinum Stylez hosted event on the 14th in Huntley
Platinum Stylez's Myspace page

The first thought that sprang to mind this weekend, upon seeing the "turnout" (head count) at the two shows, where was the promotion? Both shows combined pulled in around 50-60 people when they usually each have an easy 100+ in attendance. The Friday night show was hosted by the FOE which had a radio plug and an advertisement in the Billings Gazette. The Saturday night show hosted by Platinum Stylez at the Huntley VFW, for the Red Devils, was promoted by posters and flyers.

The show on Friday the 13th at the F.O.E. was a mixture of Rap/Hip-hop, Punk, and Metal. This proved to provide a good mixture of genres that are seldom seen at the same venue. The problem was that even though the event was promoted decently the ads were geared toward the Metal and Punk genres. The Rap/Hip-hop portion of the show was promoted mainly by "word of mouth" which proved to generate only a fraction of the crowd that is regularly seen. The first half of the show consisted of Rap/Hip-hop performances by Mephitis and Slickwitted, Platinum Stylez, Impurity, and Talx Sick Wreckchords.

All performers received admirable reactions from the crowd and were professional to all standards of their music, or any performance for that matter, invoking crowd contribution and thanking the them for their presence. One act did stand out though, Talx Sick Wreckchords proved to have the most effective set with the mixed genre due to their utilization of live instruments and a DJ station. One crowd member had speculated that "they stacked the crowd with more of their following" concerned by the fact that they were headlining for the Rap/Hip-hop half of the show, which is more often than not the case, but thats purely speculation. One observation that was pointed out about the group, by an anonymous patron, was that they took entirely too long to set up and caused the show to start 1 1/2 hours later than advertised (A problem that has presented itself before with the group's previous appearances).

The show on Saturday the 14th at the Huntley VFW, hosted by Platinum Stylez for the Red Devils, was a first-class show of professionalism. With only a handful of people in attendance the performers agreed unanimously that the show must go on. Performers included Mephitis and Slickwitted, Impurity, and Platinum Stylez with Killa C making a brief appearance (even though he did not perform). When asked why the "turnout" was so low; Colt Draine of Pitlock Entertainment was quoted saying "We promote where we are allowed to. In this case we were promoting with flyers and posters. If the high school would have let us pass out flyers and put up posters then it might not have turned out this way." and continues to say "That has been a real obstacle for us on drawing in the younger crowd. If we were allowed to pass out flyers at high schools and malls then we could get the news to spread more effectively."

Platinum Stylez, despite the lack of a crowd, put on his performance as usual with an excellent stage presence. His set ended with a fan favorite called "The Boogeyman Shuffle" in which Platinum shows off his dance skills and educates the crowd on how to do "The Boogeyman Shuffle" (Videos will be posted at a later date showcasing this dance move). Impurity and the duo Mephitis and Slickwitted also remained steadfast in their performances proving that the size of the crowd doesn't matter as much as what you put into the show.

In summary, the level of performance and professionalism is not an uncommon sight with the local Rap/Hip-hop groups as they strive to bring Billings and the surrounding area the best that they can provide. The Billings community should commend these performers in the amount of effort put forth into bringing live Rap/Hip-hop to the local stages. With Impurity shows booked year round at the FOE, and various other events that they are generating, one can safely say that Rap and Hip-hop are here to stay.