The Word of Mouth Tour was definitely more “”word of mouth”” this year than last year. If you’re not familiar with it, it is a hip-hop tour with an underground aesthetic — one for people who love the music and the art of hip-hop.
Performing live were MC Supernatural, the Beat Junkies, Dilated Peoples, Cut Chemist, DJ Nu-Mark and Jurassic 5, who were headlining. It was amazing to see how large the turnout was for the two scheduled shows on Nov. 8 and Nov. 9 at the Belly Up Tavern.
Compared to last summer’s Word Of Mouth Tour at 4th & B, the house was packed. It seems that Jurassic 5 and Dilated Peoples have rounded up a more diverse fan base since appearing on popular music video channels.
The Beat Junkies kicked off the show with feats of turntablism, followed by Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark, who did a set before introducing Supernatural, who has an impressive talent for freestyling and getting audience participation. His skills for coming up with lyrics on the fly were extraordinary, especially since he asked for words from the audience for his rap “”Three Words”” and ended up with words like “”philharmonic,”” which are not easy to freestyle with.
In another song, he took items from the audience’s hands and added them into the rhyme — random objects such as condoms, Tic Tacs and Advil. His other impressive feat was his right-on impersonations of famous MCs. Every time he turned his back to the audience, he would impersonate Biggie, Xhibit, Wu-Tang or Busta Rhymes. Last year, Supernatural blessed the stage in the Price Center with completely different impersonations.
In part of the song, Supernatural enacted a duet between himself and Biggie and astounded the audience with how well he could impersonate him. Supernatural’s performance and energy were amazing. He came back in the end for a rap intro of all the performers in the tour.
The up-and-coming hip-hop duo from Los Angeles, Dilated Peoples, took the stage next. The group consists of Iriscience, Evidence and DJ Babu from the Beat Junkies. Their sound is a bit aggressive and their beats are driving and lucid.
During the summer they released their debut album, titled “”The Platform,”” and released the single “”Triple Optics”” on the “”Funky Precedent”” compilation, which included groups such as Jurassic 5. They amped the crowd with the performance of “”Triple Optics”” and their single “”Work the Angles.””
Dilated Peoples were able to maintain their underground sensibilities — therefore, much of the crowd was not familiar with their talent. However, the duo kept the audience’s heads bobbing with its dynamism, constant movement and overwhelming confidence, which showed through in their lyrics. At the end of their set, Evidence broke a beer bottle over his head as a dare and actually ended up momentarily knocking himself out.
When Jurassic 5 made their appearance, it was obvious whom the majority of the crowd had come to see. Half their set was from their self-titled EP and the other half was from their recently released album “”Quality Control.”” The single “”Quality Control”” made the crowd go wild. Surprisingly, their earlier singles, such as “”Jayou”” and “”Concrete Schoolyard”” left most of the crowd a little quiet.
Jurassic 5 delivered the full flavor of their innovative and authentic sound that celebrates music, not money, which is refreshing after all the recent deliverances in hip-hop music.
As usual, Jurassic 5 put on a charismatic performance with their organic sounds, harmonized choruses and their incorporation of different elements of hip-hop.
In one part of the show, break dancers came out, and the show highlighted the talent of DJs Nu-Mark and Cut Chemist, whose extensive collection of rare grooves, instructional and hip-hop music drives Jurassic 5’s cutting-edge sound.
DJ Nu-Mark amazed the crowd by playing the drum set, drum machine and the koto, a Japanese stringed instrument. As expected, Jurassic 5’s fresh sound, their lyrical talent and supreme beat makers made for an experience that will not be forgotten.
The most disappointing part of the show was not the performance but the audience.
The crowd came to 4th & B last year because it fully appreciated the artists, the music and the underground. This year’s fans did not come because they were hyped through popular media like MTV or BET.
Dance circles formed, and the audience knew the lyrics and the members’ names when the microphone was pointed at it. At one point, Cut Chemist was telling the audience what songs he had just spun with Nu-Mark: “”The third song is from ‘Brand Nubian,’ which might be a little underground for some of you.”” This insult to the audience probably caused some pleasure for real fans.
To get the crowd hyped up, members of Jurassic 5 did a little stage diving, which turned out dismal in the end. Some audience members ran up on stage to dive, and then one drunken and very large fan dove off the stage and landed on his neck. This ended the show a little sooner than it was supposed to end, with ambulances and rubber necking.
Although the end was a big disappointment, there was no way the performers could disappoint. The Word of Mouth Tour gave insight to old fans and newbies into the way hip-hop is supposed to be and was a good vehicle for delivering the extraordinary talent and innovation of the performers.
If you are looking for related events, check out these upcoming shows at the Belly Up:
All events are 21 and over.
DFH: Every Monday night. Disco, funk and hip-hop spun live for only $8 starting at 9 p.m.
Etta James: Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 17 at 8 p.m. This legendary blues and R&B singer is making two comeback appearances for $35.
Common Sense: Nov. 18 at 9:15 p.m. for $10. San Diego’s own ska, reggae and rock band.
Poncho Sanchez: Playing Nov. 22 at 8:30 p.m. for $10. This is the world-famous Latin jazz bongo player. Do not miss!
Goldfish: Nov. 25 at 9:15 p.m. for $7. San Diego’s premier funk band and party.
Common: Nov. 29 at 9 p.m. for $20. Chicago native hip-hop MC, known for his extraordinary rhyming and story-telling skills. If you’re a fan of hip-hop, a must-see!
Wailing Souls: Nov. 30 at 9 p.m. for $12. Well known reggae duo from Jamaica.
Digital Underground: Dec. 1 at 9:15 p.m. for $15. Old-school hip-hop group that is bound to make you move.