Monday, December 29, 2014

Tuesday: Grand Design Release Party: Mic Phelps & DJ Kage

"I'm not what you think..." 

The Grand Design Release Party: Mic Phelps (of hip-hop quartet Cold Men Young) has stepped up to the mic as a solo MC, backed by producer DJ Kage

Phelps, with his guttural voice and blistering delivery and Kage, with his knack for classy throwback styled production with modern flairs for heavier electronic atmospherics, have certainly forged a fine album and it’s been a longtime coming for both to step into their own spotlights. 

The stand-out track for me has to be the ferocious and stark electro-rap exposition of "Reparations," with Kage affecting a nervy, nocturnal vibe with percolating synths striking ominous, hollow chimes over a grinding buzz that evokes a building tension; following are individual cameos from  Passalacqua. 

A demand for fairness, for collective enlightenment, for reparations and for a "new administration..." These "are blood songs...buried in our bones..." for a time when nothing else seems to work, for when impunity from corruption and abuse of power is the status quo...  A dropping of tired rhetoric and a call for a chance, a real chance, to change things. With each guest rapper sounding enlivened by Phelp's passion and in-tune with his restlessness and his resolve and matching his characteristically fast and fierce delivery. 

This release party, produced by ASSEMBLE, is an excellent showcase for Detroit's contemporary hip-hop scene, with Guilty Simpson, Erno The Inferno (with Lisa Stocking), Macs The Realest, LaRon Ronco, DJ No Chaser, light shows by The Prince of Darkness and visual art by Ashley McFadden.

Indigo Black and CrackKillz Da God will be co-hosting with WDET's Travis Wright. 
8:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Tangent Gallery, 715 Milwaukee Ave, Detroit.

More from Microphone Phelps

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