MaLLy at 7th Street Entry, 5/18/12

MaLLy's The Last Great... CD Release Party
With Tribe + the Big Cats, 925ve and Jimmy2Times.
7th St Entry, Minneapolis
Friday, May 18, 2012

View a slideshow here.

It was one of those downtown nights. Rick Ross was a couple blocks away backing up a Brinks truck; Mayer Hawthorne was in the next room with the crowd packed to the exits. Even the popular dance night Wants vs. Needs was a couple drinks away. But the show of the night easily could have been MaLLy's release party at the 7th St Entry.

MaLLy who has been the contending under card for years now, steadily impressing people while waiting for their favorite act to hit the stage -- most notably on Atmosphere's "Welcome to MN" Tour, where he built his major buzz. But that's just part of the game; wait for your time, and when it comes, don't blow it. But Friday night was his shine on the top card and he delivered to a sold out Entry.

MaLLy for years now has quietly been building a buzz not only locally, but nationally with his shockingly polished style and -- I hate to use the word -- swag. But he carries a certain "it" factor that sets him apart from most young Twin Cities mic holders.

MaLLy at 7th Street Entry, 5/18/12
Photo by Anna Gulbrandsen

With a mix of old rap vets, new jack newbies and some summer dresses in the crowd it was a packed -- and hot -- 7th Street Entry. It all meshed together to hold down an entertaining floor show. Jimmy Two Times spun in between sets, dishing out classics and getting the girls dancing early. Highlight -- or low light -- was pulling out "I Got 5 on It" by the Luniz much to the quietness of the crowd. Minutes into the song, Two Times gave a verbal lashing to the young bucks that didn't know the song. Hip-Hop 101 is always in session.

925ve hit the stage to a half-empty room, but that's typical of opening acts. They banged out a couple joints but failed to get the energy going with back and forth stage-pacing rap. They closed the set strong rapping over the classic Beasties track "So What'cha Want." By that time, the room was getting full. People had a few drinks a couple pulls and the energy was way better for the group.

MaLLy at 7th Street Entry, 5/18/12
Photo by Anna Gulbrandsen

The Tribe + the Big Cats! hit the stage and capitalized on that energy. TruthBeTold, rocking new Chucks and shirt supporting a demented Mickey Mouse on acid, kept it moving with a set that included many new cuts. Much to the delight to the artists, the crowd was feeling them -- as most of the room was up with their hands in the air. This was a much-improved TTxBC as TruthBeTold's confidence and command of the crowd has improved from about a year ago. I'm pretty sure we will be writing a great review about their headlining show down the road.

Now the crowd was getting restless, chants of "MaLLy Bomaye!" rung out through the Entry while he sat backstage waiting for his cue. With his hat tilted on a forward lean and rocking a plain gray T-shirt, he hit the stage with "Swallowing the Reign" and it was all non-stop from there.

Backed by Cryphy famous DJ Last Word, his 30-minute set was all raps, all substance with amazing skill. His confidence beamed and his professionalism shocking for such a young kid. It was almost HOV like the way he commanded the audience's attention and had them hanging on every word. MaLLy was getting the crowd hot in all sorts of ways. A lady in the front row kept tugging at her dress strings and feeling around her chest underneath her top. It felt like a Poison concert for a second.

The highlight of the night came with the track "Good One," which featured K.Raydio. If anyone was going to steal the night away from MaLLy, it was she. Her voice was so good, and charm so infectious that MaLLy demanded she sing the hook again a capella even after the song was finished.

MaLLy closed the night out strong by inviting TruthBeTold back to the stage for "Bounce," which rocked the crowd and them sweating out their alcohol. With a night like this in the books I wouldn't be surprised to see this kid headlining the room next door with in a couple years. Overall, it was a successful celebration of one of the best up-and-coming artists in this city. Not just in hip-hop, but overall.

Critic's Notebook 

The Crowd: Interesting mix of people -- maybe it was spillover from Mayer Hawthorne but it was a fun crowd for sure.

Random Detail: I might have a small crush on K.Raydio now after seeing and hearing her perform. Also one genius idea I saw was some local MC was handing out fliers by the restrooms instead of the exits. That's grind mode.

Overheard: Big Jess (from the Unknown Prophets) talking about his daughters' college basketball scholarship offers.

Personal Bias: The best rap show I have seen in months, probably since Black Milk played 7th Street a few months back. That was an excellent show, one of the best I've seen at in that small room.

MaLLy's setlist:

1. Swallowing the Reign
2. Shine
3. Hands High
4. Stomp Through (features with Tigre)
5. REN 1.0 - REN 2.0 (features Claire)
6. Heir Time
7. Good One (features K-Raydio)
8. Bounce (features TruthBeTold)
10. My Lord

Followed by a few encore songs...

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