|Despot (left) and El-P (right) leading the audience's free aerobics session (you couldn't make this up)|
Anyone familiar with Despot's work will be glad to know his onstage presence matches expectations in terms of comedic value. His brief opening set involved not only the first rap aerobics session/performance I've ever attended (pictured), but also conversations with his iPad, and a whole slew of nonchalant one-liners. We (the audience) also managed to convince him that cake was a drug (a made-up drug). The set was made up of mostly new material which Despot claimed to be taken from his debut album to be released "soon" (and produced entirely by Ratatat). I assume I speak for many when I say that album needs to see the light of day because both the beats and the MC's technique worked amazingly together. "I'm goin' ham, I'm goin' bread, I'm goin' cheese!!!"
Knowing Despot was just the warm-up act made the anticipation for El-Producto's set even more tantalizing. When it did begin El sinply didn't let up - and he and his band played Cancer For Cure from beginning to end. And the fact that C4C is easily my most played album of this year didn't stop every track from hitting as hard as the first. Personal highlights were the full-throttle "The Full Retard", surely one of the smartest dumb rap singles in years; and Despot's returrn for his verses on "Tougher Colder Killer" felt like the stars had aligned. El-P also played the perfect host to the night's preceedings; it's no wonder that he's popularly considered the underground legend that he is.