Introducing Your Go-To Guide for Vegas Beats

The Flavr Blue play Bunkhouse November 23 | Photo by Avi Loud

The Flavr Blue play Bunkhouse November 23 | Photo by Avi Loud

Before moving from the Bay Area to Las Vegas in January, I held two pretty common misconceptions about the population of my future home: 1. You all love horrible EDM. 2. You are all assholes. I quickly learned that the former was not true; the latter is still up for debate.

Being a hip-hop head and seeing the genre underrepresented within these pages, I started pitching concert reviews, which led to artist interviews, which led to an online column focused on music streaming and downloads called Hear Now. Which brings us to Sound Proof, a new bi-weekly column for news on local artists, shows to see, rants and who knows what else. I’ll be freestyling this as I go, so I’d love to hear your inside tips, thoughts and suggestions. With that said, let’s jump into the first cypher.

MPC maestro RJD2, who’s best known for the Mad Men theme song, touches down at the Bunkhouse on November 21. The Ohioan has more than a decade of genre-pushing production in his catalog, from his solo instrumental releases to collaborations with underground emcees. He’s known to bring an arsenal of equipment onstage with him, including drum machines and multiple turntables. It’s definitely one for the beatheads. But don’t skip opener Kitze + the CPUs. The one-man project is the latest from Las Vegan Brett Bolton (formerly of Kid Meets Cougar), who makes groovy 8-bit electro-pop jams paired with entrancing visual projections.

Also dropping into the Bunkhouse on November 23 is Seattle electro-R&B trio The Flavr Blue. Comprised of members from various Northwest rap groups, the new crew has taken a totally different direction from their previous affiliations, mastering both dancefloor bangers (“F x F”) and darker, atmospheric productions (“We Can Go Blind”). If singer Hollis looks and sounds familiar, it’s because she stole the show on Macklemore’s ScHoolboy Q-assisted “White Walls.”

OK, I’ll stop with the Bunkhouse worship, but we’ll stay Downtown as ¡MURSDAY! stomps into LVCS on November 25 (the same night DJ Q-Bert plays Bunkhouse … shit, sorry). A collaboration with Miami hip-hop band ¡MAYDAY!, the newly formed outfit is the latest reinvention for West Coast veteran and former Living Legends member Murs. You shouldn’t expect anything out-of-the-box, just straight up, hard-hitting boom bap. If there’s rap to mosh to, this is it.

While many have slept on Vegas’ hip-hop scene, Rick Ross hasn’t. The Florida tycoon signed Vegas rapper Yowda to his Maybach Music Group last week. Yowda, who earned buzz from his collaborations with YG (“That’s How It Goes”) and Rozay himself (“Ballin’”), joins the ranks of Wale, Stalley and Meek Mill—all of whom were catapulted into the national spotlight by Ross’ Midas touch. Let’s hope the Las Vegan’s MMG offerings won’t be as boring as, say, anything by Wale.

As terrific as that last news item is, Yowda might not be the best representation of our diverse hip-hop scene. I’d advise you to skip Googling his name and instead cop Marion Write’s Black Gold. Available for free download, it’s one of the most polished recent releases from a local artist.

I’m hoping to discover more, so feel free to drop me a line. Or, if you see me lurking at concerts—the big, grizzly-looking Indian dude in a five-panel—come say what’s up and prove you’re not all assholes. 

Got new music or upcoming shows? Holler at or @zoneil on Twitter.

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