Monday, July 16, 2012

SoSoon’s “For Nina- 1st Annual Sarcoidosis Fundraiser” Concert Review

SoSoon’s “For Nina- 1st Annual Sarcoidosis Fundraiser” Concert Review
July 15 NYC Sapphire Lounge
Sarcoidosis is a disease in which abnormal collections of chronic inflammatory cells form as nodules in multiple organs. In spite of it being a disorder that has affected the likes of Bernie Mac, Angie Stone, Tisha Campbell, and other celebrities, little is known about it. In 2005 SoSoon’s grandmother, Nina died after battling it for some twenty years. And thus came “For Nina,” a fundraiser and event meant to raise awareness of this disease.
Opening with the great Edwin Vazquez, an artist who has performed with the likes of Paul Simon, Bill Cosby and other luminaries, his trio featured brilliant guitarist Alpha Halvorsen and  Cheo Changui on congas/percussion. Ranging from Marvin Gaye covers to Latin Jazz ballads, Edwin remains one of the finest, most in-demand NY based musicians in the Big Apple, and once again proved why with his short but sizzling set. Using his mouth to imitate a trumpet- or “vocal mouth brass” if you will- it’s part of Edwin’s crowd-pleasing repertoire; the group easily won over the young, hip hop loving crowd.
Female rappers MizzP and Sabrina Gilbert came out for a duet and to say these two young ladies are talented, sharp, funny, sexy, and have something to say would be an understatement. Both later did their own memorable sets. MizzP exudes confidence and personality, as does Ms. Gilbert who is able to walk that fine line between being a polished, yet fun-loving performer. There’s a whole lot of sexism in the hip hop game because both these ladies deserve to be in front of far larger crowds than this packed but intimate space was able to hold. And did I mention Ms. Gilbert can sing, too?
Speaking of singing, another talented young lady in Angel Sent gave the crowd some fine R&B tunes and left the audience wanting more.
The host of the show, SoSoon, performed his own set of socially relevant hip hop, starting out with Edwin Vazquez’s crew. Until you’ve heard pure hip-hop backed by Latin Jazz artists, you haven’t experienced a great hybrid style that I believe has unlimited potential. As always, this pairing of SoSoon and Edwin’s group killed. SoSoon later went to his tracks where he performed The Underclass and other cuts that got you thinking as well as moving, and isn’t that the way great hip hop is supposed to be? The show’s finale was SoSoon with the group MI-6. Now MI-6’s choreography (or lack thereof) isn’t going to make you forget The Temptations, Spinners or O’Jays, but it didn’t much matter because the raw energy was off the charts and the place was electric. This was a party. It was a perfect end to a great evening where the music and the vibes were “just right.”
I only wish more club owners could see how positive hip hop is when done by its underground ambassadors like SoSoon and crew. Kudos to the bunch of them for 3 hours of fun, great music, and for bringing awareness and some financial support to battle a disease that needs to be conquered.

--Evan Ginzburg  

Listen to our special 3 ½ hour Legends Radio Hip Hop Legends Radio special co-hosted by SoSoon and Coole High featuring Sabrina Gilbert, MizzP, Ciph Diggy, AtLas’, Sketch tha Cataclysm and A.I.G. Click below to listen-

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