It was an unfortunate weekend for the Jayhawks, taking an L in the round of 32. However, it was a great time for the local Hip Hop scene here in Lawrence! Mike, 454, and Anysia Kim made their way to the Bottleneck on the Ipari Park Tour last Sunday night, and there was a nice turnout of local fans at the show. This was a very interesting group of artists, but I loved to see them perform and I think they fit perfectly within the Lawrence music scene.
Anysia Kym, who is a model, guitarist, producer, singer, songwriter and more, started off the show in a very interesting way. From singing, playing guitar and performing on a beat machine, Anysia transitioned between art forms, keeping the audience intrigued and entertained. Producing in front of a live audience can be very intimidating, however, the whole crowd was feeling it and I believe Anysia did a great job in getting everyone ready for the next two performers.
Up next was 454. If you’re unfamiliar with his music, I would describe it as being a very experimental and electronic form of hip-hop. 454 very much has his own sound, but I would say if you enjoy listening to Amine or Teezo Touchdown, then definitely go check out his discography. His latest album, FAST TRAX 3, came out in 2022 while his debut album, 4 REAL, came out in 2021. Additionally, he has a feature that I enjoyed on “Sanjuro”, a track off of Denzel Curry’s new album. I will prepare you, he uses a high-pitched voice when rapping, which I honestly haven’t really gotten used to, but it isn’t a bad thing.
Originally, I honestly thought that it wouldn’t translate well to a live performance and assumed that 454 uses a lot of autotune, however, that wasn’t the case. His voice sounded very similar to his recorded songs, and I actually enjoyed his live performance quite a bit. 454 really brought the energy to the crowd and transitioned the night to more of a hip-hop feel to get us ready for Mike.
Mike, pretty much the antithesis of 454, is a slower-paced, more traditional, lyrical rapper. I would say he is similar to artists such as Earl Sweatshirt or MAVI, if you have listened to either of them. For his performance, Mike used a voice processor in order to rap the lyrics of his songs in the same quality as his tracks. This was the first time that I’ve seen a rapper do this, which was a nice surprise. Additionally, he was one of the few artists that actually rapped over instrumentals with no guiding voice in the background. I can’t remember the last rapper I’ve seen doing this for a live performance.
Mike was also a part of the crowd nearly the entire night as well, supporting his opening acts and really connecting with the audience that was there. You can tell that Mike is doing this for the love of Hip Hop, for which I really respect him for. It was a great performance by Mike and I can’t wait to see what he has in store for the future.
Overall, it was a great night for promoting art. It showed me that true hip hop, both traditional and experimental, is still being made out of a place of creativity. I know that it wasn’t the biggest show for these artists, but for a Sunday night show after spring break in Lawrence, I thought it was a pretty good turnout. Although all three of these artists are very different stylistically, their combination with each other actually meshed really well. Each brought their own personality to their individual performance, and exposed the audience to a wide range of music creation and performance. If the Ipari Park Tour is coming through your city, or if any of these artists come through Lawrence again, I would totally recommend spending the time to see any of them perform!