The Beast

The Beast came to Raleigh last night, y’all.

If you’re not familiar with The Beast, I hope you’ll get there. And this advice comes from someone who has never listened to hip hop.  And someone who is typically, shall we say, unmoved by jazz.  If, like me, you read the phrase “indie hip hop and progressive jazz” and wonder how it’ll resonate with an alt country kind of music lover, give them a listen.   That tagline may be accurate, but doesn’t begin to cover what I heard last night at Tir Na Nog.  This music is smart, and edgy, and funny, and thought-provoking.  It’s multicultural, and draws from all kinds of roots.  It was hard to stand still.  I caught myself trying to salsa at one point.  The song “Brooklyn,” which is essentially a love letter to North Carolina, drew me in and wrapped me up in nostalgia and pride.

These guys are also educators and seriously engaged in their community, and the Axis of Cool needs people like that, for sure. And these guys have style.  I hear they do a program which traces African American musical roots from gospel, through Motown, on up to hip-hop.  That is a show I would love to see.  Sign me up.  Cheers, y’all.  You Durhamites (and Chapel Hillians) are welcome back to Raleigh any time.

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