By Yvonne Santy
I was juiced to be at Sol Collective on Friday, June 1st for Izreal Graham’s album release party. I’m new to the Sacramento Hip Hop scene so it was a perfect opportunity to get familiar with my friendly neighborhood boom bap. The vibe was positively high as Old Ghost from The People’s Revolution (TPR) hosted the show. He said he was on stage for the first time in a few years. His voice had the rasp of an underground DMX with better content. At one point, an inhaler was thrown onstage and Old Ghost grabbed it with the quickness, used it, and kept going. This was obviously not part of the act. I was impressed.
Century (Got Bars), also from TPR and Task1ne opened the show. Century’s words came out clearly and poetically as she moved the entire time. When she wasn’t onstage she was dancing with the rest of the crowd.
I have heard a lot about Sacramento’s Task1ne, but this was my first time seeing him perform. Task1ne’s flow was ridiculously on point, spittin’ syllables with finesse possibly easier than eyes dance in a state of R.E.M. My opinion? He was phenomenal.
When Mic Jordan of Tribe of Levi rocked the stage I could tell he was no stranger to the spotlight I could tell, but his demeanor seemed humble. Though I have never watched him perform before I have seen him around the Sol Collective supporting other artists. That’s one thing every artist seemed to have in common that night. Support for one cause under the same roof.
Decked out in lovely with her tasteful attire and super cute earrings, straight from New York, J. Ross Parrelli followed Mic Jordan with a voice full of grace and soul. Inspired by her sound, I felt proud to be a woman. I’d recommend you catch one of her shows to understand where I’m coming from. Her smile lit up the room, bracing us for the main man of the night, Mr. Izreal Graham himself.
He didn’t show any sign of nerves, his voice was confident with a powerfully smooth delivery of faith-based lyrics. In the spotlight he carried a beat and hands raised as feet shuffled in the crowd. I was humbled to know I was just one of many, yet still a part of an intimate gathering for such a cause. This wasn’t just about paying money to see a show or seeing who had better threads. This wasn’t a battle over who had the best skills on a dance floor or onstage. This was about Izreal and his wife, Coco, adopting a young boy from Jamaica. This was about building wells in third world country’s with The Fluid Life Project. This was about people coming together for the love of music, the love of movement, for community action, and of course, for the love of hip hop.
The family-friendly feel of the show was awesome. Did I mention Izreal brought his daughter to the stage to help perform a song? Precious. Coco was even serenaded (albeit in a joking manner) and it was then that I (and the rest of the crowd ) got a glimpse into the special relationship Izreal and Coco have and realized what this night meant for them and their homecoming son.
For me this was my first, last, and only chance to see Izreal perform, and I don’t mean to brag but I feel kinda bad for anybody who missed out.