$8 in advance/$10 at the door
10:30pm doors/11pm showtime
Chance York is the Minneapolis emcee, well-known for work with his jazzy quartet, Crunchy Kids. 2016 was a remarkable year for Chance, releasing his first solo EP, "Fed and Famished". The EP was brief and experimental, mentioned as one of the best MN hip hop releases of the year by GO95. As a favorite special guest in each vein of Minneapolis hip-hop’s sub-genres, Chance exploded onto the scene as an act all his own.
He released the "Crop EP" with the ever-popular, Crunchy Kids and toured regionally, blessing the main stage of SummerSet Music Festival, opening up for Chance the Rapper. In addition to his work with Crunchy Kids, as a member of City Pages’ 2015 Best New Act, Eric Mayson’s Detail, Chance firmly established himself as a dynamic showman, singer, and potent rapper, with his abilities crossing lines of genre and subculture.
As 2016 comes to a close, Chance releases, "Highest Self," an album produced entirely by championed producer, Big Cats! "Highest Self" fuses banging 808s and hi hats with beautiful musical compositions, orchestrated to fit Chance’s profound explorations of spirit science, deep insights into optimism and a levity on current events.
"Slim Chance shifts from micro to macro observations...He expounds on the darkness of everyday life, yet manages to make light of it through optimism and inventive humor." (Grant Tillery, Minnesota Daily)
"He knows he's going to win, though, you can probably feel it, too... With a style so elastic, so informed, so goddamn fun... (Jonathon Tolliver, Black Diet)
Spencer Wirth-Davis (AKA Big Cats) is a producer, DJ, composer, and musician from Minneapolis, MN. He makes experimental instrumental music that draws from a wide range of influences including classical, hip hop, and jazz. His work is melancholy, multi-layered, and cinematic. Drawing from his background as a classically trained musician, his compositions are complex juxtapositions of instruments, rhythms, and sonic textures.
He has released several full-length albums, including Pangaea, a collaborative effort with Toki Wright. Okayplayer named the duo “the best, most important hip hop act Minnesota has to offer.” His previous album, For My Mother, was named a top 5 Minnesota album of 2012 by Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, City Pages, and Vita.mn. In 2015, he released The Polar Bear Rug with Homeless. City Pages named the album amongst the best Minnesota albums of 2015. He also co-produced Eric Mayson’s debut album, Detail, prompting the Star Tribune and First Avenue to name Mayson as one of the best new acts of 2015.
"Minneapolis is home to a grip of great producers, and Big Cats is quickly rising as the best of them all." - Okayplayer
"The preeminent beatmaker in the Twin Cities." - 893 The Current
"Big Cats takes the Best Producer crown in a city brimming with talent... expanding his own palette and adapting his signature style with each new full-length work he creates." - City Pages
“We lurk late,” reads a line from Gwendolyn Brooks’ iconic poem “We Real Cool,” describing a group of young Black men shooting pool on the south side of Chicago. The last line reads “we die soon.” Death, preceded by the carefreeness of youth is a juxtaposition all too familiar to Black Americans. To lurk is to be your own boss. To defy America’s social order. To lurk is to survive, and as a Black American, survival is work in itself. Good thing Greg Grease is a working man.
On his new album Born To Lurk, Forced To Work, Grease trades the south side of Chicago in 1959 for present day south Minneapolis. Pool sticks are exchanged for spray paint, a drum machine and a mic. The constant of racism remains -- most topically in Minneapolis’ infamous Lurking Ordinance -- as does the effortless cool in the face of it. He lurks late, but knows he still has to show up for his job in the morning.
A Blue-Collar Afro-centricity is present throughout all of Grease’s music, but takes front and center on BTLFTW. The literal grind of “working seven to four and feeling mis-er-able,” and like his latest release -- 2013‘s Black King Cole EP -- the constant existential grind of a Black man finding his place in America, even with knowledge of self. Building on the theme of his 2012 debut album Cornbread, Pearl & G, Grease paints a picture of the inner city with a tactful brush. Jobs aren’t worth much as corporatism rules everything around him. Children are raised defenseless and forced to shed their innocence, making moves by night at a pace they can’t keep up. Trigger happy cops are watching just around the corner, locking them up pair by pair just as they did their fathers.
Stints in Atlanta and North Carolina during his formative years gives Grease’s music a certain southern funk and rattle that many of his Northern peers lack. But a permanent home in south Minneapolis, with the The Usual Suspects -- a collective comprised of members of Somali, Nigerian, Japanese, Latino and Indigenous heritage -- provides an amalgam of influences that are both familiar yet hard to pin down. There’s soul music from his mother, a golden-age sensibility from his father and the creative freedom of his own countercultural leanings.
A former funk and punk rock drummer, Grease raps with an internal rhythm that compliment the density of his verses and invites similarly minded emcees like P.O.S, Fresh Daily, Akrite and Tall Paul to lend a hand. There is a craftsman’s attention to each syllable within his myriad of flows, and a desire to explore the range of his voice-as-instrument, singing several of the album’s hooks. The album’s production, partly provided by Grease and aided by Medium Zach, Proper T, Ackryte and Starro of Soulection, sheds predictability. Uplifting piano riffs give way to somber violins, chirping bird choruses, moody synths, elegant flutes and spanish guitars. It’s a relentlessly textured sound that reflects the spirit of a crate-digger and the ambition of an orchestra, er, “Lurkestra” leader. A nod to Jay Dee and a wink to Sun-Ra.
Born To Lurk, Forced To Work, works by honing in on what Grease has always aimed for: music that’s multi-dimensional. Music that makes feel you good when shit goes bad, and hits you in the gut when you think shit is sweet. It’s a smile and a tear. Greg Grease is mourning and celebrating. That is, if the rent is paid.
DJ Just Nine:
Being fortunate enough to have had an abundance of musical influences such as Jazz, Soul, R&B, Rock & Roll and many more, the art of mixing and blending vinyl almost came together naturally for DJ Just Nine. With the powerful influence of Hip Hop culture, perfecting the craft of DJing consumed his life from a young age. That same desire to perfect his craft has been noticed throughout the Twin Cities and beyond earning DJ Just Nine spots on two Atmosphere tours, taking part in Rock the Bells Hip Hop Festival, playing multiple Soundset Hip Hop Festival’s and acted as I Self Devine’s tour DJ for five years. During that time he has also been holding down the decks for TUSS Music members Greg Grease, I.B.E and Akrite as well as playing countless nights throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul. Partnered with Greg Grease, he has played countless events and festivals including 10,000 Sounds Festival, CMJ Music Festival, SxSW Music Festival, A3C Hip Hop Festival, SoundSet and more. Currently DJ for Greg Grease & ZULUZULLU.