Hip-hop reigned supreme at the second annual Panic in L.A. on Saturday (Oct. 8). As fans found their way into the Globe Theatre in Downtown L.A., headliners Raekwon, Sango and Mix Master Mike prepared to give them all ground-breaking performances.
Amongst the artists on the bill, Starro was the only returning Panic in L.A. performer. This year, the Grammy-nominated producer opted to bring his band along to join in the celebration. “I am honored to be here again. This event means a lot to the hip-hop culture as there aren’t many events that mix living legends with new school artists like Raekwon, Sango and myself,” he continued, “It is an honor to be here and perform alongside the greats. Like last year, I saw DJ Premiere, who’s my favorite producer, and this year I get to see Raekwon. With the internet, you can stick to your own thing, but events like this remind us of where the music we listen to today comes from.” Panic in L.A. highlights all aspects of hip-hop and shows audiences just how essential it is to the growing culture.
When asked what brought him back a second time, Starro reflected on his time in L.A. as being the perfect mixture of relaxation and hustle, with the Globe Theatre being a part of that hustle.
The evening kicked off with the one-man band, B. Bravo. The electric dance enthusiast played the crowd playlists of wall thumping sounds helping to ease them into the night. Hitting the stage shortly after was Mix Master Mike. Known as the scratch master, Mike took fans down memory lane and into today’s Billboard chart-topping hits effortlessly. From rap to reggae while taking time to show support to Puerto Rico, Mike drew love and awareness into the room.
Up next was Starro, followed by Canadian multi-instrumentalist and producer, Pomo. Pomo is known to use his passion for hip-hop, house, the 70s and 80s funk music to create lively sounds. His performance last night oozed with the essence of each genre.
As one of three headliners, Sango kicked things off with an homage to UGK with a chopped and screwed version of “International Players Anthem.” The intro established the tone for the multi-genre producer’s set. His fifty-minute long performance was infused with afro beats and songs by Missy Elliott, MadeinTYO, Jill Scott and Drake. Sango’s love for 90’s R&B was evident as he mixed Aaliyah’s “Try Again” with Ginuwine's “Pony.” Carrying on Mix Master Mike’s sentiments for Puerto Rico, Sango would occasionally shout them out in hopes to bring continued awareness to the group.
Still, on a high from his performance, Sango described his time at Panic in L.A. as such, “It is so eclectic. Everyone brings his own thing to the table. You know everyone’s here to see Raekwon kill it, but it is also great being able to see these other artists like myself open up for him. It says a lot and means more to the city.”
He was right -- it was Raekwon's performance the crowd anticipated all night. With over 20 years in the game, Da Chef’s stage presence was effortless. His admiration for the culture and his career were evident as he gushed over a multitude of hits, dubbing just about every song his "favorite." During his performance of “Can’t You See” featured on his most recent project, The Wild, Raekwon gave multiple shoutouts to his crew, Wu-Tang Clan.
He covered classic hits from his 1995 solo debut album, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx a.k.a The Purple Tape which sent doting fans into a frenzy.
Audience members openly shared their love for The Clan and were overheard chanting “Wu-Tang Forever” throughout the evening. The emcee’s performance of “Incarcerated Scarfaces” was a crowd favorite. It was clear that Da Chef had delivered a satisfyingly good show.
With L.A. being a melting pot of cultures, events like Panic in L.A. prove that music has no boundaries. It helps to bring people of all backgrounds together to share in the greatness that is hip-hop.