In case you didn’t know, Brooklyn goes hard—for those who remain skeptical, Brooklynites Santigold and Theophilus London delivered two explosive performances to a sold out 9:30 Club. Neither being strangers to DC nor this particular venue, there was less calculated stage direction and more of a balls-to-the-wall dance party. If there was a solitary still body in the place, I wasn’t aware.
First up on the mic was Theophilus London, the Hip-Hop/Calypso/Neo-R&B wunderkind who seems to be every where right now. Considering he’s headlined in our city four times in the past couple years, twice at 9:30, it was strange having him as an opener. Here it’s worth mentioning that Theophilus London’s notoriety has definitely increased in recent months—not to get it twisted; he had a bevy of devoted fans within the crowd.
Slightly disappointing that he didn’t go through his older material, as he has some gems amongst his various mix-tapes. However, in terms of the current and newer material in his set, all signs point to good things to come… now we just need that sophomore album to drop already. He’s not an artist to be slept on and he made that very clear despite a short set.
With an audience revved and ready to go, our lady of Bed-Sty Santigold commanded the stage with a mix of tough girl attitude and infectious charm. She came off quite genuine in her delivery and audience interaction, despite some gimmicky on-stage theatrics and band styling. Santi’s humility was radiant as she gave shout outs to past tour mates Architecture in Helsinki and DC natives Bad Brains.
Her small size and stature was a surprise, but her incredible energy compensated for this. Girlfriend is a tour de force (not to forget her dancers, who also kept the pace with some serious booty bouncing and body work). This is all humorous considering she was called out by a fan for lacking energy during a past stint at 9:30 Club. Being invited back to the Club for a fourth time has played to her advantage; her supreme confidence and stage presence is amazingly undeniable.
Given that she’s been a name that has been around for nearly four years, she has a treasure trove of material to draw from. Not relying simply on her studio album work for the set list, she treated us to mix-tape jams like “Bootay,” “Get It Up,” and the bits from Major Lazer‘s “Hold the Line.” Of her album tracks, she jumped back and forth between her self-titled debut and her newest release, Master of My Make-Believe. Hearing her collection of songs in a gumbo of beats truly paid witness to how she’s grown as an artist and how committed to style she has remained all these years.
Santigold, like Theophlus London, is leading the pack in terms of forcing us to re-imagine traditional genres, bending and blending beats to create a new sound. This little lady of Brooklyn is most definitely the Master of her Make-Believe… with that being said, go check out her new album available on both iTunes and Spotify.
(***BONUS*** Check out our BYT interview with the woman herself ***BONUS***)