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Raekwon to bring gritty hip-hop to Pearl Street

This Saturday night, Nov. 7th, at 9 p.m., Raekwon “the Chef”, Sean Price and Hendersin will be playing at the Pearl Street Night Club in Northampton.

Hendersin, began his rapping career at age 10, using school events to showcase his lyrical and performance abilities. By the age of 17 he had begun recording songs and eventually released the street album, “Only the Strong Survive.” Although still relatively unknown, Herdersin has been working diligently since this release to further his career, opening for Mr. Lif and Immortal Technique as well as attempting more solo projects.

Sean Price, a member of the hip-hop collective Boot Camp Clik, is a major name for this venue. He first rose to the forefront of the rap community as one half of the group Heltah Skeltah. Their first album, “Nocturnal,” in 1996, is considered, by many, an underground classic and an essential hardcore hip-hop album. The album was able to sell around 250,000 copies and earned the duo a nomination for Best New Group by The Source magazine. The following year, the Boot Camp Clik [all 8 members, including Price] released their first collective album, “For the People”. Although met with lesser reviews than “Nocturnal,” the album sold slightly better and led to hyped anticipation of Heltah Skeltah’s second album “Magnum Force.” Sadly, the album was reviewed harshly, and fans bombarded the group with accusations of giving in to popular demands in order to garner higher sales. After the release of the album, the group broke up, allowing Price to pursue his solo career. So far, Price has released two albums as a solo artist, “Monkey Barz” in 2005, and “Jesus Price Superstar” in 2007, gaining him more critical acclaim as well as solid album sales.

 The headlining act of the night, Raekwon “the Chef,” is not only part of a legendary group, but he is a legend himself. Rae burst onto the scene as a prominent member of the Wu-Tang Clan, and with their debut “Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers),” in 1993, announced himself as one of their top performers. Featured on nine of the 13 tracks on the album, and performing masterfully on all, Raekwon netted himself a contract with Loud Records in 1994. The following year, he released his first solo album, “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…” This album was highly lauded upon its release, and its legendary status grows daily due to its complex soundscapes. One of the most influential and highly original rap albums of all time, “Cuban Linx” is known as a pioneer of the Mafioso Rap genre, with an emphasis on elaborate lyricism with Italian Mafia references. Since 1995, Raekwon has released three albums, including his latest, “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…Part II,” an attempted return at the gritty, street oriented style of his debut. The album has received positive reviews, and one can expect that Rae will be picking material off of this, his most recent release, at the upcoming show.

Rap artists come and go, but legends live on through their music and performance. This show will be an opportunity to watch two greats, as well as an up-and-comer do what they do best. The show will take place on Saturday, Nov. 7 at 9 p.m. at the Pearl Street Night Club in Northampton. For more information visit www.iheg.com

Yoel Drachman can be reached at drachma@student.umass.edu.

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