Hip-hop and comics collide at monthly Brooklyn gig
It's rare a monthly rap event in New York, hip-hop's birthplace, lasts more than two months, and while We Are Boss Level's Saturday Morning Music LIVE! has recently hit the one year mark, there's much more that makes it so unique.
Taking place on the second Saturday of every month at Brooklyn's comic book/video game themed restaurant Action Burger, the show's location and 3 p.m. time slot is a dramatic difference from the late-night club designation of other hip-hop events.
With the name coming from co-founder Varyus Waise's 2012 cartoon-themed project, he and co-founder DJ Thecainmarko connected in 2013 working on a comic book-themed Halloween hip-hop event The Villain's Ball.
Following a successful Super Bowl party, Action Burger's owner gave Waise the blessing for a monthly event, and since that March, Saturday Morning Music LIVE! has become one of the city's most inclusive and interesting rap spectacles.
'It's not a normal venue,' Thecainmarko describes to us, 'but what it does have is the motif of comic books so while we're performing there's Star Wars or Daredevil playing in the background, and there's videos of people performing while playing video games at the same time.'
'It's unique and intimated because the space isn't so large, but it gives artists a chance to connect in a different way,' Thecainmarko said.
Saturday Morning Music LIVE!'s host Logik adds, 'Unlike most hip-hop shows, we are all ages. We have one person who always comes in with his goddaughter; we have people bring family members in. We not only have the video game and comic book motifs that help the artist, we also have the family friendly atmosphere, which is lacking in hip-hop.'
That family element can also been seen in the like-mindedness of the crew's five-man operation, which also includes members Ed and DJ Polarity.
Despite rappers historically having an interest in pop culture minutia, there has seemed to be something of a divide between hip-hop and nerd culture. But bringing those worlds together happened organically.
Logik told us of first experiencing hip-hop in the 80s: 'I saw crews as like The Avengers or The Justice League. And the reference material for graffiti was comic books or cartoons, something everyone could relate to. When people come to Action Burger, they see that nostalgia. We didn't set out to be comic/geeky guys, we just have an appreciation for both cultures.'
This Saturday's event features Deebo Dioso, Ghetto Transcends Potential, Mulanii Too Real and Warren Britt.