A Year of Concerts: 2014


Yusuf Islam / Cat Stevens | “Peace Train … Late Again” Tour | Nokia Theatre L.A. Live | 12/14/14 [Concert Review & Photos]

Yusuf Islam / Cat Stevens | “Peace Train … Late Again” Tour | Nokia Theatre L.A. Live | 12/14/14 [Setlist & Video Clips]

Jamestown Revival, Nikki Lane & Pete Molinari | The Troubadour | 11/30/14 [Concert Review]

Jamestown Revival | The Troubadour | 11/30/14 [Photos and Video]

Nikki Lane | The Troubadour | 11/30/14 [Photos and Video]

Pete Molinari | The Troubadour | 11/30/14 [Photos and Video] Continue reading

Adidas Original ZXFLUX Experience and Cashmere Agency Present “Respect The West” Artist Showcase | The Well | 11/22/14 [Photos, Review and Video]

Words by Kate M. | Photos by @Methodman13

For the past several years, Adidas Originals and Cashmere Agency has hosted an annual, private artist showcase titled “Respect The West”. This year it was held at The Well in downtown Los Angeles on 11/22/14, and featured the performances of YG, Hit-Boy, Audio Push, Nipsey Hussle, BJ The Chicago Kid, Thurz, R.J., and Raven Felix. The evening was hosted by Fuzzy Fantab and Rikki Martinez and was one of the better hip-hop shows I have seen in a while because it had a veritable vibe compared to most shows.  It was a fantastically organized and designed event!   It was authentic hip-hop in an unaffected setting, a tight designer sneakers exhibition and a chill crowd past the ropes.

The Respect The West showcase was held in conjunction with Adidas Originals’ pop-up store, at the same location, giving shoe hawks the opportunity to check out adidas new line of ZXFLUX shoes with the aptly titled exhibit “The ZXFLUX Experience”. Our favorite shoe? The LA ZXFLUX Clippers design (editors note: The founder of MusicOfMyMind14 is a longtime, diehard Cippers fan…).

On this Downtown LA night, guests were lined up down the block to walk through the double glass doors with the Adidas logo at The Well.  On other side of the glass doors you entered into a mahogany paneled exhibition room with white benches accenting the concrete floor and the ZX Flux line on display on the walls – dope sneakers!   From the exhibition, down a short hallway, it changed from mahogany and white to an intimate warehouse music venue.

Be Sure To Check Out The Entire Photo Album Below!

I arrived during sound check to see a complete, but refreshingly unpretentious stage, white brick walls that looked like they had stories to tell, a concrete floor and double white steel doors to the outside.

My favorite spot was right in the front, stage right. From that vantage point, I could see each of the artists getting ready to take the stage.  There were only about 5 minute breaks between sets which made the vibe even better because the artists were just being artists, flowing over with natural energy – no over-the-top production, no problem – guests were all in and responsive to the vibe.  The bass was loud, the vocals were clear and the rap, and some R&B, was on!

Raven Felix | Facebook | Twitter 

The night’s first performance was Raven Felix, a female MC from The Valley.  Raven Felix has clear, rapid rhymes and her beats and vocals range from an ingénue tenor to commanding M.I.A. tones.  Her lyrics, “I’m 16 and my sh*t’s clean. . . ” and it’s kind of true.  I don’t know what her future holds but I liked her voice, awesome beats and confident performance.  Her debut mixed tape is called “Valifornia,” how dope is that?  I don’t know what sets her apart from other MCs, but she certainly has personality, a voice and talent and her delivery is clean.

Be Sure To Check Out The Entire Photo Album Below!


Raven Felix was followed by RJ. I don’t know too much about him, other than he is an artist signed to YG and DJ Mustard’s record label, Pu$haz Ink. Rj definitely brought serious energy to the stage, jumping on top of the speaker system, getting the crowd hyped.

Be Sure To Check Out The Entire Photo Album Below!

Thurz |  Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Next up was Thurz. Thurz is so unique right now. This rapper throws down lyrics over beats that are funk and disco sounds.   I think when his set started, people stopped a beat and turned to see what was going on and then got into the dance vibe.   He also reminds me of The Roots, circa, “The Seed,” and his “Right Now” lyrics remind me of growing up in LA, “like the alley near Rosewood and Fairfax.”   It’s really cool how he can rap clear, modern, relatable lyrics on an unexpected style of beats – dare I say there is a poet’s attitude in that?

Be Sure To Check Out The Entire Photo Album Below!

Bj The Chicago Kid | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Wow, ya, Bj The Chicago Kid.   I love this artist’s clean, muscular vocals and his classic R&B sound is commanding.   When I listen to him do his thing, I don’t even feel time passing.   The son of choir directors from Chicago, this kid has collaborated with artist such as Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul.  His style is full of Motown sounds with a modern perspective and modern collaborative beats.   His voice is big and I don’t think he needed a microphone for this venue.  I just wrote this and I’m going to listen to him again right now.  “Good Luv’n,” “Real Love Never Dies,” “Go Girl, “Can’t Hold My Liquor.”  Are you kidding me!?  He’s soooooooo freakin’ goooood!

Be Sure To Check Out The Entire Photo Album Below!

Audio Push | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Audio Push’s energy in all of their performances is unmatched.  I have seen this rap duo twice and this performance was even better than the last one.  Oktane and Price are Audio Push and I think style, rap and rhythms are the words I think when I want to describe these artists.  They are in the studio now working on their next album and they performed tracks from their up-coming album, including a new track with Wale.

Be Sure To Check Out The Entire Photo Album Below!

Nipsey Hussle | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

This is the first time I saw Nipsey Hussle perform- I had even bought tickets once and had to miss the show, so I was looking forward to this one.   Nispey is, after all, a prolific, successful and consistent rapper who embodies everything you would expect from the Southern California West Coast hip hop sound, so I had some expectations.   He played a short, 3 song set, which was fine but it’s hard for me to really guage his performance based on such a short set.  I expected him to want to own the stage, but this being my first time seeing him perform, I really couldn’t get any sense of his personality.

Be Sure To Check Out The Entire Photo Album Below!

Hit Boy | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Hit-Boy brings hits!  Polished beats and rap sounds is what this man is about. He’s a sharp producer and he knows what he’s doing. You can tell by his laid back but powerful performance.   This night he brought his HS87 crew up on stage to perform, as well, a showcase within a showcase of talent.  He has produced for some of the biggest and most successful artists in hip hop and I love that he can perform, too.  His performance was smooth and oozed laid back confidence.  If you haven’t heard his tracks, listen, he’s so great if you can’t vibe to his sounds, I don’t know what to say.

Be Sure To Check Out The Entire Photo Album Below!

YG | Facebook | Twitter 

YG!  Everyone who knows me, knows I love YG, and his performance had the hype I feel for him.  He was authentic and he was in the moment with the crowd . . . . or maybe that was me thinking he was talking to me when he asked, “B*tch, who do you love?” Um, you, YG!  Seriously, he was in the moment because I was there to witness him bringing the crowd into his rhythm, lyrics and energy.   It was so easy to get lost in his performance in this unaffected setting.  At times he rapped without beats behind him and that was mad awesome to hear!   He performed his hits “My N*gga,” and, “Who Do You Love,“ and more.   The YG and DJ Mustard  collaboration (My Krazy Life) is about West Coast rap a with mainstream turnt up beats and you could really hear them this night.   YG released his debut studio album this year, My Krazy Life, and followed it up with his first movie, a 30 minute short film and soundtrack, Blame it on the Streets, which recently screened at L.A.’s Chinese Theatre.   

I knew nothing about RJ of Pushaz Ink when he took the stage, but I am glad he took the stage twice.  Why?  Because I was fascinated by him and because his deep, clear, articulated vocal quality is easy to listen to and I think this quality is good for rap and I think it sets him apart.   Even though he can hold his own, I wasn’t sure where he was coming from when he performed.  I am going to keep my eye on him so I know better for next time, I would see him again, but would like to know more about him.

Be Sure To Check Out The Entire Photo Album Below!



Run The Jewels, Mystery Skulls & Thurz | Echoplex | Red Bull Sound Select’s “30 Days In LA” | 11/13/14 [Concert Review]

To Check Out Other Bands We Caught During Red Bull Sound Selects “30 Days In LA” CLICK HERE

Two of the best hip-hop albums I’ve purchased in the past 5 years were released in 2012: Kendrick Lamar’s “good kid, m.A.A.d city” … and Killer Mike’s “R.A.P. Music”.

“R.A.P. Music”, like “good kid, m.A.A.d city”, received widespread acclaim from music critics. Produced entirely by El-P, the album is essentially the progenitor of Run The Jewels. With El-P’s amazingly heavy and ear-piercing beats coupled with Killer Mike’s concise and crisp, visceral political raps that span the social consciousness gamut, I couldn’t get enough of that album.

Though “R.A.P. Music” didn’t quite match the type of album sales that Kendrick’s album achieved, it’s still an album that deserves to be heard … and deserves to be listened to. Remember back in the 90s when hip-hop artists were prophets preaching the gospel on societal injustices? Well, “R.A.P. Music” fills the void, and carries the torch, when other popular hip-hop artists fail, or neglect, the obligation.

Ever since I picked up that limited edition LP, I’ve been dying to see Killer Mike in concert. It’s been over two years in the waiting, but with Run The Jewels performing as a headliner for one of Red Bull’s “30 Days In LA” concert series, I knew that this was a show that I couldn’t miss.

When I arrived at The Echoplex, 20 minutes before the doors were supposed to open, the line to get in was already about 75 people long. Thankfully, having been approved with a photo pass, I’d have the opportunity to stake out some territory up front … as long as I hit the head before the mad rush of fans came into the venue.

First up on the bill was Inglewood native, Thurz. Originally a member of the rap duo U-N-I, he broke out on his own in 2011 with the album “L.A. Riot,” and album that overflows with socio-economic and political content. With a marketing campaign that focused on questions like, “What do your Riot For?” and releasing a “Riot Manifesto”, I anticipated a set that would be filled with heavy messages and serious content.

Taking the stage with a full band, the vibe I got was more The Roots than Ice Cube, and it was definitely more playful and funky than what I had anticipated (Editors Note: Poor due diligence on my part as I hadn’t hear his latest EP which is posted above). Thurz played off each player in the band and throughout his set continued to raise his level of energy. From bringing out producer OverDoz and vocalist Jarrell Perry, among others, to perform with him to waving on his entire entourage to the stage to keep the audience hyped, it all culminated when he called upon, Compton native, and hip-hop royalty, DJ Quik to close out the set. I heard from a friend that Quik was working with Thurz on some music. If that’s the case, I’m excited to hear what they come up with. I did find it a bit weird that Quick performed by himself, and not with Thurz, but I wasn’t going to complain.

To check out more photos and video clips from Thurz set, CLICK HERE.

Thurz was followed by Mystery Skulls, another Los Angeles based artist whose music was not hip-hop, but electronic pop.

I’ve seen Mystery Skulls before, and he’s quite good at what he does. His music has shades of house music that reminds me of artist’s like Breakbot and his vocals, tinged with a soulful R&B vibe, are very club worthy and totally danceable. The music is definitely mainstream pop-worthy.

But the crowd at the Echoplex that night wasn’t interested in smooth vocals with an electronic house beat, and unfortunately the hecklers were out in full force.

It was a shame to hear someone yell for him to get off the stage when he was finished. He certainly didn’t deserve that kind of send off. If anything, I’d blame Red Bull for seemingly forcing him on the bill. I’m sure they could have found another hip-hop act more suitable to perform that evening.

To check out more photos and video clips from Mystery Skulls set, CLICK HERE.

It’s taken me a while to figure out what to write about Run The Jewel’s set. I could have written about how amped the crowd was, and how difficult it was for me to get any decent shots of the performance given the mass of bodies constantly bumping into me and the house photographers bursting their flash throughout the set. I could have written about how it was my birthday. I could have written about the plethora of surprise guests who performed cuts off their latest release with the duo (Gangsta Boo performed “Love Again”, DJ Z-Trip performed “Get It”, Zack de la Rocha performed “Close Your Eyes (Count To Fuck)” and Travis Barker played drums on “All Due Respect”), but given the recent state of civil unrest throughout the nation, and Killer Mike’s subsequent reaction to it, I scrapped it all.

Following the announcement of there being no indictment of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown, Killer Mike took the stage in St. Louis and delivered an emotional speech prior to Run The Jewels’ performance at the Ready Room (which is very close to Ferguson).

I watched Killer Mike’s emotional plea, and I was moved. In fact, when his voice wavered … my own throat became taught.

I’ve always respected what Killer Mike has meant to the rap game. My level of appreciation reached an all time high after watching him pour his heart out. I’ve always assumed it, but now I knew it. He lives what he preaches, and what he preaches what matters. It matters and it’s the truth.

It made me realize that what I witnessed on that stage at the Echoplex was something that audiences don’t often get to experience. Authenticity. Unadulterated verity. With more heart … more guts … than 90 percent of the garbage that’s out there on the radio.

Killer Mike’s collaboration with El-P is music that matters. Their latest release, RTJ2, is hard hitting and even more poignant today than it was it yesterday. Their song “Early” (a track about police brutality)? It couldn’t be more appropriate given the times.

To check out more photos and videos from Run The Jewel’s set CLICK HERE.

To Check Out Other Bands We Caught During Red Bull Sound Selects “30 Days In LA” CLICK HERE

Red Bull Sound Select’s “30 Days In L.A.” [Homepage]

Does Red Bull have the keys to the future of the music industry? Only time will tell, but their business model is one that I think may trend positive for the foreseeable future.

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