Photographed by Mighty Beardo
“My man deserves a record deal, and I don’t say that a lot!” Rapper Daddy Bawsten didn’t have a biased opinion. When he said that, the crowd cheered.
A sea of hands in the air, a live drummer, a pack of red sour straws in his back pocket – that were gone before he left the stage- Julian Stephen left the crowd satisfied this past Thursday night at S.O.B’s in Tribeca. Opening for hip hop group OCD, Stephen performed a four song set, each with a catchy tune that compelled the audience to sing along. Quite the character in his music videos, he relayed that same energy on stage. Standing at 6’ 5” and a supple performer at that, Julian made his presence known as he interacted with the fans who watched before him by the stage. His height alone wasn’t the only factor though, as his energetic performance was fueled by his passion for Hip Hop. You’d also see him reaching out to the people in the front row; to the groupie chicks by the stage (who were more than likely the culprits of his missing candy in his rear pocket) and even to those on side stage who were vibing to the music too hard to even try to grab his attention.
He ought to be commended. Julian performed tracks from back in his ’09 days, and the crowd still jumped, proving his ability to make a track that would stay relevant for years. His alternative hip hop resembles that of Asher Roth or Hoodie Allen; the “free-will,” “just-have-fun,” sound that allows you to forget your woes for those good four minutes it plays, coaxing you to rock out. It’s difficult to choose between which one was the crowd’s favorite. “Prince Charming,” one of his classics was head to head with “Ignorant,” one of his latest tracks.
If you missed the show at S.O.B’s, Julian is expected to perform this Monday at Keen University in New Jersey, then next month at Hunter College in New York City. With a recent feature on XXL’s “The Break,” section, we can only anticipate a progression from this up and coming Hip Hop artist.