Meyhem Lauren, Melo Miles, Ebony Tusks @ recordBar

recordBar is officially back. From their soft opening during Middle of the Map, the Kansas City staple has been steadying increasing their hours and show frequency. Having moved from old Westport to downtown (1520 Grand Blvd), recordBar is hosting an incredible night of hip hop. This Wednesday, New Yorker Meyhem Lauren will perform, supported by Ebony Tusks and Melo Miles. These three incredibly talented MCs and rap outfits will undoubtedly come together for an epic night of wordsmithery and beat magic.

Melo Miles mixes the complex and lightning quick melodies that have defined Tech N9ne and many of his Strange Music family. However, while that rapper skews more toward hard rock and heavier instrumentals, Melo Miles leans closer to the jazzier side of beats. His delivery is smooth even when it stretches the continuum between conversational speed and the quickest syllabic spit fire–shifting in response to his samples. Melo Miles’ style, mixing electronic textures with jazz-centric samples with his modulating vocal rhythms, translates well to the stage. Perhaps due to the confidence his voice commands, the Kansas City rapper is absolutely arresting on stage.

Ebony Tusks puts on some of the best live shows–locally or nationally. The Lawrence trio brings an unprecedented amount of energy to their performances, refusing to bow to performing conventions. Blurring the line between stage and audience, the group moves fluidly between the two–interacting with and engaging their crowd. Going to an Ebony Tusks show is all about being apart of three artists’ craft. Ebony Tusks brings their audience into their music to make something unique each night. Giving and taking energy, the trio is a powerful force when they take the stage. Combine this with base tracks that are noisy and catchy, heavy and slick, angular and fresh, and you have a recipe for some of the best hip hop in the area right now.

Meyhem Lauren unfurls like De La Soul meets MF DOOM. The Brooklyn rapper is singlehandedly keeping traditional MC-ing alive. While mainstream rap is shifting to club-centric hip hop (think trap music, hyperproduced electronic rap, etc), Meyhem Lauren pieces together minimal samples that highlight his delivery and the messages within his music. The rapper’s lyrics blast through the culturally ephemeral bullsh*t that is everywhere in consumer culture. But this isn’t to say the rapper is ostentatiously political. Most of Meyhem Lauren’s aesthetic revolves around the monologue, so his political consciousness is shown through the voices he chooses to embody rather than waxing politic in some disconnected theoretical way.

Meyhem Lauren, Ebony Tusks, and Melo Miles will put on a show not to be missed. Each of the artists brings something unique to the stage, and each has an energy that is as palpable live as it is on their recorded material. The Wednesday show starts at 9 and is 21+.

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