Photo credit: Jean Estel, Hood Dream Photographie. From left: Dior Ashley Brown and Blastphumis at Bohemian Caverns, April 20, 2010 for the Phatal Industries Smoke EP Release Party and "Joint" Show.
Over a year in the making, April 20 marked the much-anticipated release of Phatal Industries and Blastphumis' debut EP, Smoke. "We knew that when this album dropped we had to do something really big and really fun," says Arielle Jordan, Phatal Industries Director of Marketing. "Releasing an album called 'Smoke' on 4/20 was perfect. We knew we had it in the bag with that one!"
In the infamous caves of Bohemian Caverns located on D.C.'s historic U Street, the Smoke EP release party and "joint" (pun intended) show drew all kinds of people together. "I believe it was a diverse event because people were not only able to celebrate '4/20' but were also able to experience a broad range of D.C. hip-hop at its finest," Jordan says. "There was definitely something for everyone."
Opening the show co-hosted by Phatal's Blastphumis and Dior Ashley Brown, was The Real Jay Mills. Even though dressed in a delicate blazer, striped skirt and high heels, the power of a strong D.C. female MC showed through in her performance of "Coming to Break You Off (420 Remix)" and "Good Life." Both are from Mills' upcoming Summer Madness mixtape which drops on Jun. 20. She concluded her set with the sexy, confident D.C. hip-hop ballad, "Watch It" available from TheRealJayMills.com. No doubt, Mills did her job in warming up the crowd. Local D.C. artist Felix "Flex" Osuchukwu was also on hand painting live artwork inspired by the sights, sounds and vibe of the show.
Gypc, Yung E, and Mbea Da 1 of Likeblood Entertainment took the stage next as the special guests of the night performing "Get It All" and "202 Boyz" as well as their latest single "Money Ova Here" featuring Bobby V., which recently aired on BET's 106 and Park as New Joint of the Day. Likeblood's performance succeeded in getting the crowd on their feet and proved why this D.C. trio was recently named Best Rap Group at the 2010 DMV Music Awards. Their current project, out now, is titled 3010 We All Alone.
As the bar continued serving up Phatal's two special 4/20-themed cocktails, The Sky High and Formula 420, Baltimore's own experimental hip-hop band, and "joint" show performers Soul Cannon went on. This highly talented quartet consists of frontman, Eze Jackson, vocals, Matt Frazao, guitars/effects, Jon Birkholz, keys/effects, and Nathan Ellman-Bell, drums. The crowd seemed to respond especially well to the hip-hop/jazz/rock infused set which included tracks such as, "F sharp," "Run Faster," "Man Power," and "2010 A.D." All are available on their upcoming project, The Mixed Ape, out this summer.
After a brief intermission, the lights went low and a stirring riff played by New York guitarist, Steve Bornet, caused the crowd to shout in excitement. After being introduced by Phatal's own in-house producer, Micheal "Awkward Silence" Saltzman, headliner Blastphumis emerged from the haze of a smoke machine on stage causing the crowd to go wilder still. Fittingly, he opened his set with the title track of his EP, "Smoke." After thanking the show-goers and performers he launched into his 1 and a half hour set which included songs from Smoke such as "Thin Line," All My Life" with Yung E of Likeblood, "Show Me Love" with Eze Jackson of Soul Cannon, "Crooked" with Gypc of Likeblood, "How Can I Tell 'Em" and "1981."
This may have been his first major show but Blastphumis performed like he was headlining at Madison Square Gardens. Cool and confident in a D.C. hat, shades and Johnny Walker Black in hand, he kept the crowd attentive, bopping their heads and occasionally screaming "WOOOO!" at the the top of their lungs. Supporting Blastphumis' set were the uniquely infectious beats of Awkward Silence who produced all the tracks on Smoke. Also alongside the headliner was Dior Ashley Brown, Phatal's own Hostess, Poet, Actress, and MC. This show marked her debut performance as a female MC not to be reckoned with. The statuesque Brown spit her own original material with Blastphumis in "Trouble" and the tantalizing performance of "Get It" in which Awkward Silence sang back up on. Both are tracks from Blastphumis' upcoming project, the LP, Mirrors due out this fall.
The set concluded with Blastphumis' encore performance of "Karma," the final track on the Smoke EP, marking a milestone for the D.C. start-up, Phatal Industries. "When the lights came on and the show was over, it felt like we had reached our destination after a long plane ride - we finally made it!" Jordan says. "But this surely isn't our last stop."
Phatal Industries has more performances, projects and events scheduled throughout summer and fall. For more information, visit www.phatalindustries.com.