Words: E. Sing
Last weekend, I ventured off in to the small suburban town of Delta, BC to catch the return of Evil Ebenezer of Stealth Bomb Records. The lineup for the night was pretty much stacked with SDK [Stompdown Killaz] supporters alongside some local surprises. In summary, this event clearly sparked off due to SDK. You could still probably enjoy this night if you were a regular at this venue, but to truly feel and appreciate it, you just had to understand the local scene. But no worries, if you’re of the 0.00001% of local listeners who still haven’t heard of Stompdown (jokes), I’ll give you the full rundown below.
It was approx. 9:30 pm by the time I got inside. The fairly warm and relaxing pub was oddly layered with spots of attendees. Some sections were crowded, some loose. While many regulars seemed to sink in to their own circles, in the far end of the venue laid a small stage with a tight group of people cheering, dancing and screaming their hearts out. Bingo, those were the SDK fans who seemed to follow their moves sharply. It turns out, they had discovered that plenty of Stompdown performers were going to roll through unexpectedly. For any outsider, new to this scene- I could understand if you felt lost. Large-scale events with waves of soaring fans are great, but for this show, which catered to a cult fan base, the non-spacious attire fit perfectly. Nobody seemed to mind and some actually commented saying they loved the spot and vibrant lighting.
Unfortunately, I did miss the first few acts. However, I heard they all seemed to maintain steady energy. The first act I caught was Franks from Surrey. His strong delivery definitely saved him from some awkward, live mixing errors. I swear, sometimes you just wish there was a live engineer, instead of a DJ mixing. Regardless, he had a ton of support and you could tell he wasn’t worried about impressing the crowd (the host was his girl). His performance definitely made the event a lot more easy-going, so big-ups to confidence! This dude got a hell of a lot of stage time, often being brought up to perform various features. Keep an eye out for the man, in a few years I’m sure he’ll be a problem.
Immediately on the follow up we had Victoria, BC artist Stretch-9 of the NorthOf99 Collective. This guys bars were very sharp and stood out among the opening acts. One thing I really enjoyed was the fact that he was willing to adjust his tone depending on the mic levels. It felt a lot more steady to understand this guy. However, when it came to crowd control, he definitely stood a little stiff and care-free.
It was now time for “Eff Eh Emm”, a duo made up of Stevie P and Rhythm to rip the mic. Stevie struck through with his usual layers of wordplay and punchlines while Rhythm kept the mob focused with his high-energy charisma. There was a rumor stirring up that this may have been Stevie P’s last show ever. That made everyone a lot more focused. And it indeed served as a great catch before the next duo.
Danny Schultz (left) with Orion Vincent (right).
Orion Vincent from Delta, BC has probably been a figure head within the Delta scene for at least a decade. You could tell based upon how comfortable he was that this was HIS domain. Orion’s flow was probably the nicest of the night, his raps were of quality length and had solid hooks from Franks and Danny Schultz. Danny actually stole the show during his solo performance. He’s an exceptional singer who I believe, should get more spotlight. Funny side note, I did hear Orion constantly calling a particular ‘someone’ to the stage pretty badly. It was like he really wanted that feature to catch everyone’s attention. I’ll let you know who that person is soon. Just keep on scrolling!
Okay main event time! But first I had to go save my hunger outside thanks to 24-hour Subway (Why don’t we put more in Vancity?). Because of that, I came in halfway through his opening track which was a new YouTube release. I listened to Evil’s early days with Josh Martinez and too be fair, his singing still sounded quite similar. I don’t think he needed the vocal boosts at all. His range was enough for this new melodic rap he’s been pushing for a minute. A few highlight tracks, like “Running on Empty” and “Figured Out” (which he was pushed to perform in a damn TRIPLE-encore) stood out. His stage presence was feel good and eye-catching. But just when you thought it couldn’t get better, what was this?!
Merkules decided to roll through and hit some unexpected stage time together with Evil and DTG (aka. Lil’ Windex). At this point the screaming ladies, and day one fans had pressed me up hard against the stage. Drinks were being thrown plus fans were jumping and mimicking the lyrics so heavily as Merk asked for crowd response. Now you can probably see why I called it a cult-like fan base. Everyone knew the lyrics to “Way Down” and “Gon Die”, but what surprised me most was how some chanted the bars to their SDK Cypher so precisely. Merk even did Caspian’s verse pretty well.
Finally, Evil got to close with some new singles like “Rider” and “Never Die” which definitely electrified the crowd back to energy. This new Trap-style Evil seems to balance out once you adjust.
Overall the whole night was enjoyable, it just made me smile to see Evil and Merkules reconnect with their loyal Stompdown Killaz. Some of them have been down since they first began their careers. The excitement made me realize just how valuable our home town heroes can be.
Stay tuned for more local event reviews!