Friday, June 5, 2015

This Little Underground: Kristen Warren, Blueprint, Supastition (The Social)

Posted By on Fri, Jun 5, 2015 at 2:54 PM

click to enlarge Blueprint at the Social - MICHAEL LOTHROP
  • Michael Lothrop
  • Blueprint at the Social

One would’ve been enough to seal the deal, but this week I got two good looks at young local singer Kristen Warren in different projects. The first was at the latest edition of my favorite multi-genre serial the Grand Collab, where she was the easy diamond (May 31, Will’s Pub). The other was at the indie-rap show headlined by Blueprint (June 4, The Social) as Project Eden, her joint with Orlando MC Jorok.

click to enlarge Project Eden at the Social - MICHAEL LOTHROP
  • Michael Lothrop
  • Project Eden at the Social

If she’s already teamed up with the notable Jorok then she didn’t just come from out of nowhere, but she was new to me. I may not have seen her coming up in the rearview but, now that our show paths have crossed, that voice is etched into me. With a warm, golden wind that channels the pristine side of Erykah Badu, she’s the archetype of the classic neo-soul voice – a little jazz, a little hip-hop, all clarified butter. In fact, this nightingale is one of the purest singing voices to emerge from here in a while. And once she nailed “Summertime” at the Grand Collab, it was pretty clear that she’s romancing the same rich soil as Solillaquists of Sound leading lady Alexandra Sarton. Not to get too carried away with the Solillaquists comparison or anything but, between Jorok’s tight rap coils and Warren’s supple steeze, Project Eden works a similar hard/soft dynamic as Swamburger and Sarton, and we know what kind of magic that’s capable of.

click to enlarge Supastition at the Social - MICHAEL LOTHROP
  • Michael Lothrop
  • Supastition at the Social

As good as locals like Project Eden and Midaz the Beast were, the Blueprint show leveled up once North Carolina’s Supastition seized the stage with a dense, tense style that pumps the blood and makes the veins pop a little. Even if you haven’t heard of him, you’ve likely heard him on tracks alongside the notable likes of KRS-One, Jedi Mind Tricks, Little Brother and Souls of Mischief. But his combination of conviction, nerve and classic boom-bap fire deserves its own spotlight.

click to enlarge Blueprint at the Social - MICHAEL LOTHROP
  • Michael Lothrop
  • Blueprint at the Social

Ohio headliner Blueprint has got to be one of the most underrated MCs around right now, even in his native indie-rap scene. Like any self-respecting Midwesterner, he’s refreshingly free of pomp. But he’s loaded with marrow that’s delivered in a cocked, literate style. He’s a well-calibrated union of edge and intelligence that owns the stage with nothing but pure legitimacy. What’s more, the guy’s got a real left-field streak that occasionally swerved the performance to a freaky late-night odyssey via a keytar.

click to enlarge Blueprint at the Social - MICHAEL LOTHROP
  • Michael Lothrop
  • Blueprint at the Social


This Little Underground is Orlando Weekly's music column providing perspective, live reviews and news on the city's music scene.

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