The Vapor Caves and Sean Shakespeare headline Swamburger's latest Trailblazers show at Iron Cow

click to enlarge Swamburger at Iron Cow - JEN CRAY
Jen Cray
Swamburger at Iron Cow
THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND
The Vapor Caves, Sean Shakespeare and the Spec-ILLest, Iron Cow, Oct. 30

Trailblazers is a new concert series curated by star rapper and tireless Orlando scene impresario Swamburger, and this fifth edition was a roundup of some fresh talent.
click to enlarge Swamburger with Sean Shakespeare at Iron Cow - JEN CRAY
Jen Cray
Swamburger with Sean Shakespeare at Iron Cow
Kicking off the night was local (by way of Detroit) MC the Spec-ILLest. Informed by rap’s textbook gospel, he’s a strict hip-hop constructionist with cadence that’s coiled, classic and on rails.

click to enlarge The Spec-ILLest at Iron Cow - JEN CRAY
Jen Cray
The Spec-ILLest at Iron Cow
click to enlarge The Spec-ILLest at Iron Cow - JEN CRAY
Jen Cray
The Spec-ILLest at Iron Cow
Co-headlining was Orlando’s Sean Shakespeare, a Second Subject upcomer and one of Swamburger’s top young protégés. He’s long been an expressive and versatile rapper, but this latest performance showed a deepening presence, a growing aura of substance that needs no bullshit braggadocio. Artistically, Shakespeare manages the nice feat of passing the technical muster of classic hip-hop rigor while maintaining a very now voice, straddling the true and the new with natural command.

click to enlarge Sean Shakespeare at Iron Cow - JEN CRAY
Jen Cray
Sean Shakespeare at Iron Cow
click to enlarge Sean Shakespeare at Iron Cow - JEN CRAY
Jen Cray
Sean Shakespeare at Iron Cow
The touring headliner was the Vapor Caves, an Austin band just coming off a live session at the downtown library’s excellent Melrose in the Mix series. On stage, the creative core of singer Yadira Brown and producer BoomBaptist come with the kick of live drummer Sam Wood. Together, they work a smooth brew of R&B and electro-funk with pop smarts, hip-hop edge and an ‘80s jones.

click to enlarge The Vapor Caves at Iron Cow - JEN CRAY
Jen Cray
The Vapor Caves at Iron Cow
Between the two leads, she brings a voice of immaculate soul cream and he brings the soft, neon grooves with a talk box and – oh shit, ya’ll – a muhfuggin’ flute too. And, all told, it was a performance of breeze, fun and levity.

click to enlarge The Vapor Caves at Iron Cow - JEN CRAY
Jen Cray
The Vapor Caves at Iron Cow
click to enlarge The Vapor Caves at Iron Cow - JEN CRAY
Jen Cray
The Vapor Caves at Iron Cow

Follow Bao on Twitter (@baolehuu)
Email Bao: [email protected]

About The Author

Bao Le-Huu

Music columnist.
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