“Everybody say Humble Beast!” JGivens, our MC for the evening, does a little jig on the mic as he gets everybody hype for the upcoming dopeness that’s about to ensue.
It was only a matter of time before the Pacific Northwestern, coffee connoisseurs of Humble Beast Records made their way to Philadelphia. Their DJ, Dj Efechto, crooned the crowd with an array of beats before and in between sets. Indeed my neck suffered from the amount of head bobbing that occurred. Let’s go through the line-up for the night.
First up, we have Marz Ferrer.
Acompanied by a percussionist and an acoustic guitar player, Marz performed about four songs for the crowd. I wasn’t familiar with her music outside of the features that she’s done, and in fact, she did a mash-up of her features which ended with her most famous one, Andy Mineo’s “Neverland”, in which the crowd joined in on one accord. Marz seemed unsure of the crowd’s receptivity to her music throughout her performance. While her music isn’t necessarily my taste, the movements and engagement that she expressed to her own music was very refreshing. One could feel that she truly believed what she was singing.
Next up, we have the master of ceremonies, JGivens.
His interaction with the crowd by pointing people out for being on their phones–making sure everyone was moving their hands and bobbing their heads–made for a very humorous set. “It does get really hot up here,” Givens says, explaining his reasoning for having us wave our hands at him so much. The Las Vegas native tells us of his hometown and his story growing up there. He even tries to use some Philly lingo of his own. He performed crowd favorites (okay, they’re really my favorites), “Bus Stop”, “(A)Bridge(D) Thoughts” “Polar Express” and “Bienvenue” hailing from his project El v. Envy (the album is on Spotify for your listening pleasure). He also did “Jackpot” which was a single that (to me) screamed “Welcome to Humble Beast” (also one of my favorites).
Last, but of course not least, we have our headliner, the Propaganda himself.
He wasn’t on stage for two minutes before the dreads loosed themselves from the bun and began to dance with him on stage. He performed songs both from his first project on Humble Beast, Excellent, and from his latest album Crimson Cord. While being more familiar with his first project than his latest, this concert definitely compelled me to listen to his latest release. You heard his heart behind the tracks and saw his enthusiasm during the performance, in true Propaganda fashion. “This is my first time in Philly…” Prop explains as he talked about the lecture that he gave at Temple University prior to the concert. He expressed that it’s great to come to a city to do a concert, but there’s more to it than that. Truly investing in a city and seeing lives being challenged and changed, that’s what it’s about. Both Prop and Givens challenged us Philadelphians on making sure we’re doing our job as Christians–evangelizing and setting this city on fire to redeem the lost affection of “the city of brotherly love” through showing the love of Christ.
As this being my first Humble Beast show, I can say that it definitely won’t be my last. There was an authenticity that was shown through all of the artists that I greatly appreciated–in their lyrics, in their anecdotes between songs, and even afterwards. Watching them relate to people, sometimes we as “fans” or I’ll say supporters, we tend to forget that these artists are regular people as well.
‘Til next time Humble Beast.
(all photos taken by Creative Thought Media )