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Popped Off: Hip-Hop Arcade FTW

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(photos by Broccoli)

People know Black Noi$e for his music, but he can also throw one hell of a party.

Last Thursday, the DJ and producer teamed up with POP + Offworld to host a low-key banger, featuring a lineup of Detroit talent that left heads more than satisfied, capped off by remarkable performance from NYC’s own Wiki.

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Meftah

The arcade’s atmosphere permits a level of wandering attention, which performers can either embrace or reject. Meftah’s beats were the perfect backdrop to a game of Galaga, while still gripping enough to satisfy those focused on the music. Megablown’s set, which included a visit from frequent collaborator Black Alfalfa, was slightly more emphatic, followed by a performance by Milfie that was so undeniably bold that many coins were lost to abandoned games in the process. 

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Black Alfalfa playing w/ Megablown
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Milfie
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Lord Gulley

Milfie’s soundscape was delivered via Lord Gulley, whose offerings before and after her performance qualified as short sets of their own. Showcasing his versatility, Gulley was equally at home supporting Nolan the Ninja, who brought a familiar old-school style balanced with contemporary finesse. A-Minus offered notable contributions to an already strong performance, which was accompanied by enthusiastic ad-libs from friend and collaborator DAG.

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Nolan the Ninja

 

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A-Minus & DAG

At last, with his signature cynicism and blunt honesty, Wiki took the stage. Despite his playful skepticism about the crowd’s level of investment, his outstanding performance brought even first-time listeners to center stage. His sharp delivery came entangled within beats that moved between driving 808’s and careful musicality, producing a sound that was at once jarring and poignant.

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Wiki

His aesthetic can be deceptive, leaving audiences repeatedly impressed by his lyrical prowess; upon close listening the songs effectively exhibit his skillful delivery and studied wordplay. His body writhed with energy as he let out each word, as if the expressions were too powerful to be contained. Each sentence barged its way into the atmosphere, a fight for mere presence deemed worthy by their meaning. 

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Wiki

Ending abruptly after the last song, Wiki’s demeanor changed almost the moment he left the stage. He quickly took his place at the merch booth, chopping it up with fans about the nuances of his album art among other things, a stark juxtaposition to his evocative stage presence. 

All in all, the show was a modest yet decisive demonstration of Detroit’s thriving talent, and an exciting sample of what’s to come. Only time will, but if that night was any indication, Black Noi$e has more slappers on the way. 

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Wiki & Broccoli (photo by @vonrutabaga)
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Broccoli
Broccoli is a scientific artisan with a personality disorder. His work often centers around identity, the relationship between an artist and their work, and the psychology of emotion. He likes to lay out in the sun and grow.

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