Various Artists

United States of Mind

Saturday, May 22  While many of the city’s residents went to the bars last Saturday, a select few participated in a night of spiritual hip-hop at United States of Mind. With an equal demographic on and off stage, teen-age through middle age, the energy quickly grew as the evening progressed.   Adorned in a bouba robe, Son of Thought (Seringue Bey) and Deific (Justin Trimble), a Mauride Muslim duo, set the tone for the night, weaving lines from a prayer into their verse. Bey and Trimble exuded an interactive presence. Bey frequently elaborated between songs, explaining, “I’m not saying become Muslim. I’m saying find peace in your life.”   The Justice League followed. Ace (Mike Cobbs) and St. James (Santiago Garcia) derided the thug lifestyle of today’s rappers, demanding people “Wake up and take up responsibilities.”   The spiritual continued as DaFilled took the crowd to church. “Once defiled but now ‘Da’ Filled’” MCs for Christ, Country Boy Albert Paul and Braille (Sherron Hooks) screamed and hollered while the “congregation” clapped to “Hard Days,” an unaccompanied spoken word piece reminiscent of Gil Scott-Heron, detailing the double life of a Sunday churchgoer and weekday hustler.   The service concluded as The Cleptoz reminded the congregation, “We all got a purpose in life, we gotta bring that purpose to life.” The highly organized trio of Hum-V (Greg Humrichouser), B.C. (Brandon Curry) and Dizzy Yung (Brandon Wagner) recited an alphabetical a cappella of verse.   Anyone who missed this “Saturday service” can hear all four acts at Tuesday Open Mic Night at the Casbah Bar. Seringue Bey summed the evening up: “Indianapolis has the best MCs. MCs — not rappers. Remember that.”

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