by Petula Caesar
Last night I checked out this event called Recrd Breakrs — an event for deejays and bloggers that took place at Shockwave Records on Harford Road in Parkville. Sponsored by SWWK, Ampslam and The Lineup Room, I went on the strength of seeing that Brandon Lackey was involved — I have tremendous respect for his production work and I’m a secret undercover fan of his (hope I can do an interview with him one day…hint hint).
I’d forgotten how much fun perusing Shockwave Records can be. Just touching the vinyl made me feel extra good — like I’d returned to a happy place I had visited long ago. The memories of music past came flooding back as I looked at the album covers from days past (including a 12 inch single of a Madonna song and Rick Springfield’s album). There were lots of familiar faces in the crowd of folks I’ve never met personally like DJ Harvey Dent, and people I didn’t know. But the vibe was definitely friendly, and though I don’t consider myself good at working a room (I’m still trying to get my flow down when it comes to networking), I actually found myself talking to a few people at the event.
The live performance I saw was from Don Trunk. Now I’d heard of him, so I knew he was a local cat making decent noise on the independent artist tip. But (as is often the case with Baltimore artists) I didn’t find out about him from other locals. I found out about him from a friend of mine who lived in DC who was familiar with him, and asked if I’d ever heard his stuff. (Side note: Baltimore, we gotta do better by our TALENTED local artists, which is one reason why Speakerbox Magazine exists).
Photo by Janae “TruDat” Griffin
Don Trunk is an artist/producer whose credits range from local to national acts and include Ace Hood, Gucci Mane, Jim Jones, Latoya Luckett, Blaqstarr, Raheem Devaughn, King Los, Skarr Akbar and Maino. His set last night was an eclectic combination of deejay and live instruments including trumpet and guitar and bass, with Trunk at the MPC. It was a laid back intimate set, and Trunk was quite comfortable in not only the setting, but in letting the audience in on who he is as an artist and a producer. He did a few tracks off his soon to be released “Jackin 4 Samples” project, and at times he forgot lyrics to songs because of how deeply he vibed off his own sound. But it was cool, because the audience was right there with him. From the bits and pieces of classic hip hop he and DJ Trelly Trell shared with the crowd to open Trunk’s set to his own originals, the most enjoyable thing about Trunk’s performance was his authenticity just as much as his talent. Even in Trunk’s most braggadocious, less than humble moments Trunk never lost the audience because he could clearly back up everything he claimed he could do.
It would be easy to make some comparisons to Don Trunk and Drake, especially since last night’s performance had elements that some might call highly personal and emotional. But Trunk’s authenticity saves him from coming off like the whiny man Drake can at times appear to be. You sense that Trunk is totally at ease with pretty much every facet of himself creatively, even his emotional self, and that display of strength makes him appealing — unlike Drake, who tends to seem strangely uncomfortable with his own feelings in songs. Trunk’s other saving grace is that he doesn’t have Drake’s brooding quality — Trunk is clearly trying to have fun, have a good time, and bring enjoyment to his listeners through his music and lyrics. His love affair with his MPC is quite evident, and that relationship seems to be the thing that keeps him balanced. Trunk also announced he’ll be working with area artists Lonnie Moore and Miss Jinxx in the very near future, which I was glad to hear.
All in all it was a fun night. Many thanks to Brandon for the invite. I also highly recommend you check out Shockwave Records, The Lineup Room and Ampslam by clicking on their logo’s above.