Dig Baton Rouge

Music: Sounds of the underground

The Rat Pack was a legendary group of performers that, throughout the ’50s and ’60s, ruled cool. If these guys signed off on someone or something, you needed to know about it. The Rat Pack would usually pack into a lounge and end up taking it over. That feeling of a takeover was present at the Spanish Moon this past Saturday for the first Legends in the Making concert series.

The event, put on by Corporate Slave Productions and batonrougeunderground, featured four different live musical acts, a DJ set and slam poetry. The event also raised money for Toys for Tots.

The night started off with Toi Sibley reciting her poetry, which she called “Toi Stories.” The topics ranged from self-love and body image to race and heritage.

She closed with a fiery, brand-new rail against the Spanish Town Parade for its racist tone in the previous parade.

This really set the tone for the night; not necessarily radical or antagonistic, but out of the mainstream – for Baton Rouge, at least.

In addition to all the live music, local artists put their work on display. About 10 artists were present, selling original pieces and prints, often inspired by politics and pop culture.

Artist Clarence J Ledee had one piece featuring Boba Fett from Star Wars in a demure navy suit with Republican pins on his lapel; Poette Iva had prints of her fan art of different cartoons and video games.

There were more modern paintings, some acrylic sketches and photography and mixed media pieces all around the venue.

While the art was fantastic, taking up the pool tables and most of the seating was annoying. If the series continues, they’ll need a better solution for the gallery portion of the show.

The music, meanwhile, was fantastic. Armed Rhymery from Lafayette tore through their set, and Kyle Hubbard from Houston had some dense bars and fantastic guests.

The rapping was solid, but it was really the passion that struck me. Everyone who graced the stage seemed to need to perform; there was a strong energy throughout the night.

Soul Jettison headlined the night, and it really took the energy to another level. The mix of soul, funk and hip-hop were a sight to behold, and they had a lot of fun with their set.

The highlight of the night for me, however, was Symone and the B.O.B.S. Before you ask, B.O.B.S. has nothing to do with the “Airplanes” rapper; it stands for “Band of Brothers and Sisters.”

Symone Giles, the frontwoman, assembled the band specifically for Legends in the Making, as she typically performs solo. She’s clearly an amazing talent, crushing a cover of “Bag Lady” early in the set.

Its set was great, if a little rough. Really there’s a lot of potential in this group, somewhere between neo-soul and jazz.

They covered “Sweet Dreams” and made it their own, almost turning it into a metal song at the end. Hopefully, they perform together again, because their first outing was great.

Hopefully, this event has a second appearance. The vibe was less lounge and more house party, with DJ Mikelarry spinning throughout the night and keeping the function going after the live acts packed it in.

The art should be featured in a more professional way, and maybe tightening the set up would be better – the six hours started to drag just a bit towards the end, but that was more my problem than the event.

I don’t know if I would call this the new Rat Pack, but it was definitely cool. We all need a cool Saturday night, so hopefully the series makes a return.

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Cheers!

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