So I rushed over to the Temple Bar in Santa Monica on a late Wednesday night thinking, “I hope I get in.” The reason I wasn't sure was because Black Sheep was making a rare L.A. appearance in a place that doesn’t hold that many people. Maybe it’s because I live under a rock, but I was thinking the place was going to be packed. My first inclination that it wasn’t was when I found parking right in front of the club. As I walked in Tre Hardson from The Pharcyde was setting up. He’s been doing his solo thing for a minute now. I saw him perform a few years back when he had members of The Rebirth in his group, but they are no longer with him. Trey’s music is not bad; it reminded me of something that I would have heard in a club on Telegraph Ave in Berkeley in the 1990’s, adequate at best. The half-filled room seem to feel the same way, as the only reaction he got from them was when he launched into two Pharcyde classics, “Runnin’” and “Passing Me By” at the end of his set. That seemed to wake people up.
Black Sheep is just Dres now, with Mr. Lawnge long gone from the group. After his DJ did a brief set, Dres came out with a few classics before launching into some of his newer material. I like Dres's new material. His new style is sharper and more aggressive, but he still has his signature flow. Unlike many of the older MC’s who stick to their style for years, Dres sounds like someone who has evolved as Rap music has evolved. Everyone at the show seemed hyped for the new stuff as much as the classics. Black Sheep closed with “The Choice Is Yours” and the place lit up. Where were you when you first heard that song? Can it be 15 years old already?
Dres is your next MF Doom, Kool Keith & Del The Funky Homosapien waiting to happen -- rappers temporarily forgotten until a whole new audience rediscovers them. Until then, Black Sheep will be touring in your city soon, playing to half empty clubs and waiting for people to catch on.