Best Hip-Hop Act (2009)

BLOK

Gather 'round, folks and witness heavy-hitting club rap for hip-hop's new Day-Glo generation. Don't be alarmed; we know that watching a sweaty white kid screaming ferocious rhymes from between a leggy, blond backup dancer and a mohawk-sporting hype man isn't something you see every day. Which is exactly why Irvine-based trio BLOK are so special. Armed with white-rimmed glasses, a sharp-toothed grimace and rapid-fire cadence, lead vocalist Damien B spews carefully constructed verses with one foot on the dance floor and the other in the underground. Joined onstage by background dancers/vocalists Gianna Gianna and Jesse St. John, the group generate a hard-to-describe energy. But you'll love it. A cocktail of mechanical rhythms, M.I.A. swagger and suburban angst, BLOK's sound delivers a deft roundhouse kick to the face of the typical hip-hop aesthetic.

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