Over the Weekend: Philieano, Cannibal and Tony Tigerstyle, Rhythm Lounge, Long Beach

The Hype: Thanks to the likes of Snoop Dogg, Daz Dillinger and Warren G, the bar for Long Beach rappers sits pretty high. Those who step to the mic and claim the city better bring it; hip-hop fans in the 562 know the good shit from the bad. Fortunately, underground emcees Philieano, Tony Tigerstyle, Kris Ransom and Cannibal–Friday's performers at Rhythm Lounge–are artists who can hold their own, even if they haven't received a call yet from Dr. Dre. 

The Show: Cannibal's intense flow and tight rhymes caught fire on a scorching, 64-bar freestyle–by far the best improvised part of the entire evening–while producer/emcee Kris Ransom made a memorable cameo. Philieano (pictured) followed with slow and fast rhymes that ripped through the room like melodic gunshots. Having never even heard of Tony Tigerstyle, I prepared for a letdown after Philieano killed it. Wrong. Tigerstyle jumped off the stage, stood in a semicircle of fans and spit scorching verse while the crowd bounced their heads in unison. Too bad not enough people stuck around to catch Chad “Mr. Chadwick” Bishop–this R&B singer has serious pipes.


The Crowd: Perhaps because of the unfortunate stereotype that everyone and everything hip-hop revolves around aggression, those who bumped into each other were overly apologetic and made hand gestures and eye contact as if to say, “Sorry, dude. We're cool. I really didn't mean to hit your elbow. Please, let's not fight.” This resulted in a highly enthusiastic mixed crowd on the dance floor that got busy whenever the DJ played anything off Snoop's eternally cool Doggystyle.

Overheard: “He's the Latin Mos Def,” said an attendee about Philieano.

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