While watching Kingdom Crumbs’ synchronized movements and karate-like dance techniques at Neumos on Thursday night, the image of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers came to mind.
Maybe it’s because the album cover to last year’s excellent self-titled LP features renderings of their four profiles in a quadrant formation, not unlike the splash screen when the Rangers assume Megazord formation. The whole “Kingdom Crumbs piloting a giant mecha warrior” vibe is helped along by the fact that the hip hop crew rotated through two elaborate laptop stations during the set.
Tay Sean, Mikey Nice, Jerm D and Jarv Dee spun (literally) in and out of beat-making duty at the two consoles, freeing up full on rap duty to the two mics flanking the stage. The seamless choreography of the whole thing made it seem like Kingdom Crumbs were powering up and piloting a giant robot. When they all came together to the front of the stage to mob-rap, it felt like a crime fighting crew assuming fight position. And yes, it was as epic as it sounds.
Kingdom Crumbs rallied the crowd with the hard-hitting two-step of “Red Cups,” before sending them into space with “The Mezzanine.” The crew’s signature cloud rap sound sets them apart from a lot of their peers for its sheer originality. Rarely do Kingdom Crumbs write straight bangers. Instead, their songs swirl around in a sort of primordial haze, contemplating cosmic truths and connecting the dots between the beats and divine geometry. “If the world should die, then what do we do? What do we do about nothing at all?” they sleepily ponder in “Much Ado about Nothing.”
Keeping with the Power Rangers theme, opener Kung Foo Grip’s intense set drew out a crazed supporter in the crowd who donned a full karate gi with the group’s name embroidered on the back. The fan threw his arms higher in the air than anyone else during KFG’s aggressive performance. Running through songs from their recent Growing Up in the Future release, Greg Cypher and Eff Is H earned the very warm reception they received from the crowd. By the end of the performance, the two MC’s were drenched in sweat. The duo unexpectedly debuted a new song from their upcoming album during the set. Featuring a pitched up trillwave female vocal sample and a heavy, plodding bass line, the new song is an exciting new direction for Kung Foo Grip. The break from their earlier style is a logical progression for the duo, whose sound seems to organically evolve with each new release.