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by Timothy Hoffman

Its pouring something awful outside The Catalyst in Santa Cruz on February 2nd, but fans of notable hip hop producer and Definitive Jux alumni RJD2 bare the harsh conditions to get into the crowded performance hall. This show comes on the heels of his last two releases, Tendrils under the name The Insane Warrior, and his compilation album In Rare Form, Vol. 2. The show opened with a performance from the R&B group Soul & The City who performed several songs from their 2018 release Time. Their performance was awe inspiring with the lead singer Kia Fay’s soulful vocals standing out among the rest of the groups exceptional set. As RJD2 took to the stage adorning a helmet reminiscent of electronic duo Daft Punk, he began his set with several fun gimmicks in which he used specially designed equipment to perform a small electronic music piece in which the instrument previously mentioned would spin around. This bit was short lived, as he took off for the set up behind him which held a series of turntables and other equipment intended for the main performance. RJD2’s set included a wide array of instrumental pieces ranging from more traditional boom bap hip hop tracks to synth heavy and EDM inspired tracks. During the latter half of the show, RJD2 introduced a guest performance from independent LA rapper Keenan Bell who has performed with the likes of De La Soul and Del The Funky Homosapien, delivering an exceptional verse. Closing out the show, RJD2 blessed the roaring audience with a brief encore. The show was a fantastic experience, and I anticipate RJD2’s next show!