One of the more attractive aspects of Michigan’s burgeoning hip-hop scene is the diversity of its artists. It’s not uncommon to hear the politically charged rhymes of an artist such as Invincible alongside the hardcore flows of Guilty Simpson or Phat Kat.
Within this spectrum of varying styles, the members of Binary Star have established themselves as the preeminent purveyors of traditional boom bap. The duo’s well-crafted beats and tightly delivered rhymes cut to the essence of the best underground hip hop.
Despite ending their recording partnership years ago, the members of Binary Star still periodically reunite on stage. Saturday’s show at the Blind Pig celebrates One Be Lo and Senim Silla’s latest solo releases – R.E.B.I.R.T.H. and The Name The Motto The Outcome.
The two Pontiac natives initially received national attention with Masters of the Universe (2000), Binary Star’s debut album. One Be Lo’s precise couplet on “Reality Check” is a summation of the group’s ethos: “Honestly my number one policy is quality / Never sell my soul is my philosophy.”
While Lo and Silla’s debut gained critical acclaim, their collaborative success was short-lived. Citing creative differences, the duo split immediately after the release of Masters of the Universe. One Be Lo has since released a string of acronym-titled albums and mixtapes, most notably 2005’s S.O.N.O.G.R.A.M.
With R.E.B.I.R.T.H. (Real Emcees Bringing Intelligent Rhymes to Hip Hop), Lo continues to update Binary’s distinctive mix of astute wordplay and socially conscious subject matter. Tracks such as “Gray” illustrate his lyrical dexterity: “Family on the light side don’t accept the dark side / Sorta like apartheid passin’ each other by / Like the Pharcyde.”
While Lo has relentlessly toured in promotion of his solo material, Silla has maintained a relatively low profile. His first solo album, The Name The Motto The Outcome, is a reflection of seven years of musical growth. Silla provides a refreshing backdrop for his animated rhymes and meticulous flow with melodic choruses, live instrumentation and a rock and reggae influenced production,
With both Silla and One Be Lo finding success in their respective solo careers, Saturday’s reunion show promises to be a festive atmosphere. For those tired of watching amateur underground acts struggle to rock a crowd, Lo and Silla’s commanding rhymes and veteran stage presence will be a welcome change.
Binary Star Preview
$10 and $13/18+
Doors open at 9:30 pm
At the Blind Pig