Somewhere between the Frat boys guzzling Fosters and the XBox console/TV exhibits-advertising All Pro Football 2K8-I found myself wondering if I made it to the right venue. According to my ticket stub, "2K Sports presents DJ Z-Trip, Gift of Gab, Lateef, & More at the HOB". I guess the "& More" part comes first. Distractions aside, Z-Trip altered the slumping energy level of the crowd when he began unexpectedly, by playing a solo on his drum kit (yes, on the old-school kind). It didn't take him long to start doing what he does best, mashing up tracks like Aerosmith's "Sweet Emotion," ODB's "Baby I Like it Raw," and Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire". His boundless imagination became most apparent when he artfully cruised between "Sweet Child of Mine" and Stevie Wonder's "Uptight (Everything's Alright)," layered with a ripple of heavy bass lines.
Of course, it wouldn't be a Z-Trip show without a little crowd participation; he asked the audience to throw up the "rock on" sign while "Don't You Forget About Me" played over footage from The Breakfast Club. Not long after, RATM's "Killing in the Name" took over, prompting his request to "put your middle finger up for George [W.] Bush", one acquiesced by nearly everyone on the dance floor. The other highlight of the night was when the Blackalicious crew's Gift of Gab of grabbed the mic, gracing us with his lightning fast free flow in which he revealed his real name (Timothy) and his predictions for the future (expect riots and vegetarianism in 2051). Hands down, Gab takes away the award for best quote of the evening, "Be true to yourselves," he cried, "smoke Humboldt!"