ThaWilsonBlock Magazine Issue75

Bubba Sparks Sets Spanaway Ablaze (Article by Jhantu Randall)

Article by Jhantu Randall
The smoke from an abundance of forest fires has taken over and choked the air throughout the entire west coast, but this particular night, not even mother nature could deter the people from gathering. At the Y Sports Bar in Spanaway, Washington they are setting up the lights and making some final preparations to the stage as they get ready for Bubba Sparks to make an appearance. Sunday, August 19th, the Y Sports Bar in Spanaway is one of the hottest tickets in town!

On the bill with Bubba is a good variety of local hip hop artists who were all getting back from Spokane and Colville where they were on tour as opening acts. Like I said before, Pusha T called 2018 a “Surgical Summer” and this is just further proof that the local scene is up to the challenge as they cut through different regions and demographics.

The night itself held a mix of excitement and exhaustion as many were coming from Hempfest in Seattle where they had just graced the stage, further showing their dedication to this craft as they
performed multiple shows in one day. I wish I had a chance to interview every artists but in reality I was only able to say a few words to some of them. That being said, I will try to show how each and every one of them added another layer to this event.

The show was kicked off by Tacoma artist, George Kush who is a natural on the mic, beyond his rhymes he embraces the role of host as if its second nature. This show was just an additional
celebration for Kush who happened to be celebrating his birthday. Off record, I hope everyone who could bought the man some Irish Car Bombs to show their appreciation.

George started the show off by getting the crowd loose as he introduced Scott Elkins to the stage.
Elkins kicked it off by bringing the energy straight out the gate, from premiering a song he's done with hook master, Akon to displaying an aggressive multi-syllabic rhyme scheme, he set the bar and left it up to the others to leap it. Next up came Elijah Griffey who showed an array of styles, from double time to old school, his set showed a vulnerability that translates his life story to music effortlessly. To hear for yourself, check him out on soundcloud at Elijah Griffey Northwest. Next George Kush took the mic and blessed the stage with his songs that blend a melodic baseline with introspective lyrics and a delivery that will leave his words bouncing around your mind long after he’s finished. You'll definitely hear more about George Kush in the near future. Next came Bubba G representing Lane Entertainment, coming from Spokane his set pushed the energy of the crowd even further setting it up for a local group known as the Lunatics who blended smooth melody and high energy lyrics. Following them was Roddy Mac and the Big 3. Roddy who also cohosted the second half of the event lit the match with their set. Their vibe and music encapsulated the audience while
leaving you to wonder how they’re not nationally known yet? They seamlessly posses every quality that creates hits and they deserve to be heard beyond the Pacific Northwest!

Then, without missing a beat, the headliner, Bubba Sparks pushed his way through the crowd to hit the stage with force. I’ll admit that while I’ll was always a fan of his during my high school and college years, I was never able to fully garner an appreciation for his work until I saw him live. His set consisted of fan favorites that ranged from “Ugly” to “Ms New Booty” and finally one of my favorites, the Timbaland produced “Deliverance” which is still a grossly underrated gem. He started by performing in the middle of the crowd as the people crowded as close as security would allow. As the crowd was getting louder, Bubba jumped on the stage and immediately broke into Ms New Booty where he cut the mic and invited a few women from the crowd to join him for the song. Ms New Booty 2018 was crowned by the end of it. To close out his time, Bubba and his hype man pointed the mic’s towards the crowd and got them all to sing the chorus to Deliverance. As I stated earlier, this was always a favorite track of mine but to hear it performed live brought it to another level for me. It was if I heard the meaning behind the lyrics and truly connected to it for the first time. Not many
artists can take me back in time while giving me a newfound appreciation for the present, but Bubba did that.

As the lights were getting turned off and the stage was left smoking from the immense heat that the artists all brought, Gerald “Realife” Beamon grabbed the mic and took the stage. With DJ Eskro on the boards he went through an EP’s worth of songs further solidifying the vision and passion I described months ago. Every time he hits the stage I see a new angle to his path and its something to see him fulfill it. To close out the night in probably the most perfect way, Tazz Jones and Fasa Labree took the stage. Yaaah Music is about to be in full effect. Between Tazz’s brash voice and high energy delivery and Fasa’s smokey and angelic singing this is an act thats bound to be a fan favorite upon the first listen. Their version of “The light” is just an appetizer for those who hunger for more, I wish I could describe them in a way that gives them justice but at this point I’m at a loss for words. All I can say is they create an atmosphere for the crowd to experience.

For one night, Spanaway may be choked in forest fire smoke, but this blaze on the stage at the Y was set by a lineup of verbal arsonists who are just beginning to shine bright for all to see.

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