Every once in a while, life hands you a happy accident, a completely unexpected situation that exceeds what you’d imagined all along. I had one such accident recently, when I made my way down to Union Stage for a show. My snafu resulted in me covering SonReal, a talented artist in his own right, but not the one I was expecting. You see, it turns out that SonReal and Son Little are very similar names, with very different sounds. I may have signed up for the wrong Son, but I was not let down by this performance. In fact, SonReal without a doubt made a fan out of me on this night. Joined by fellow indie lyricist Sol, this was a dope laidback show with just the right amount vibes and energy.
Sol makes that bopping type of indie rap that just reminds you of simpler times. If Bernie Mac were still here, he might call it “happy rap”. Sol is a refreshing change of pace in the way of openers; though I have the utmost respect for the wonderful artists I get to meet and photograph, there’s nothing better than seeing a normal dude just rip the stage and come down with no ego, no inflated attitude, just joy and love. This is the kind of guy I want to root for, so I’ll raise my pen for Sol, and all the other lyricists trying to get it, one rhyme at a time.
As for my unexpected headliner, I was pleasantly impressed. SonReal has an infectious stage energy that can’t help but radiate a room; and the man came out on 10. The deeper Sonny got into his set, the more I found myself connecting to the music. There’s a depth that I honestly wasn’t expecting, slower tracks like “Healing” and “Fearless” [my favorites of the night] providing the perfect balance to the more upbeat slaps like “bank on me” and “preach”. SonReal’s ability to switch between booming rhymes and honest singer-songwriter lyrics is dope; and the ability to juxtapose lighting in a bottle energy with laidback vibes is, as my guy James would say, a chef’s kiss. As long as my mistakes are turning out like this, you ain’t getting no complaints from me.
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