Review: FlatbushZOMBies @ The Blind Pig

This Tuesday I listened to Flatbush Zombies perform at The Blind Pig. I believe attending a concert at The Blind Pig is a bucket-list item for students here—gotta once before you graduate or you’re missing out. It’s not the biggest or most glamorous venue. Neither of those words should ever be used to describe The Pig—sweaty and crowded are more appropriate adjectives. Nevertheless, this venue is a great spot to see talented groups on the cusp of stardom for reasonable prices (tickets usually $15 before fees).
Flatbush Zombies are a Brooklyn based group formed in 2010, consisting of MC’s Meechy Darko, Zombie Juice, and Erick Arc Elliott. New to the rap scene, Flatbush Zombies follow in the tradition of legendary New York rap group Wu-Tang Clan— minimalistic yet expressive production style, dissonant harmonies, and each MC embodies a unique persona on every track. Listeners can also appreciate the many references to hip-hop culture: frequent references to famous MC’s, particularly 2pac and Wu-Tang Clan, as well as plays on iconic lines from classic songs.
Flatbush Zombies, like many other hip-hop groups, fixate on drug use in their lyrics. It would be a mistake, however, to consider this group another run-of-the-mill group drawing on controversial subjects to gain popularity. Their lyrical content is distinctly existential, openly questioning the value of conventional morality and religion, opting instead for a morality derived from real life experience. Unlike mainstream hip-hop artists who advocate decadent, illicit drug use according to a purely hedonistic worldview, Flatbush Zombies depict drug use as an inevitable consequence of socioeconomic exclusion. Rather than glamorize drug use, they problematize the activity, prompting listeners to consider why drug use is prevalent, and how the activity is a conscious act of self-destructive escapism.
So how are the Flatbush Zombies live? They kill it. The venue was perfect for their musical style—informal setting mixed with ear-splitting acoustics complemented the minimalistic production style and the raw energy of the group. In my experience, hip-hop concerts rarely recreate the sound quality of studio recordings live, but this loss of sound quality is more than made up for when a performer brings enthusiasm and panache to the stage. Panache, pizzazz, x-factor, swag, whatever you want to call it—The Flatbush Zombies came packing heat, they lit up the stage with energy, adding a personal depth to their music which cannot be captured in the studio.
Fans of Wu-Tang Clan, Joey Bada$$, and Odd Future should definitely check out Flatbush Zombies—I think this group has a lot of potential to produce quality hip-hop music over the coming years. Fan or rap or not, definitely check out The Blind Pig, a venue that is integral to the Ann Arbor experience. The Blind Pig setting is ideal for discovering new music on an intimate level.

Listen to some Flatbush Zombies for free here (I recommend No Religion and Thug Waffle):

Watch the Music Video that helped them gain popularity–you may notice inspiration from some of Tyler the Creator’s music videos

Flatbush Zombies–Thug Waffle