Story and Photos: Spencer Fleming
Benson was bumping Saturday night (7/1). With a sold out wrestling event at the Waiting Room and a stacked hip-hop lineup from Omaha's nicest promoter Justin Strawstone and Nice Enough Entertainment happening over at Reverb, parking spots were at a premium!
Luckily I made it to the venue just before the 8:00 start time. I checked my watch a few times as 8:00 came and went, but our host C10 hand't come out yet. I asked Straw and he said DJ Madix has a set from 8:00 to 8:30, what a dirty trick, haha! It's all good Straw, I'm just old. My feet and back can't hang much past 11:00 PM. I will say the show ran quite efficient with no hold ups in set changes.
This show was really special. Not only was Rysie dropping a brand-new album Broken Transmission, it was his birthday bash! There were so many familiar faces it really did feel like a giant birthday party.
At 8:30 promptly C10 (pictured above) brought out the first artist Dante. I had never heard Dante but I really enjoyed his set. He opened with a few hip-hop songs that had a cocky swagger (money, cars, partying, etc.), they went over with the crowd well, but it wasn't really in my lane. For the second half of Dante's set he switched things up and drew me in with some straight pop bangers!
After he got off stage I had to ask if he wrote all of his music. You never know if someone is performing a cover, and they honestly sounded just as good as some of the songs you hear on TikTok or pop radio. The lyrics were heartfelt and quite genuine (boy loves girl, girl doesn't feel the same, a tale as old as time). I asked if he went through some stuff when he was writing them and he said he did. A great way to start the show. Check out Dante on Facebook!
Next up was Stormy. He came out of the gate strong with some punchy bass and quick flows. I remembered that I met Stormy a few years back at a River event. We started to follow each other on socials. Local helps local! Stormy mentioned that he was going to play a lot of older stuff and retire it to work on some new projects. Onward and upward, I'm glad he's going to keep going because his set was a lot of fun. He even jumped into the crowd to get everyone hyped up. Keep rocking Stormy!
After the storm was my dude Nugz! I've captured Nugz like three or four times now and every time is just as fun as the last. Guy has catchy ear-worms for days. Nugz brings a much needed positivity and shine to the local scene, always showing appreciation for the fans who came out.
"I really needed this tonight. It's been a funky couple months and you guys coming out means everything to me. Just so you all know everything is gonna be alright, we're all gonna be ok. Let's have fun tonight".
After four shows I've definitely caught the Nugz vibe. I've got a few songs down so I was singing at the top of my lungs. The highlight for me personally was when he brought out the birthday boy Rysie for the pop banger "Turn It Up". I'll forever be connected to this song because my wife and Stories co-founder Virginia created the artwork for the single. Honestly, it will get stuck in your head for days and it plays amazing live. Nugz had the room rocking for a good half hour before closing things out with a brand-new track "Lock Yourself Away".
I'm still waiting for Nugz to get a live band and take things up another level. He even joked on stage if anyone wanted to put a band together he's open to it. Just saying, I think it would be awesome. We'll see what the future brings. For now, check out Nugz' latest single "Lock Yourself Away" on all streaming platforms.
In between Nugz and Pacc Dillion, Rrysie's family brought him up on stage to sing happy birthday. It was a sweet moment to capture. Happy Birthday Rysie!
Pacc Dillon hit the stage and he was ready to slaughter any MC that got in his way. His beats were hitting hard and he had some well crafted lyrics. I'm paraphrasing but "Other MCs exaggerate, I cut em off at the head, decapitate". But not to say that all of Pacc's lyrics were hard gangster style. He had a lot to say about following your faith, believing in yourself, and treating others with kindness. Towards the end of Pacc's set he also brought out Rysie for the song "I'm a Be" with drips with positivity and self-love "I'm a be what I'm a be, best believe it's true". Essentially, walk your own path and be yourself! Great words to live by. You can check out Pacc Dillon on Facebook for more.
Before Rysie's set his 14 year-old brother "Lil Rysie" came on stage and said he didn't sing happy birthday to his brother earlier in the show and that was some "hater stuff". He said he wanted to run it back so the crowd sang happy birthday one more time. There was merch for sale in the back so "Lil Rysie" made a plug by starting a "buy the shirts" chant. It was hilarious.
To finish things off Rysie took the stage ready to showcase some songs from his new album Broken Transmission. The vibe in the room was strong with many shouting "Happy Birthday!" and one guy even said "Have my babies!" To which Rysie smirked and said no.
Things started off with some poppier melodies as Rysie sang more than rapped. He told the crowd "sometimes I like to sing" which elicited plenty of cheers. After a few songs Rysie pulled out a familiar hit "Pop Musik", that has a chorus of "pop pop pop" which well... gave the energy a pop! It's a fun song with a lot of bounce, which I particularly enjoyed.
Shout out to Madix, the man with the 1s and 2s. During Rysie's set he was scratching up a storm! Even when things hit a small spot of turbulence he kept his cool. Towards the end of Rysie's set the backing track started to slow down and get kinda fuzzy. At first Rysie just slowed his flow a bit to match, but the track eventually cut out completely, so Rysie finished the song off accapella. With rapping that fast it was a super impressive feat.
As things winded down the crowd chanted "one more song!" to which Rysie replied that he didn't have any more. Someone asked for a freestyle and Rysie delivered! How cool is that? He went for like a whole minute off the top of his head. It was an awesome way to cap the evening.
You can check out Rysie's new album Broken Transmission on all streaming platforms now!
Thanks to Justin Strawstone and Brandon Harris for putting together an awesome lineup and keeping the local scene alive!
Thanks for reading!
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