While a chilly rain fell Tuesday night, stellar rapper Brian Brown, DJ Memville and a full band settled in at East Side all-ages spot Drkmttr for a celebration of Brown’s debut full-length Journey. The LP hit streaming services and Bandcamp on Jan. 31, 2020, exactly three years earlier — of course, we all know what happened a few weeks after that.
With the group laying down what the kids might call a whole vibe — its own brand of soulful and a little jazzy, aided and abetted by saxman supreme AyyWillé — Brown took the packed house on a trip through his extensive catalog. Between songs from Journey, he brought out guests and tunes from as far back as 2014's 7:22 EP. He also gave lots of context for his work, talking about where the songs came from and noting that he came from close by; his childhood home is only about three blocks from Drkmttr’s spot on Dickerson.
If you couldn’t make it out, some great news came before the show: Moment of Creation Studio, who you’ve seen at events all over town lately, streamed the show live. And if you missed both the show and the stream, even better news: The full recording is available on Brown’s YouTube channel. Give it a look above. Note that the first 45 minutes of the stream consist of the crowd filing in and Memville rocking the decks before Brown takes the stage.
Thanks to series like Vibes at the Dive Motel and Slim & Husky’s Unplugged, live local hip-hop started to become way more widespread across the city in 2022, allowing Brown and his band to hone their naturally awesome stage presence amid the renaissance in Music City hip-hop. Tuesday was also release day for an excellent new release from Brown, an EP called Two Minute Drill on which he rhymes over a collection of short-and-sweet beats. (You don’t have to take our word for it — Pitchfork was into the opening track “NBA Jam.”) Find the tracks on your favorite streaming services and keep up with Brown on Instagram and Twitter for more.