When: Wed., March 26, 7 p.m. 2014
A few weeks ago I was chatting with Milwaukee rapper Juiceboxxx, who was in town from his new digs in New York, and the conversation turned to Chicago MCs Lil Ceno and Lil Trav, the teenage brothers who perform together as Sicko Mobb. Last summer Juiceboxxx got hooked on the duo's jubilant, chirping party-rap track "Fiesta," and he's still impressed at how distinct their sound is from that of most other new rappers. They even stand out among the west-side MCs and producers making upbeat, melodic hip-hop tracks specifically for bopping. Though the word "bop" in this context first referred to that fun and flamboyant local dance style, it's been used so often to describe the sound of Sicko Mobb and other acts that it's now the de facto name of a hip-hop subgenre. Sicko Mobb share their scenemates' penchant for sunny synths and Auto-Tune (they sometimes sound like they're rapping underwater), but there's something strangely addicting about the hyperactive pace of their music—their synths are high-pitched and sharp-edged, and their jacked-up songs can feel sugar-rush giddy. Sicko Mobb's debut mixtape, January's Super Saiyan Vol. 1, has a low-bit-rate sound, as though they didn't bother with better quality because they knew their fans would be listening to it on cell phones. At a dance battle in October run by Wala Williams (of public-access program and YouTube channel Wala Cam), the DJs played crowd pleasers by Drake and Chief Keef, but the kids went craziest for Sicko Mobb tracks—and in late 2013, just shy of Sicko Mobb's one-year anniversary, Sony/ATV signed the group. —Leor Galil St. Millie, Mikey Dollaz, Chris Crack, Weasel Sims, Ill Will, and WBMG open.
Price: $25, $20 in advance