A crowd of about 40 people swayed in unison with hands waving in the air as they watched Dyme Def, a Seattle-based hip-hop group, perform at the BellTower Thursday night.
Dyme Def performed with four other artists for the first stop on The Posse’s off Broadway (TPOB) tour around Washington.
Lewis Johnson, who goes by GMK the Great onstage, said the artists shared a common interest of wanting to do something special. He said even though they each have their own egos, something common in the hip-hop world, they agreed to shove inhibitions aside for a greater good.
“TPOB represents unity and coming together,” he said. “That’s just something we can spread across the board of music; … something that I think is more universal. We all get to be MVP (most valuable player) in our own right, in my opinion.”
Johnson said all the artists who are part of TPOB have worked together from start of their individual comings up in the Seattle hip-hop scene. He said he has enjoyed being able to take the next step in performing together as a group.
Having played in Pullman a couple months prior to the show, Johnson said TPOB chose to make WSU their first stop on the tour because of their loyal following. Despite the turnout, he kept a positive outlook.
“Pullman is one of the coolest, by my definition,” Johnson said. “Everybody here is really supportive. We noticed Pullman was constantly recognizing our music, playing it on KZUU.”
Sophomore Communication Major Ian Vensel said he is a big fan of Seattle hip-hop and was disappointed at the amount of unprofessionalism shown by the people in charge of advertising for the show.
“Obviously somebody didn’t do their job,” Vensel said. “The artists came out here. I was on their Facebooks and Twitters—they were promoting. But that’s to the fans. They can only do it to so many people.”
Vensel said he was embarrassed at the turn out because the concert may have actually represented a monetary loss for the artists. He said he has been to a few concerts in which the musician chose not to perform because not enough tickets were sold.
“This is not the light I want to project on wazzu,” he said. “This is something I don’t want to represent.”
Freshman Communication Major Samantha Betts said she previewed Eighty4 Fly’s music before making her decision to go to the concert and loved his songs.
Betts said she tries to attend as many concerts as she can because she is an intern at the BellTower and hosts her own hip-hop show on KZUU radio.
“I always try to make it out (to concerts) so I can talk about it on my show on Fridays,” she said. “My family has always been really into hip-hop. I’m into indie actually, but lately I’ve been trying to get into every genre and broaden my musical horizon.”