Class co-sponsors performance at Robin Hood

Joey Pompignano

Class helps artists gain exposure

More than 100 people filled the Robin Hood Saturday to watch performances by local, underground musical acts. The showcase was sponsored by Mastermind Productions, Broken Records, Mic Check Entertainment and GTB Entertainment.

Waving his hands in the air and bobbing his head to the blaring beat, avid hip-hop fan Johnny Reliford II expressed his approval of the show with a receptive response.

“I like these guys,” Reliford said as rap duo Words First energized the stage, “and this is the first time I ever heard them.”

For Words First, consisting of Shane “Arch Duke” McGee and Sean “Whole Milk” Pakos, this was their first live performance at a paid venue. McGee, political science and communications major, is one of nine students in Kent State’s record promotions II class under adjunct professor Jeffrey Gargas.

McGee said the class helps artists with the chance to display their material and gain exposure. He said he’s thankful for the opportunity to collaborate with Mikrophonx and Mastermind Productions, and the advantages of the two groups working together helps “get the word out” to more people interested in buying their music and attending their shows.

“It benefits both sides because two groups are being promoted at the same time,” he said. “We plan on doing more shows with them in the future.”

Ryan Houde, one half of Mikrophonx and host of the event said because Words First has the Kent State pull with the “townies” and his group has an Akron fan base, it enables everyone to gain a wider audience in the process. In addition, he said GTB is learning about things Mastermind Productions is doing, gaining firsthand experience in the music business.

From Lowd Mowf, the talkative mime spitting a dedication to Super Mario in a cappella format, to Houde holding up cue cards with random words and phrases for member Josh “Pain” Morris to freestyle, each group brought something different to the table. Dibz the Lyon got the crowd dancing to “Get Your Party On” and other songs with R&B hooks, and just before Words First took the stage, DJ Amaze the Great rapped a few verses. Headliners Mikrophonx spelled out the group’s name in the chorus of one of their hits as audience members recited word for word their lyrics on the dance floor.

Reliford, still impressed by Words First mixing an acoustic guitar into the rhymes of their debut performance, said other artists should take note of their innovative style.

“Those guys are smooth,” Reliford said. “They brought something new.”

Contact off-campus entertainment reporter Joey Pompignano at [email protected].