Last night I had the opportunity to cover an after party for CIMM Fest’s opening night. I hand-selected the events that I’m reviewing, and after reading the blurb about Legend Haz It I knew I wanted to check them out. All of the members studied music in college-specifically jazz. They’ve come together to form a 7-piece hip-hop outfit with a lot of soul.
The band recently dropped a record called Neptune Deuce that you can buy on iTunes or check out on Spotify. I took some time to listen to it over the past couple days, and its a strong release. They do some interesting things that make me wonder why all hip-hop acts don’t use a live band. Talent is never a problem for them, with all stars on every instrument.
Their set kicked off with keyboardist Collin Clauson and MC Keith Winford performing without the group on a sweet number before bringing up the rest of the band. After the mellow start the energy picked up and never looked back.
The turnout at Township was small, but given the weather and late start on a Thursday night that isn’t unexpected. I felt bad, though, because these guys deserve to be playing to large crowds. Legend Haz It delivers positive music that owes as much to the band Chicago as it does The Roots.
Winford carries himself well-seems to have a good attitude. He likes to talk a bit, which I don’t mind. As the group gets bigger he might want to bring it down a notch, but talking to the crowd is a good way to connect. I like that when he raps it doesn’t sound like he’s mimicking someone else. There’s bits and pieces where he might sound like Andre 3000 or Pac, but it comes through as authentically his own.
The band is fantastic! Trombone, sax, trumpet, keys, bass, and drums are listed in their bio. Last night they had a guitar player with them who absolutely crushed every solo he was given. He was tucked in the back behind the horns, but his sound blasted through regardless.
I liked the smooth flow of the songs, but I did get a little amped up when they played the rock-heavy “Emergency 911.” It almost feels like a completely different band has taken over. In a packed crowd, this would have been the highlight of the set. Some of the energy was lost in the empty spaces, but I really enjoyed it.
When the set ended after about an hour and twenty minutes, I was convinced that Legend Haz It can go as far as they want. They have a wide appeal and seem to have a relationship within the band that shoul make taking the next step pretty easy. Go pick up Neptune Deuce and check out a live set if you can. If things go right they won’t be playing in venues like Township for long.