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Dilated Peoples

At UCSB's Hub, Friday, October 17.

Dilated Peoples' Rakaa Iriscience and Evidence pumped up the crowd during their performance last Friday at UCSB.
Esther Tran-Le

It was in UCSB’s Hub that the Associated Students Program Board hosted rapper Intuition and underground hip-hop group Dilated Peoples last Friday night. Running an hour late, the night’s opening act and his beat-maker, Merge, finally hit the stage after 9 p.m. With an admittedly thin crowd pushed up against the stage railing, Intuition still managed to deliver a stellar performance. Charismatic and hysterically funny, Intuition rapped several songs-like “Nowhere,” off his latest album-as well as cuts from his debut disk, Intuition Is a Rapper. A classic character, the Los Angeles native slowly amassed a larger crowd with his rhymes, which flowed with style and stories-not just claims to fame and musical domination. It was definitely worth waiting for Intuition’s fashionably late appearance just to get a taste of his creative grace.

But by intermission it was more than clear whom the crowd had come to see. As the speakers’ volume doubled their blasts, the crowd doubled in size. Soon after, Dilated Peoples made their entrance, with DJ Babu scratching away before lead rappers Rakaa Iriscience and Evidence took to the stage. Established as a renowned West Coast underground hip-hop group in 1992, Dilated Peoples continue to uphold their worth to the music community some 16 years later. Performing their most popular songs, such as “You Can’t Hide, You Can’t Run” and “The Last Is First,” the group definitely had all of its younger fans focused on the live performance. Pumping away at the air, the predominantly male crowd avidly listened to the group’s beats and forceful words.

With a lot more aural ruckus than Intuition, Dilated Peoples beat its way into their listeners’ brains. Still, avid fans also swayed along to DJ Babu’s beats in between the hits. Lucky for Dilated Peoples, the crowd was mostly UCSB students who recognized the difference between Kanye-esque radio static and underground hip-hop authenticity. And even though each of the three group members have established their own solo careers, Rakaa Iriscience made it clear throughout the night that that Dilated Peoples are about “a collaboration of individuals [bringing] you better music-not a competition.”

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