International Mo B. and Warm Gun end MLK Week with a bang
Talented young rappers International Mo B. and Warm Gun rocked an enthusiastic crowd to close out MLK Week, Friday, Jan. 26 at the Young Ballroom.
Warm Gun, also known as Brian Chinn, provided a perfect opening act to get the show moving. The 22 year-old Seattle native jumped right into his set, greeting the crowd then immediately beginning a song. He rarely stopped after that, even when his microphone cut out early into his first song.
“Warm” is not usually a word associated with hip-hop, but Friday proved that the adjective accurately describes Warm Gun’s style. With pop-inflected beats and half-sung Drake-like hooks, the rapper/producer’s songs had a pleasant nature that was a far cry from many rap songs that are often sharp and abrasive. “Once in a Lifetime”, Warm Gun’s final song, showed his style at its best, a pop song that covered the well-trodden topics of girls, partying and positivity with infectious catchiness.
“He had good flow,” said first-year Baker Conte, “He was a lot better than I expected.”
The audience then had to wait through a fifteen-minute intermission, but erupted when DJ Famous played French Montana’s pummeling club-banger “Pop That.”
This enthusiasm carried over to International Mo B.’s set. The Eastern Washington University senior set the tone for his show right away by playing a clip of a Dr. Martin Luther King speech as he arrived onstage. Mo’s grittier, socially conscious swagger had clearly replaced Warm Gun’s melodic pop style. In an interview with The Pioneer earlier this week, Mo mentioned that two of his central influences are Jay-Z and Kanye West, which was evident in his music. Mo rapped on “Little Sisters of the Poor” with a flow remarkably similar to Jay-Z on “My First Song”, while “Trouble Seeing” had a soul sampling beat that Kanye himself could have made. His songs were able to combine head-bobbing energy with meaningful lyricism, and on top of that Mo made sure to constantly include the crowd.
“I really liked how [Mo.B] interacted with the audience,” said first-year Ari Lozano.
Mo.B was dominated the entire stage; once bringing up his “special someone” Jessica to rap with him and many times giving out Muni Kids apparel to the crowd.
Finally, Mo B. returned for an encore, bringing Warm Gun with him. In his earlier Pio interview, Mo.B had said, “Warm Gun makes me step out of my box, and hopefully I make him step out of his.”
His words rang true Friday night, as Warm Gun seemed to gain some of Mo.B’s onstage confidence, while Mo.B’s powerful rhymes fit seamlessly in between Warm Gun’s pop hooks. The duo ended the show on a high note with “In the Deep.” The song sampled Adele’s top single over a hard-hitting beat, which Warm Gun and Mo.B rhymed over with rapid-fire precision. It showed the talent and potential of two young artists who could both be on their way to bigger success.
The concert proved to be a great time for both the crowd and the performers.
“This was my first rap concert, and I was really impressed,” said first-year Anker Anderson.
International Mo B. was equally impressed with the reception he got at Whitman.
“The show went great. This was one of the top crowds I’ve ever had, Whitman really showed out tonight,” he said.