Watch out, motherfuckers: Kid Infinity has arrived. After months of talking about it, the rap duo hosted their music video premiere at the Downtown Independent with friends Batwings Catwings, VerBs, DJ Black Mambo Mabson, and the consistently impressive Signals. “P.Y.C.O.” is an expertly-shot, colorful, and hilarious piece of branding for the group; if there is any justice in the world it’ll “go viral” this spring and be the big thing in college dorm rooms around the nation. Seeing it for the first time on the big screen—surrounded by the video’s shining cast of Pehrspace and Smell regulars—was a treat.
As great as it was, the video would have only been half as good if it hadn’t been followed by such a commanding live performance by the group. Tonight was their “coming out,” and they came out with aplomb. While gorgeous, the Downtown Independent can be an awkward place to play because it’s a theater with stadium-seating and not a “proper” venue. Yet KI handled the space with ease, calling their pals up front and turning the area between the first row of seats and the screen into a full-fledged dance party worthy of a Monday night at Pehr.
They were already warmed up when they started, and they only got hotter and hotter during the set as MC Ryan Pardeiro pumped up the crowd and surfed into it while delivering his rhymes. They whipped us into frenzy and commanded us to dance harder and harder with each catchy track. I go to a lot of shows, and even when I like the bands I’m usually pretty stoked when sets end just because I’m tired and probably have a show to see the next night. Tonight, it was different. I found myself jumping up and down frantically after KI announced their last song—I wanted to savor the moment! I got a bit panicky when I realized that the beats weren’t going to last forever.
It’s not just their breathless performances that makes Kid Infinity special—it’s also the tunes. Too often, I go to hip hop shows just to be pummeled into the ground by uninspired MPC sequences that lose their novelty after about thirty seconds but get repeated for another four minutes. DJ Nathan Huber, however, constructs amazing tracks. His electro jams start somewhere and always manage to end somewhere different, utilizing all manner of drops and breaks in order to keep audience on our toes. These backgrounds are legitimately interesting, and they create stunning palettes for Ryan’s acrobatic and melodic rapping that occasionally reminds me of the Beastie Boys but for the most part sounds completely unique. Make no mistake—these guys may have chosen hip hop as their genre, but hip hop is just a conduit for delivering pure, throbbing pop of the highest caliber. This show was a triumph. I have nothing but effusive things to say about Kid Infinity.