The Beatnuts/Arsonists : Atlanta The Masquerade

The Arsonists burn up the venue in promotion of their new LP, while The Beatnuts are joined by mate Greg Nice...

It’s a humid as fuck Hotlanta night up in the Masquerade’s Heaven, and the Arsonists – bathed in red and surrounded by metallic space-pod lights, LEDs blinking from their Afro pigtails and stringy braids – are setting the room on fire. Downstairs kids rave to DJs like Rick West, Stryfe and Odi, so it’s no surprise that upstairs suburban white candy ravers put nu-break roots down under screens playing vintage B-boy videos morphing with aliens and throbbing biorhythms.

The Arsonists – Q-Unique, Swel 79 and Jise with DJ Drastic – grab the

mics like they’re thirsty, and the sparking crowd drink it up. The Arsonists are pimpin’ their new album ‘Date Of Birth’, which drops in September, but they also pump songs like ‘Pyromaniax’ from their first joint, ‘As The World Burns.’

The Beatnuts pull up outside as the Arsonists roll off. A DJ juggles Eric B And Rakim’s ‘I Know You Got Soul’ while the crowd grows. Then, lights down, The Beatnuts boast a ballsout intro, as DJ DNS drops some Ozzy as the ‘Nuts mount the stage.

The name says it all. The Beatnuts – Psycho Les and Junkyard JuJu plus friends – are all over the stage, making the crowd nuts, but the beat comes first. It’s one big party for alcoholics and buddha heads as the
‘Nuts do early tracks like ‘Reign of The Tec’, ‘Yeah You Get Props’, ‘Off The Books’ and ‘Beatnuts Forever’ before dropping tracks from their new album. The night really gets off the hook,

however, when the ‘Nuts call out old friend Greg Nice. Greg N-aaah takes the room on an electro-fying old school tour, beatboxin’, grabbin’ his

jank and inviting ladies onstage to throw up peace signs and pull up shirts.

The party’s in full swing when it gets derailed. A little after midnight rave promoters cut the ‘Nuts‘ sound and turn on trance to calls of bullshit. After about 10 minutes the ‘Nuts are allowed to finish their set, but the energy’s gone. Still, they try to end on a high note, leaving the stage and the audience with fists raised in solidarity.

Tony Ware