The satisfyingly weird, wry happiness left lingering in the faces of those standing around as the lights went up speak to the power of Aesop Rock’s verses and message.
Special guests who joined Philo onstage throughout the night included members of Empire Strikes Brass, local Grammy-nominated vocalist Debrissa McKinney, MC Smidi and more.
Local rapper John Wilson, known as Sk, the Novelist onstage, calls Asheville’s hip hop community “loaded with talent” and hopes that his work — including recent single “Ugly Jazz” — will help lead to more national recognition of the scene.
Rap group Tanya Morgan performs with rapper Big Pooh at Asheville Music Hall on Saturday, March 8 at 8 p.m.
The local hip hop duo will release a video for their new song, “Makeshift Spaceships,” at Asheville Music Hall on Thursday, Feb. 20. Shinobi Ninja, Lyric and Hunter Bennett also perform.