The Met played host to the Souls of Mischief during their 20-year anniversary tour of their legendary debut album, “’93 til Infinity”. This Oakland-based hip-hop group, comprised of four life-long friends, A-Plus, Tajai, Opio and Phesto, together has created one of the most influential anthems of the ‘90’s hip-hop movement: the title track of the album, ’93 ‘til Infinity. This song is a timeless classic. It has a simple, but beautifully melodic beat that works seamlessly with the song’s message of promoting peace, friendship and of course, chillin’. A perfect message to kick off a summer of music with.
The crowd early on in the night was pretty thin and the supporting acts did their best to amp up the audience for the Souls of Mischief. When they took the stage at midnight, the shift in energy was astounding. They walked out on stage and the waning crowd filled the room in seconds. The group was completely unfazed by the relatively small showing and instead, connected with the crowd and how excited they were to be in Pawtucket, RI of all places. Tajai, specifically, reminisced about his youth and his precious G.I. Joes (made by Hasbro) coming from someplace called Pawtucket and how “souped” he was to finally come through.
The show was a blissful ride through the group’s history, mixing classic tracks like “Cab Fare” with more recent releases, like “Tour Stories”. The four emcees seamlessly passed around the mic and to the crowd’s enjoyment, dropped a song from their well-known hip-hop super-group, Hieroglyphics, which includes the likes of Casual, Del Tha Funkee Homosapien and more.
When it came time for their last track of the night, ’93 ‘til Infinity, the member of the group who produced the timeless beat, A-Plus, took the mic and broke into the humbling story about the origin of this classic. He had bought a record by Billy Cobham in the bargain bin of a record store for a dollar, which he sampled and turned into the masterpiece we have today.
In this age of technology, mass-beat-production and laptop DJ’s, the Souls of Mischief stick to their roots of analog production, flawless flow and chill beats, and what a breath of fresh air that is. It’s exciting to see their tour dates increasing and their presence at an assortment of festivals this summer. They’ve become timeless and will stay relevant from now ‘til infinity.