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Shelly B and Isis

The Brewery & The Comet
Raleigh • Thursday, Feb. 27

Two weeks ago, during the wet and cold weather, a ray of light emerged in the mist. Raleigh's hip-hop scene had two flowers blossom. At the very same time, on the very same block! Raleigh's first ladies ripped mics, leaving only one question: Why weren't these ladies performing together? I don't know. But on Thursday, Feb. 27, it was separate but equal. The Brewery on Hillsborough Street was 20-year-old Shelly B's stage. And the Comet Lounge was Isis The Huntress' stage. Both ladies had other male counterparts with them, but both ladies made their shows.

Isis is part of The Side Project, an energetic hip-hop group that consists of Mr. Majestic and B-Wise. The Side Project's vibe is a little Gen Y, a blend of B-Boys (it was the Cape Fear B-Boy Battle), bombers, glow stick warriors, hemp wearing hip-hop heads and everyone else and their mother. The crowd was hype and receptive.

Isis can't be more than 5-foot-2. But maybe it's her head full of blond dreads that makes her taller. Two pigtails on the side and one on top hold up this teeny-tiny girl's locks. It's hard to believe that she is "one of the rappers." But when you hear her flow, it suits her. She sounds like the B-Girl version of Lil' Dap. Her words are more on the fun-crusher tip, but altogether her show was fresh and happening. She is mos def to be checked in on. Don't sleep.

Beside The Comet is The Brewery, and at the very same time Shelly B was on stage killing it. In fact, I had to see the videotape of her show because both ladies were on at the same time! I could have just taken the word from the audience that she puts muthafuckers to shame, but I wanted to see it for myself. So Mr. Larry Pickett gave me a private screening of Shelly B's show.

She killed a series of instrumentals with her Lil' Kim meets Heather B spit. First she went raw on Black Rob's "Whoa." Then she had Clipse crying for mercy as she grinded some shit up. Next she big-pimped it, got juicy, took it to Jamaica and introduced us to Nancy while giving us some gushy shit. Finally, she performed her first single, "Rock, Shake, Bounce." This track was produced by Black Jeruz (who recently laced "What Goes Around" by G-Unit off DJ Envy's Blok Party Vol.1, Desert Storm). Shelly B is gonna be huge. Don't front and get with the program--First Class Entertainment. Be ready.

So to all you fellas that also performed Curt-Raw, Beyond, Dibiasi and Network Inc., we got mad love for yawl. But boyz, yawl are just bees beneath the trees where these birds soar high. --K8 Erwin

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