The only silent moment during the recent session of Sluggo’s monthly Hip-Hop Night occurred at the beginning of Big Lo’s “take no prisoners” lyrical blitzkrieg. With an attack that rendered everyone speechless including every patron, DJ and even the plastic gopher propped on stage, the lyricist stood alone and only inches away from the crowd. Equipped with minimalist attire, the Pensacola artist fired machine-gun alliteration paired with Shakespeare-sharp depth of content that set fire throughout the venue’s performance room.

Marking the second event since the return of Hip Hop Night at the popular Pensacola venue that has survived various location changes throughout its history, this Friday night at Sluggo’s Vegetarian Restaurant began with the local DJ ensemble known as the Skratch-Aholix. A symbiotic force of turntables and vinyl led by DJ’s Bodyslanga, 3D, St. Pete and Kanye Twitty, the foursome prepped the crowd with the stunning feats of seamless scratching and mixes while Saga the MC (Marshall Coates) worked double duty as performer and MC throughout the night by making introductions and announcements.

Fresh off his performance as one of the opening acts for the recent Bone Thugs-N-Harmony performance in Pensacola, Florida, Cyborganics (Chad Lowe) was the first artist introduced on stage to which he displayed his uplift triumphant set for the early crowd.

With a mix of punk intensity and flowing Steve Caballero skate-style smoothness to his performance, Saga the MC walked the plank of the wooden stage, commandeering everyone’s attention and ears as he involved humor, skill and even determination when his frosty beverage fell from his hands and he continued like a true showman without skipping a beat.

With the recent announcement that he would be on the bill as local supporting artist for 90’s hip hop pioneers Das EFX as they hit Pensacola, Big Lo (James Lopez) walked through and started with a call to arms that enlisted every breath of his soul and engaged the crowd for his words-only salutation. No background beats, no hype, just a barrage of eloquent thunder that was sustained through his entire set. Definitely catch his performance on July 3rd at Vinyl Music Hall.

Proudly displaying his love for Pittsburgh, next in line for the show was Inferno (Jay Glock). Donning a Steelers towel against his waist, Inferno put a steel curtain stamp on the show with his twisting speed lyrical delivery and vocal power.

Finishing off a full night of music, the final artist to hit the Sluggo’s stage was Precise (Tee Williams) whose closing performance was intense enough to have him throwing off his shirt and glasses before his set was complete.

Sluggo’s hosts Hip-Hop Night on the last Friday of every month with the next scheduled show to be held on July 29th. Don’t miss out!

-Michael L. Smith