San Diego Symphony's second night of the Masterworks season showcased the power of place and personality
Garrett Harris noon, Oct. 13
Sound description: The sound of one hand clapping to one man rapping.
RIYL: Snoop Dogg, Kanye West, Slick Rick
Influences: Redman, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Kanye West, KRS-ONE, Slick Rick, a Tribe Called Quest, Rodney Dangerfield
Brendan Bohan (aka Brendan B) is a rapper out of Ocean Beach. Like many San Diegans, he’s a transplant. Bohan grew up in Chicago — or “Chi-Town,” as he likes to call it. He doesn’t feel that being from out of town has hurt his street cred in San Diego.
“No matter where you go, there will always be haters, but since I’m so ill on the mike, SD has shown me love,” says Bohan. Well, not everyone. The cruelest irony for Bohan since he left the mean streets of Chicago to live in the bohemian sunshine of Ocean Beach occurred one night in October 2006, when he was stabbed in an alley behind the Arco on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. The young perpetrators were never caught, and Brendan was left with a wound that just missed some vital organs.
Over the past couple of years, Bohan has added a full backing band to his live shows. The group consists of his cousins Patrick Bohan on percussion and Ryan Bohan on guitar and sax. Chelsey Nelson plays the violin, and Chris Plaia plays…the kazoo. (Have we mentioned that B is known for his sense of humor?)
Bohan says the best places to play around town are Canes, Winstons, Kava Lounge, and “anywhere else the Fresh Committee plays.”
Fights and other acts of violence surrounding San Diego hip-hop shows have caused some club owners to back away from booking rappers. Bohan feels there is room for improvement. “There are definitely some flakes in San Diego. If everyone kept their word and stopped getting so damn drunk, we would move forward a lot faster.”
When not rocking the mike, Bohan can be found working at Lahaina’s Beach House, PB Shore Club, and Bub’s Dive Bar. He doesn’t seem intent on working at bars forever. “I’m a doorman and a bar back, but I’m sick of taking trash out and toilet-bowl cleaning.”