Ken Leighton 2 p.m., June 27
RIYL: Defamation League
Upcoming Local Shows
- "Hip-hop Bunny" · April 10, 2013
Influences: Drunken Immortals, Defamation League, Fifty on their Heels
James Deans, as Destructo Bunny, flows stream-of-consciousness hip-hop rhymes set against down-tempo beats and ethereal, chill background music. The jams roll slow and moody, as though Destructo Bunny's holding back and placing emphasis on the serious lyrics and shunning the champagne-and-giant-diamond party atmosphere of popular hip-hop.
The more coherent tracks on their CD Spirit of '76 deal with classic themes, such as the song "Make Space," which goes, "Make space/ for the ones you love," and tackles a painful breakup made evident with the line, "I didn't choose for it to end this way." The subjects of some songs are tougher to pin down; they're definitely internal dialogue only the artist can interpret. But a sample of the lyrics from "Keeping My Eyes Closed" deals with protest, spirituality, and the human condition.
After Destructo Bunny released the album Living Now, Dying Later in fall 2007, Deans began spending more time booking hip-hop shows in San Diego and his hometown of Merced. In San Diego, the longtime O.B. resident has arranged shows at Anthology, Kava Lounge, and Casbah, but his main market seems to be O.B., where he booked hip-hop at Gallagher’s and then Winstons. Among his bigger shows, he hosted Boogie Down Productions mouthpiece KRS-One in late-February 2013.
“The sound system is amazing and I love the dance floor. The first band I ever saw there was Vegetation...they had the whole stage full of plants and they rocked it. I saw that place packed my first show ever in O.B., and I went, ‘This is where I live now? Holy shit! Time to grow up with the big boys and come play some music.’”
San Diego has traditionally had a difficult time maintaining consistent hip-hop venues and club nights. “People in O.B. wanna have a good time and they want effort. Ocean Beach wants effort. If you go up there and you’re creative and you give it your all, people are gonna think that’s heart and soul and they are gonna like that.”