By Matthew Waldrep
On September 29, rising rap star Dominique Young Unique was joined by prominent Grand Rapids artists and DJs to generate a night of dynamic hip-hop at The Pyramid Scheme.
“They said they’re coming to check me out, but I’m coming to check them out,” said Dominique, referring to Grand Rapids fans. The 19-year-old rapper from Tampa, kept people dancing on the floor to her high-velocity rhymes and bass-heavy electro-hop beats.
At the age of 14, producer David Alexander took Dominique under his wing and began her touring in London. However, over the past year her popularity has been gaining with momentous force. She’s become known as “the young female rapper everyone’s talking about,” – RWD Magazine.
Dominique pranced along the stage in pink stilettos and leopard print leggings, spitting rhymes with fierce precision. Dominique’s set at the Pyramid Scheme was short but packed an electric ferocity that had the crowd wanting more.
“I was really happy with the turn out,” said the Pyramid Scheme’s Independent Promoter, Mike Saunders. “Dominique Young Unique is an independent artist who was virtually unknown in Grand Rapids before the show. To have 200 people come out is fantastic and the fact that they were dancing and getting down is what it is all about for me. Happy dancing people is good for the city.”
Preceding her performance, local hip-hop artists A.B. and GRCC’s own, Dante Cope, took the stage and warmed up the crowd with their own brand of beats.
Dante Cope, joined by DJ Dean Martian, and guitarist Lazer, kicked off the night with high-energy rap matched with infectious rhythms and hooks. Dante who writes and produces his own tracks, pumped up the crowd with songs like “Dynamite” and “Life of the Party”. He came alive on stage throwing out crisp rhymes and breaking only to please the crowd by ripping out vibrant solos on his alto sax. At one point Dante invited friend and fellow hip hop artist, Trav Walaa, on stage to join in with some verses of his own.
Following Dante was local performer, A.B. teamed with DJ Snax. “A.B. and Snax put something special together and brought out Winston and Sam who kept the crowd hype with nice moves on stage,” said Saunders. Backed by Snax, A.B. led the trio with some light choreography that loosened up the crowd and got them moving. A.B., whose been known to sample familiar tunes in his routine, threw some rhymes over LCD Soundsystem’s undulating track, “Dance Yrself Clean”, as if calling to the audience to do just that.
After Dominique’s performance, the beats went on through the night as the event was topped off with a dance party featuring DJs Spyder Murphy, Schmieder, and Dreas.
According to Saunders, while still young, The Pyramid Scheme is earning a good reputation with major booking agencies and national artists. “I see it being a venue artists seek out in the future,” said Saunders.
Saunders, who in the past has booked and worked shows at the DAAC, passionately supports the growth and success of the music scene in Grand Rapids. “I am really focusing on hip-hop and electronic music,” Said Saunders. “Hip-hop in this town has really come up in the past couple of years and I’d like to be a part of getting Grand Rapids Hip Hop some more love.”
The Pyramid Scheme is packing in shows and aims to bring in a wealth of unique and talented national and local artists of all different genres.