It’s Sunday, 1:31 am and I just got home from Paia. Not my normal weekend routine and I should be sleeping right now but I am still feeling the love and positive vibes of The Freeradicals Projekt. It all started at the January Wailuku First Friday event. MOTH played at the Maui Thing stage on behalf of Maui’s Time’s anniversary and they killed it. I was hesitant after looking at some online footage but goes to show that you can’t judge a band by it’s youtube video. Moth was in fact, incredibly creative and super talented. During the night a polite young hipster, “Ami” approached me about playing at First Friday and hopefully at the Maui Thing stage. He proceeded to explain that the band was brand spanking new and the sound so fresh that it was a little hard to describe. “Well what is it like?” I asked. “…Hmmm sort of hip hop with some funk and jazz…” I was intrigued and took Ami up on his offer to see them at Charley’s the following Saturday. Now normally I would drag my more youthful associates for a couple of reasons: 1. They make me feel like I fit in a little better and 2. They can stay up later. Unfortunately no one was available so I had to resort to plan B. “The Housewives of Wailuku” — my 40 something mom’s who are always dying to have a reason to ditch the hubby and kids. 8:15 pm and we’re out to Paia for an 11pm lead act.
After my 2nd margarita from Milagro’s at 9:30 pm, I’m ready to call it a night, or take a cat nap. I hold steady as Charlie’s is just around the corner. I love the Paia crowd and vibe. Happy, content, free spirited and super fit. Damn I feel fat. Regardless, we settle in at Charley’s and get ready for FRP. I order a diet beer. Let me premise this critique by my music history. Not that I ever took a music history class but please know that Grand Master Flash came to the forefront when I was in the 7th grade. I grew up with YO MTV RAPS and owning albums by the Sugar Hill Gang and Run DMC… the classics. I also lived in LA and was exposed to the raw likes of A Tribe Called Quest and Jungle Brothers. Not to mention a fortunate experience with Ella Fitzgerald’s last concert at the Hollywood Bowl. I’m trying to justify my coolness in the hip hop world even though I’m an old fart. Now, the FRP, my type of music. One of those fusion groups, combining the roots of jazz and funk with crazy hip hop beats. Throw in some soulful live vocals, a killer emcee, sax and guitar and you have The Freeradicals Projekt. They reminded me of The Brand New Heavies or The Fugees. They played mostly originals I believe which were all fresh. One Marvin Gay cover was performed which literally gave my chicken skin.
The Freeradicals Projekt will be playing at the Maui Thing stage on the First Friday of April. Don’t miss it!