Den Hosts Guest Hip Hop Collective VVS1

Dubstep and hip-hop fusions complete with live vocals entertained the audience in the Den last Friday night. Student groups SLAM and Hypnotiq performed powerful dances, while Boston-based collective, VVS1, rapped with passion. VVS1 members include MCs Dean Swift and Soupa, DJ Renzo and singer Mike Irish. “The band was actually good. They had a lot of energy,” said Borkeny Sambou ’12, a member of Hypnotiq. On its official Facebook page, the group proclaimed, “VVS1 will be performing at Phillips Andover this Friday. Bout to melt some teenage brains!!!” VVS1’s beats were a synthesis of hiphop and dubstep, with satisfying drops and growling basslines. Their voice work also fused the two genres, as MCs Soupa and Swift rapped quickly and steadily to independently recorded beats by producer and DJ Mike Irish, while Renzo provided a clean high voice for the live dubstep vocals. The group’s “balance of crisp orchestration, fast-paced lyrical delivery and filthy drops gives them a wide range of appeal,” according to the biography provided by the group’s General Manager, Adam Smith, on VVS1’s Facebook page. “I usually don’t come to these dances,” said Adolfo Acevedo ’12, “But man, this is crazy. … I came here [to the Den] for a Coke, but I guess I’m not leaving for a while.” SLAM also took the stage in their trademark white sneakers, blue jeans and black tank-tops. SLAM’s background song featured strong hip hop and electronic sounds that complemented VVS1’s unique sound-scape, which can be described as “filthy.” The intimacy of the space on stage was extraordinary as SLAM’s 14 members barely found any space to clap, snap and stomp in. Ten of the dancers even had to perform amidst the crowd. After performing two songs, VVS1 invited Hypnotiq onto the stage, and Hypnotiq performed to Beyonce’s “Countdown” with powerful and forceful moves. The VVS1 MCs also invoked enthusiastic crowd reaction and participation by asking each class in the crowd for a cheer. Students from Juniors to Seniors yelled and stomped as Swift called each class out year by year. Some Seniors remained in the Den for Senior Hour, and the dubstep and hip hop performance was taken from the stage to the floor as VVS1 came down to join the audience. “You all are epic,” announced emcee Dean Swift, “Love the energy. Here [are] 20 people, but sure feels like 100 people!”