By: Kathryn Hehre
“WE WERE BORN TO DIE RUNNING,” rapper Tony the Scribe spit into the mic as the lights flew on and producer ICETEP dropped the beat. Throughout the past two years of collaboration, KILLSTREAK, a hip-hop duo from Minneapolis, Minnesota, has shown no signs of stopping. After announcing their debut album Janus on July 9th, KILLSTREAK headlined their album release show last Thursday night at First Avenue’s 7th Street Entry.
Openers Z x John Daniels, Rich Garvey x Psymun, Chantz Erolin of Audio Perm, and host Botzy hyped up a perfect amount of energy with the crowd throughout the evening leading up to KILLSTREAK’s performance. After these acts, the audience was in for a treat. Suddenly the lights went out and the sound of rain fell from the speakers as ICETEP spun the Intro to Janus, capturing everyone in attentive darkness.
KILLSTREAK’s setlist consisted of the album in its entirety. Though the duo is still playing around with their live performance, by the beginning of their second song, “Smoke,” they had the audience holding up their drinks and wiling out in all the right places. Tony the Scribe took the crowd through the duality of a college experience: the intelligence and the ignorance, the brains and the beer, growing through themes of morality, excess and being nineteen in today’s society. ICETEP’s beats consisted of ebb and flow with surgical precision, successfully blending hip-hop and electronic dance music, which gave their music a unique sound that few others in the scene today have.
KILLSTREAK is a story you want to experience. So, as Guante (a well respected Minneapolis artist featured on Janus’ second to last track, “Collateral Damage”) said during his performance with KILLSTREAK: “put your headphones in, close your eyes, and listen.”
You can stream the album for free or download it here.