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By Ann Olson-Dupire
Local bar “On the Y” was host to an up and coming group of hip hop artists
known as Explicit Expression Wednesday night. Grant Yamashiro, a partial
owner of the bar, says it is not uncommon to have local talent come in for a
live performance. The bar has been at 670 Fulton Ave for around ten years
now, and has hosted shows featuring rock bands such as “Awaiting the
Apocalypse” and “Dragon Lord”. Some of their hip hop artists have included
“Kevy Kev” and now “Elicit Expression”.
Though the bar usually maintains more of a rock theme, they do also have hip
hop events, as long as they know the performers. The idea is to keep it a
safe environment, “We don’t let just anyone perform” stated Yamashiro. The
owners want to ensure that everyone has a good time, and if the performers
bring in a rough crown, they will not be permitted to perform.
“On the Y” is described by its employees as a “Comfortable, friendly local
bar.” It is complete with pool table, dart boards, a dance floor and a cozy
patio in the back. The sound system was sounded clear and ready to handle
everything “Explicit Expression” was going to throw at it.
Michael “MDV” Valdez, a member of “Explicit Expression” was very excited
right before the show. He stated that there were a lot of new faces in the
crowd. “I look around and there are people I don’t know,” said MDV. Eddie
“D the Artisan” Rodriguez also took note of the crowd, “There are a lot of
new faces.” When asked how he felt about the turn out, he gave only one
Among the spectators was videographer Erick Lee. Lee has been working with
“Explicit Expression” on some recent videos; including “Summertime in Cali”
and “All of a Sudden” by Eric “Myztereiz” Murrey. Lee has been keeping very
busy with the filming, shooting as many as 75 videos in a 7 month period. You
can find his work at www.bossemedia.com.
I caught up with Eric “Myztereiz” Murrey, who was thrilled with the turnout.
“I feel like a million dollars. This is the first time that everything is
by ‘Explicit Expression,” said Murrey. Murrey is the creator of “Explicit
Expression”. The group does not only consist of rappers, but artists,
poets, dj’s and more. The members from “Explicit Expression” pride
themselves on being a unique addition to the world of hip hop. Their lyrics
are a mixture of life experiences and their own poetry. One member, Jose
“Sincere” Gomez, has added a new element to his sound by incorporating the
use of an acoustic guitar into two of his songs.
Jason Lamanto is the guitarist who shared his talents to the scene on
Wednesday. “I knew Sincere (Gomez) from work. He came up with the idea to
use an acoustic guitar,” explained Lamanto. Lamanto has been playing for
about six year now, and is a member of the local band “Rock Sauce”. He
describes it as a rock and roll band, performing both new material as well
as cover songs by other bands. The band has been together for three years
now and is looking forward to releasing their first recording this summer. To
hear more from “Rock Sauce” look for them as www.facebook.com/thesauceofrock
What surprised me the most about the event was the large variety of patrons.
There were people of differing ages groups, ethnic backgrounds, and styles.
There was however a common thread amongst them. Everyone was “sending out a
positive vibe,” as stated by Bradly, a student as Sac State. Some people
came because they knew the members of “Explicit Expression”, such as Karmen,
a Sacramento resident of 22 years. “I just love these boys. I knew them
when they were first starting. They would come over and hang out with my
son because he had a really big room. I feel like their mother.” Other
audience members were there just to support local bands. “I’m not a hip hop
fan, more of a rocker, but I support local bands,” stated Sacramento native
No matter what brought you to “On the Y” on Wednesday night, you were
welcomed with a smile. “Explicit Expression” did not fail to entertain. Their
sound had everyone on their feet, and joining in with the lyrics. I hope to
hear more from them in the near future, as you couldn’t ask for a nicer
group of guys.