It felt a bit like a clandestine meeting as we drove around the back of the darkened Basilica in Hudson in search of the mysterious Hangrr 18. Our headlights cut through the light fog that the warm September night produced until we noticed the flashing lights and heard the beat of the music emanating from the single-door opening of the bunker-like cement-block performance space. Hangrr 18 is the spot were Hudson rap prodigy (the still very young) Young Paris, on this his 24th birthday, chose to hold the CD release party/performance for his latest rock/rap/R&B project Black N Gold and the band’s new album “Pet The Lights.”
Earlier in the evening, Paris hosted an all-ages meet-and-greet reception at the Armory in Hudson, where they played songs and videos from the album, but this later event was where we would see the full band perform live for the first time. It was a DIY affair, and the whole scene had a cool underground feel to it.
Some people lingered outside in the warm night air, but as we entered the room a little after 10pm, it was in full dance-party mode. Paris attracts a diverse crowd from all walks of life and age groups, and they were all represented on the floor. It was a loose, fun party, going on both inside and out, until 11pm when the band got ready to hit the stage, and the room filled up in anticipation.
A year ago on January 30, 2010 an eclectic array of artists converged on the Hudson hot-spot, Jason’s Upstairs Bar, for what would be the closing night of one of the Hudson Valley’s premier showcase clubs. Reggae/ska band Mother Fletcher, drag queen/vocalist Musty Chiffon, burlesque divas Charmed & Dangerous, psychedelic-punks the Last Conspirators and up-and-coming hip-hop artist Young Paris all joined together to give Jason and his staff a proper send-off and in the process blew the lid off of the joint! Set-after-inspired-set they all brought their A-games to what can be best described as, one hell of a party!
Now a year on and the late nights of rockin’ out at late, lamented Jason’s are just a distant memory, but all of these artists carried on and continue to make their mark in their respected genres.
Most recently the uber-talented. multi-lingual, rising hip-hop super-nova Young Paris has unleashed his latest full-length CD, “Euro Swag”, on the world. Paris (aka, Milandou Badila) splits his time between New York City, Paris (where he was born) and Hudson, where he has been flying just below the radar of international recognition. If there is any justice in the usually unjust musical world, this will be the record that launches him into the stratosphere of hip-hop super-stardom.
A killer collection, “Euro Swag” is Paris’ fully realized vision of the world around him. Nineteen strong tracks sewn together collectively to make a powerful lyrical, musical and artistic statement. Just like the real world it reflects upon, this disc is at times hard-hitting rough, raw and vulgar, while simultaneously being joyful, beautiful, touching and heartfelt.
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