The artists at Monday of the Minds, hosted at Flask Lounge in the Old Port, brought down the venue this past Monday with some serious energy, flow and a strong following supporting Portland’s growing hip hop scene.  The night began with local talent and culminated with New England hip hop veteran, Brzowski.  Standing outside Flask, you might not know that the place is a pretty hoppin’ venue.  On evenings like this past Monday, the scene had local talent mixing it up right alongside seasoned artists.  Rest assured, the Monday of the Minds folks put together a solid lineup, and Flask was absolutely packed by the end of the night (or was it early Tuesday morning?).

Early on, the boys hosting the show gave a well-deserved congratulations to Kid Kai.  She rocked the mic and came out victorious at Mind Spray, a hip hop showcase event out of Boston (Know Your Scene’s homeland).  Kid Kai stoked the fire of the night with an emotional performance to begin Monday of the Minds.

Beginning his set, Unique Divinci brought the lights down and took it slow with some of the magic he’s been cooking up only to kick it into high gear half way through; his flow was on point the whole time.  Central Maine artist, Words of Phrase showed his epic skill and copious experience on the mic while he kept the energy up without missing a single beat.  Treelock put on yet another impressive performance.  Everyone completely killed it, but I was real impressed with Slut Shaman, keep it up man.  I momentarily stepped over to the bar for some refreshments; when I returned Gvtter Ze Gvttzein had the floor going nuts.  See the above photos to put faces to a few of the names that brought down the house at Flask.

Finally, it was time for the main event.  I’d spun Brzowski more than a few times leading up to Monday night, but I’d never seen him live.  Chatting with him before the show, it was pretty clear how excited he was to be back in Portland, and I was all about the dude before his set even began.  Having been on the scene for so long (nearly 20 years?), it was evident that Brzowski has had plenty of time to hone his creativity alongside his skill.  When Brzowski grabbed the mic and said his first song would be about Austrian economics, I nearly lost it.  Throughout his set, the artist stuck to what he’s known for: inventive lyrics with a backdrop of dark, catchy beats with a taste of punk rock.  Check out some of Brzowski’s work through his label, Milled Pavement Records.

If you hadn’t already figured this out, Monday night had more artists than you could shake a mic at, I haven’t even mentioned everyone who was on the lineup; but special mention goes to the fans who showed up to support what is, by all accounts, a quickly growing movement in Portland, ME.  Credit for putting on such a great show goes to Stay on Mars and SmokEye.  To all reading, if you’re in the area on July 11th and want to see some local talent from Portland’s Hip Hop community, do yourself a favor and check out Stay On Mars’ Community Outreach event at Deering Oaks Park, right here in Portland of course.