Ever heard a violin laced rendition of Snoop Dogg's "Gangsta Luv"? The cocktail is seductive and downright hypnotizing.
"We think our music breaks down barriers and bridges the gap between people from across the board," explained violinist Kev Marcus over the weekend. "Our sound is meant to expand the mind."
Enter Black Violin.
At the group's core are violinists Kev Marcus and Wil B alongside DJ TK and drummer BEATdown. Consider their musical odyssey where worlds collide -- Grey Poupon meets gin and juice. The stereotype of what a hip hop act should sound like is shattered.
Judging by the crowd that packed inside club Revolution late Saturday night, hip hop fans are grateful for the breath of fresh air.
"Mr. Imma Zoe" aka Black Dada gave the crowd an appetizer peppered with Creole accented pop and reggae before Black hit the stage. Kev and Wil B covered a range of songs from Drake to the Tempations, Bach and even a dash of reggae, while DJ TK offered his signature humor and BEATdown gave, well, a drum induced beat down.
"Our hope is to inspire kids to think outside the box and the limits society puts on them," said Wil B who picked up the violin at a suggestion from a school security guard who moonlighted as a saxophonist. "We're just two black dudes who really love playing the violin."
Wil's modesty is admirable, given the group's critically acclaimed win at the Apollo Theater in 2005, not to mention a recent trip to Dubai with Kanye West and a journey through Africa with Akon. But for the Dillard High grads, performing amid familiar faces trumped all stops before Saturday night.
"Our teachers at Dillard are the ones who placed the violins in our hands,'' said Kev.
Added DJ TK: "It's just really good to see folks in South Florida showing their own local artists love."