Kid Sister, Maluca at Grand Central, Saturday, June 26, 2010

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Kid Sister and Maluca
Grand Central, Miami
Saturday, June 26, 2010

Local DJ/producer Induce cause quit a stir last week when he was quoted saying, "Uhmmmmm. We have a music scene?" when referring to Miami's local music scene. Commenters quickly pounced on him saying he wasn't a real musician and making an endless list of bands of rep the city well. Insults were flung toward music editor Arielle Castillo for her supposed lack of local music coverage, which considering there is more to Miami music than the same 10 local bands, the thought is easily debunked.

Still, this whole mini-episode had got me thinking how divided the city's music scene is. Instead of cheering each other on, there is plenty of jealousy and ill-will toward from one act to another. Understandably, live acts are often irritated by DJs who get bigger billings (and bigger pay) for spinning records. But the DJ and Miami are comfortable bedfellows thanks mainly to the city's location which cause many touring bands to skip us. It's easier to fly in a DJ who only has to bring himself and laptop or records. Live bands -- even local ones -- have to win over a city that has consistently been burned by live music but has been embraced by the DJ.

That's why when I ran into Induce on Saturday, he laughed the comments off saying people really don't get his sense of humor. I understood his comment as not being insulting toward the city live music scene, but the scene still has a lot of maturing to do. And any notion that Induce isn't a skilled musician is wrong, and he proved that Saturday when he provided support for Chicago MC Kid Sister.

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Induce loves hip-hop, there is no doubt about that, so the pairing was a natural one. Kid Sister came out with a bang singing her single "Right Hand Hi" off of 2009's Ultraviolet. This in itself wasn't a surprise. At both of her appearances during Art Basel Miami Beach and at Klutch on the first day of the new year, she opened with the track. However, this time she ditched the back-up dancers and the Kylie Minogue attire going for a more natural Kid Sister that I hadn't seen since she performed ages ago at Studio A.

This was a Kid Sister I was happy to see. The crowd ate up her set as she went through her club bangers like "Beeper," "Get Fresh," "Control," "Switchboard," "Pro Nails," and her energetic cover of the Jungle Brother's "I'll House You." Though the highlight was perhaps Kid Sister and Induce's rework of Ludacris' "How Low."

Mind you, the entire time Induce is providing backup vocals and tracks as Kid Sister performed. Together they had a natural chemistry like they've been life-long friends (which to my understanding, they only met a few months ago).

The other act of the night, Maluca, the Dominican princess from New York, provided an equal amount of energy even if the only song everyone knew was "El Tigeraso." Her entire set was sprinkled with native references, all backed by electro and bass-heavy tracks. She isn't a star yet, but I'm eager to see what she does next.

Critic's Bias: I'm a sucker for a strong female -- blame my inner feminist.

The Crowd: Allapattah -- Miami's Dominican neighborhood -- must have come out to the show. Plus, I may take back the comment "hip-hop for white people," because it was definitely a mix. Then again, this is Miami.

Random Notebook Dump: I managed to avoid bumping into Kid Sister in person all night (success!) after I heard she was displeased with the preview I wrote on this blog.

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