“Man, I forgot the Fringe was a theatre festival,” shrugged the rapper E.R.K. as he jauntily took stage Saturday afternoon. “I’m music,” he laughed. “Well alright. Here we go.”
His casual entrance – hopping from the front row onto the stage – topped the second half of B-Digga’s handpicked concert, now playing at Fort Fringe. His introduction was apt: let’s just get together and create something. Dismissing the boundaries of genre, B-Digga Presents illuminated and syncopated the thrill of explosive art. Theatre or not, it doesn’t get much more Fringe than that.
Rippling beneath the Festival’s signature white Baldacchino, B-Digga’s fluid amalgams of acid jazz, funk, neo-soul, and hip hop glided seamlessly beneath the trills and beats of songstress Tamika Jones and rappers E.R.K., y.u., and Enjay. Audience members swayed with cold drinks in hand as psychedelic video projections guided them through the entrancing numbers. Even the persistent sunlight seemed to relax as it spilled through the tent’s open flaps.
Though relationship dilemmas topped the agenda, many of the songs celebrated a refreshing social progressivism with calls to end racial inequality and corporate monopolies. The concert began with an improvised jam from pianist Myke P, whose loose, upbeat song welcomed the audience into the show like old friends. Ms. Jones soon joined Mr. P onstage to enchant with her blithe and gracious voice. Clad in turquoise, purple, and orange, she glowed with a bold resilience as she sang about the transcendent powers of music. When E.R.K, y.u., and Enjay took the stage after this goddess of cool, they continued her message with lyrics like “don’t do it for the payday, do it for the love.”
Though the performer-to-audience ratio struck close to equilibrium – a shame for such a lively concert – the artists animated their work with a purpose and sincerity that showed no concern for the size of the crowd.
- Running Time: 60 minutes
- Tickets: B-Digga Presents
- Remaining Shows: Sat, July 26 at 6:30 . Sun, July 27 at 5
- Where: The Baldacchino at Fort Fringe, 607 New York Ave, NW