If you listen to underground hip hop, you know what the three-eyed smiley face emblem stands for. You understand how intense it was when Hieroglyphics, the group this symbol represents, formed in the early ‘90s, what it felt like to put Third Eye Vision into your stereo and realize that not only had an authentic and mature form of underground hip hop arrived, but it was bountiful. Every emcee on the album was skilled in ways you’d never heard before, and a blending of street-savvy, weird and intellectual rhymes defined a culture from the bay to L.A., possibly stretching further.
To detail how important this group is to its genre, a trip down memory lane may suffice. Consider this: Of the big multi-member hip hop crews typically associated with the design of the West Coast underground conscious hip-hop movement (such as Visionaries, and Living Legends), Hiero predates them all.
The trendsetting self-described microphone addicts of underground hip hop are about to be in your area. True, the crew will be without its most recognizable member (and founder) Del the Funky Homosapien, but hey, hip hop is a rough business nowadays. As fans in this era of music we are lucky to see this many titans of hip hop’s underworld on the same stage together.
Aplus, Casual, Opio, PepLove, Phesto and Tajai will be holding it down at WOW Hall, with each emcee looking to show off live versions of new recordings. They’ve all been quite busy. The results are sure to be spitfire.
Hieroglyphics play 9 pm Tuesday, Jan. 31, at WOW Hall; $15 adv., $18 door.