Joshua Gunn - The last DownBeat at The Vault By: Claire Benton
His presence proceeded him . Quite a typical thing to say about all performers but it its rare to be this polished in such small town setting like Durham, NC. Its was the last Jam session , The down beat, at the underground club called The Vault. Always hosted by The Zoocru, Joshua Gunn along with his singing partner Brandon Pierre fronted the Band for 45 minutes of what he called “Soulfull Hip-Hop”.
Over a light Zoocru beat, he introduced his self by declaring his intentions where to simply fill the room with feeling, and live in the music, and as he began his first song, his comfort behind the mic left you nodding your head, feeling it. Whether planned or delightfully ironic his first song “the feeling” had the diverse audience bouncing to the mixture of the live band and his intricate lyricism. Unlike some main stream hip-hop, the fans had to exert a little more energy to catch his words. There was a message; and he made sure we heard it multiple times during the jam session when he asked the band to fade out as he spoke his verses slowly, more like spoken word. “I’m here to restart a feeling- kinda like this 94 but more different- kinda like 2 kilos of coke but more addictive- kinda like biblical but stories non religion……..”
His content was socially aware and culturally rich as he quoted Erykah Badu, Laruen Hill, and Nina Simone; bringing in lyrics of the respected in the industry and also spitting his own rhymes over Jay-Z’s lost one. He performed about 6 songs that each gave you a different aspect of who he was as a man, spiritual, confident, conscious, and in love. Each performed seamlessly with the musicality of The Zoocru and vocal runs of Brandon Pierre. The crowd enjoyed the performance just as much as he enjoyed vibing with his peers on stage. Self-less, polished, and real Joshua Gunn is without a doubt on his way to the top.