Maségo Brought His Brand of #BlackBoyJoy to NYC's Blue Note [Recap]
Photos of Maségo + the TrapHouseJazz Band taken by Marquis Thibodeaux (@badquis).
America, get your ears + eyes focused on the talents and triumphs of Maségo and the TrapHouseJazz Band. I’ve made it no secret that I support the Virginia native’s dream of bringing his unique blend of hip-hop, funk, go-go, soul + jazz to the masses. Hell, we’ve chronicled him numerous times, in addition to spotlighting him in our First Look Friday series. So, you can obviously tell how excited I was when The Plug told me that he would be making his debut at New York City’s Blue Note nightclub for a late night jam session.
Upon my arrival, what was surprising was seeing just how many people without tickets were trying to bully their way into the show. Security was turning away folks who tried to claim they were Maségo’s cousin, while lines were stretched in both directions up-and-down W. 3rd Street. The city that never sleeps was definitely trying to stay up to see Maségo do his thing, live and in living color. As I polled those in attendance (while craftily making my way into the spot) — I found out that people came as far as Philly and as around the way as Brooklyn to support the multi-instrumentalist and his debut performance.
Once the show finally began, Maségo wastes no time in hypnotizing the audience with his skills. He creates a beat wholly from scratch, which, on the real, you don’t understand how much energy that takes. For him, the man also known as Uncle Ségo made it look effortless. From sampling his own vocals to punching in sounds on his Looper + drum machine, he created a perfect sound bed for the TrapHouseJazz band to shift into “Love Be Like,” which had everyone rocking from right-to-left. His Southern charm wooing and engaging the audience at the same damn time, as he had us singing Cab Calloway to the beat of Chandler Nunnally‘s drums.
Speaking of the TrapHouseJazz Band, the guys were on point from the gate. Whether it was switching it up on the one or dropping in a clever interpolation on the track, these guys could not be shaken from doing their thing. Specifically, bassist Josh Gatling, with the epically cool neon guitar strings, added this funky lick to “Shut Up + Groove” that got heads up out their seats + nodding. Ségo would then go on to crack a few funnies with the band + the audience before jumping into “Ségo Hotline” + “Before I Let Glo”. Dan “Musiq Swolechild” Foster emboldened the cut with his deft playing ability.
Throughout the show, it was apparent what else was happening: Maségo was showing us his #BlackBoyJoy. It was absolutely contagious. From his improv comedic skills to the smile on his face to encouraging folks to get out their seat at the notoriously stuff Blue Note — there was no inhibition from Maségo and that allowed us all to take off our cool + enjoy the ride. We were swaying, bouncing and moving in our seats once that happened. A total jam session was going on, so it was only right that Ségo and his best friend, Anthony Alston Jr. capitalized by unleashing the “Ségo Step” on us — a quick dance move that proved his showmanship was not just tied to instruments and being musical.
As go to the midway part of the show, he started bringing out the big hits such as “Girls That Dance” (which started quite the twerk session in Blue Note’s walk way), “Bounce” and “Toot That Thang”. Maségo kept up the frenetic pace that would tire a younger man out, tbh. Clearly, this guy has picked up some tricks of the trade after hanging out with GoldLink, DJ Jazzy Jeff and SiR. A personal highlight for yours truly was when he did a “live loop” of “Melanin Man,” where he created another beat from scratch and sung his arse off.
“This ain’t a Soundcloud, baby. We out here to get these checks,” Ségo said with the crowd laughing along with him. The TrapHouseJazz band were clean, the audience was revelatory and it was a beautiful sight to experience. As Ségo walked off to raucous applause and a growing line at the upstairs merch table, he came right back down to give one more song in the form of an encore. I thought he was going to play “I Do Everything” or “Small Talk,” but alas, he would grace the crowd with “Jazzy Twerk” from TrapHouseJazz, closing out his set fulfilling the promise that “ignorance would meet elegance”.
Keep an eye out Maségo’s “twee-zop-di-dahs” to find out when he’s coming to a town near you!