Secret Bonus Level presents:

GOLLY. I mean GAAAAWWWLLLLEEEEEE. This show was AMAZING! Our in house live band, The Secret Bonus Level Band, DESTROYED it ALL night! Reppa Ton was there! AND DID I MENTION PROSE AND CONS CROSSOVER!?

First of all:


Or, if you don’t like that idea:


This is the one you’ve been waiting for. I’m not kidding. I know I always say a lot of totally bananas stuff on this website, but this one was GOLD. I’m going to try to keep my caps lock off FOR AT LEAST HALF OF THIS post just to let you know how serious I am.

So what even happened here? The band was SERIOUSLY on FIRE tonight. I’ve never seen them like this. This show has a live band performing in the studio every week, if you didn’t know. It seems like every week they’re SO much better than the last week too. And tonight was no except. PICKLE RICK on the saxophone for cries ache. Brandon Rice on the bass fork rise ache. Joe Barry on the guitar four cry sake. Jesse Lyles on the drum machines core flies cake. And let’s not forget: Pickle Rick JUST came from a fresh victory on Saturday night. He WON Black Liquid’s beat battle at Strange Matter. This fella and his music. Whew! By the way: there is no other radio show in Richmond with a live band performing on EVERY SINGLE EPISODE. And maybe not in Virginia?

The rap verses were RIDICULOUS this time too. Damian Tweedy. Freakolafat. Sanji, of course (bark bark!). All the guys we know each bringing heir unique style to the microphone. And This() really stole the show when he decided to take on the persona of a middle-aged housewife for several rap verses some reason. Oh my god, he was KILLING me with that. And then him and FREAKO started going back and forth. Sweet jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees.

Speaking of the rap, we got an exclusive taste of F R E A K O L A F A T’s F R E A K O D I S E 2. We’ve got even more songs from it next week that you can’t hear yet on ANY OTHER RADIO STATION. I don’t feel like I even need to SAY anything else about it because I was GOING to not use my CAPS LOCK TOO MUCH in this one and it BECOMES DIFFICULT on this PARTICULAR SUBJECT.

Where was Reppa Ton? Did you wonder? That dude is a gem. I mean, really. He came all the way to the station, hung out throughout the entire two hour show, just took in everything, enjoyed the vibe, and only spit ONE verse. In fact, a month or two ago he came through when I filled in for Black Liquid on Hip-Hop for the Rest of Us, and wouldn’t you know he did the same exact thing. That’s just his style. You can’t catch him. He’d like the wind. Enjoy it while it’s here. Talk about humble. Talk about a nice guy, too. His one turn on the mic was impressive as always. MAKE SURE you know he’s at 25 Watt on Saturday night. On a GREAT bill with Roger Tyler, Black Liquid, and a TON of other great Richmond rap dudes. And in that setting, you’re bound to get a little more rap out of the guy. If you LOVE good rap music, you don’t want to miss that chance!

And fans of cinema will be STOKED for to hear Nef from YourTopThree return to the art of movie reviews on this week’s episode. I’m thrilled to announce that Nef’s unique, funny, thoughtful reviews will now be a regular part of Secret Bonus Level! This week, he told us about the newest installment of the Planet of the Apes franchise. Haha, he liked the close ups of the monkeys faces! I don’t know why that’s funny! I’m sorry. I guess because it’s so honest and spot on and somehow what probably every else thought but couldn’t figure out how to say so simply, so concisely. That’s why we NEED Nef.

But let’s get to the real stuff: PROSE & CONS. Wait —

Our guests of honor tonight. They truly made it a special occasion. The guys from Prose & Cons, Justin, Dominique, Sonjia, and Ben. They came by to read some serious, real poetry on the air over the beautiful sounds of the freshly leveled up Bonus Band. I’m talking about the poetry our blood has basked in for generation. The treasures of history. Maya Angelou, Roald Dahl, those books I stole from the library in high school and kept all these years despite that they were falling apart, slowly destroying themselves in the acid bath of time. And the contemporary voices that challenge us to find other pictures to make out of these same puzzle peices, forced together in ways new and awkward at first. This show was new like that too. It felt like a new genre, between language and song. This amazing music with poetry of such renown spoken over it, alternating with every lineage of rap.

I’ve tried hard to think of another crossover to ever feel so special and significant. Marvel vs DC? Marvel vs Capcom? That time Urkel was on Full House? But don’t let me get silly on you! This episode was seriously astounding. Nothing so fresh like this. Nothing so new and exciting.

And let me also just mention. I invited a poet friend of my own too. Tracey Brown, a staff member and poet from the city’s best open mic, Tuesday Verses, Tracey shared a few poems, each beautifully written. Throughout the night, everyone (poets and rappers alike) came up to me constantly asking, “Who is she? Where did she come from?” And telling me, “She is a special one. Bring her back again.”

And then you have the rap of MC Correct. He floats somewhere between rap and poetry, though somehow tethered to one a little more than the other. Almost a mirror image of Tracey in that way. He helped bridge the gap between those worlds for us. Helped us understand that it’s all just words, out loud. You can do whatever you want with them, as long as you mean it. Maybe that’s what I got out of tonight. There is certainly an art to everyone’s different approaches to diction and communication, but how you use the words will always be meaningful as long as it means something to you.

And that was the great thing about this episode. The combination of rap and poetry we got by having Prose & Cons join us. It gave us a special appreciation for words, how they’re used in so many varying ways, how differently we can put them together, and how artfully each technique can be executed.

At one point Damian Tweedy turned to me and said, “This is just so special. I’m so emotional right now.” He’s never been quite like that before. And when he said that, I took a look at this dude. He looked like we all felt. I wish I had a picture of it. It’d explain all this way better than all my words.

Or you could just listen for yourself! We really gave it all to you tonight. I don’t even know how, totally. It just happened. Everything. Hard jams. Comedy. Tragedy. Love. Loss. Detail. Brute force. This sounds so ridiculous, I know. But this really was the Titanic of radio. Wait until Part II of the crossover.

Gosh that was long. Do I need to remind you about these links?

This one is just to listen to it from the website


This one is to right click and download it, if you want to do that.


216 August 17th, 2017

Posted In: Music, Music Shows