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Boot Camp brings gritty rhymes to Tampa

Hardcore hip hop fans will be treated to a rare show Saturday, as members of The Boot Camp Click visit Ybor City. The squad of emcees and deejays will perform at Masquerade.

Along with emcee 5 Ft. and DJ Evil Dee, Buckshot received his first exposure on 1992’s Enta Da Stage as a part of the group Black Moon.

This hip hop classic laid the foundation for all subsequent Boot Camp projects. In Brooklyn hip hop form, the trio put gritty rhymes about street gun-play and life in the projects over beats that shunned old school hip hop hooks in favor of grimy melodies influenced by reggae and jazz.

Tek and Steele, better known as Smif N’ Wessun, were guests on Enta da Stage, but had their own opportunity to shine on 1994’s Da Shinin.

Smif N’ Wessun drew the ire of gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson, whose legal haranguing forced the duo to change their name in 1997.

Tek and Steele adopted Cocoa Brovaz as their moniker later that year.

Masquerade has undergone some changes lately, broadening its clientele by branching out past its former Goth-only leanings. Reggae and hip hop are now prominent on the club’s schedule.

“The only problem promoting hip hop shows at Masquerade it that a lot of people still think they only play Goth there,” said Durium, hip hop music director at USF’s WBUL. “But that perception is changing.”

Durium promoted a show featuring the legendary KRS-ONE last fall, and was pleased with the public’s reaction.

“The KRS in the fall worked really well. (Masquerade) lends itself to hip hop shows,” Durium said. “You can really fit a lot of people there, and (Ybor) needs a place where we can have bigger hip hop shows.”

Don’t be surprised if other members of The Boot Camp Click show up, such as Heltah Skeltah or Originoo Gunn Clappaz.

The doors at Masquerade open at 10 p.m., and Saturday’s show should start an hour or so later. Tickets are $10.