BeastBox : Beatbox Showcase @ EMW by Gene Shinozaki

Beastbox Poster

Hey everyone! This is Gene, the beatboxer and newest member of the EMW family! Just wanted to chime in and tell you all about this event full of mouth-maticians, that is "BeastBox". You need to forget EVERYTHING you know about beatboxing before attending one of these events, because these performers will blow your mind by quite literally, speaking music at you. We had professional beatboxers from all over the Eastcoast to come up and do a showcase. Some performed with a wide range of electronic equipments while some with just one microphone. Some fused beatboxing and stand up comedy while others fused bird calls. The event was meant to showcase the versatility of the art, and these beatboxers did just that, and MORE! And just when you thought you've heard everything, BAM! Scooter (aka. Goyama) plays some killin tracks and break dancers come out of the audience to start a dance battle! Yeah. It was nuts. To wrap up the night, Kai Huang (itsyerboi) and myself started a big beatbox/MC cypher with a classic  EMW closing chant. The vibe was perfect, and everyone was having such a great time I seriously wanted to cry. Big Shout out to my beatboxing homies from NY and CT for coming up to perform, and BIG BIG ups to the EMW crew for helping me organize such an incredible event!! And most of all, thank you to all of you that attended the event and creating such a great supportive vibe towards the performers and our passion! For those who missed it, there will be more :) Dates coming soon. Peace, Love, and Beatbox.

BeastBox Banner

Beastbox B&W

BeastBox Break


NOTE: This blog post is late as hell since it's taken us a minute to get the interface up and running again, but here we go. Check it after the jump. More to come soon as we get EMW's online presence on and popping again!! Ugh.


What up y’all, it’s Kai Huang coming at you live from the left side of the attic at 934 Mass Ave with an update on our most recent East Meets Words open mic. It all went down last night, so let me give you the play-by-play.

Our host for the night was the wonderful Stacy Dimapelis, who held it down strong in between performances and kept the energy real high with her humor and crazy tangential monologues, one of which involved reading the entire text of an ill but mostly incomprehensible love poem by the 16th century English poet John Donne, as randomly selected by a poetry app on Stacy’s iPhone. Strong move, girl.

The open mic performances were strong throughout the night. Adi (of Subdrift fame) came through and dropped an intelligent and well put together stand up comedy bit, showing some love to our LGBT brothers and sisters in the process. Jeff and Richie of Mix Theory held down solo sets, with Jeff playing the guitar and Richie stepping up his spoken word game to share a reflection on his favorite season, Autumn. Emcees included LuDow AKA LuDeezy and the boy Aaron King, whose father is widely known outside of hip hop circles for inventing gel electrophoresis and teaching EMW organizer Dave Kong biology back in college. Big ups, homie. Speaking of Dave Kong AKA The Landlord, that dude got his usual struggle on as he pieced together words and phrases chosen by the audience into a live freestyle before we transitioned into the cypher proper, featuring all of the above plus ya boy, dropping a little wisdom on they asses regarding my mostly vegetarian diet game based around the Whole Foods on Prospect St.

Word, another highlight last night was the boy Marty, a storyteller and an older white gentleman who’s been coming to the space for some months now. Much like Kong with the freestyle, dude usually asks for some topics from the audience so he can improvise a story for us. So as usual, ya boy sat in the front row and suggested institutionalized racism. Someone else said chocolate chip cookies too. I don’t know, son. Go figure. I guess some people ain’t on that militant wavelength all the time. I don’t understand it either. Anyway, that meant we got to see Marty, this pleasant older white dude, try to put together a story on the spot that involved both institutionalized racism and chocolate chip cookies. Needless to say, y’all, I was anxious to see where this was gonna go!

Marty held it down humorously though and took it in good stride, telling a story about a person of color who moves into a new city (presumably not Cambridge, MA) and is initially met with tremendous discrimination and threats of violence before making peace with his assailants using chocolate chip cookies. On some Indians and pilgrims shit, I guess. Word. I do want to note though, that as positive and charming as the story was and as much as I respect that man Marty for stepping outside his comfort zone and running with the topic I recklessly threw at him, the story he told is one about interpersonal racism, and not institutionalized racism. If y’all confused, get at me later and ask me about this!! Seriously though.

In any case, after it was all said and done on the open mic portion of the evening, that boy Omni the beatboxer came through and veritably fucked everybody’s heads up with a crisp 15 minute set. For those of y’all who don’t know, Omni’s a Cambodian-Malaysian American beatboxer from Providence, RI (401 stand up) who was recently ranked in the top 16 beatboxers in the nation, and so dude is just able to do ridiculous things with his mouth, sonically. He’s also a great dude who stays involved in the community as far as his youth outreach and mentoring (dude’s only 19 himself though!!), so we gotta respect that. And he’s actually moving to Las Vegas TODAY y’all, so he blessed us here at EMW with his last east coast show for the time being. Indeed, big ups to that dude. We’re grateful that he kicked it with us, we’re proud of the work he’s doing for Asian Americans in the arts, and we wish him all the best out in Vegas. Stay up, kid. You know you always welcome back in Cambridge.

Well, that about it, fam. Thanks to everyone who signed up to perform, thanks to everyone who signed up for the mailing list, and we’ll see y’all clowns next month. SAME BAT TIME. SAME BAT PLACE. That would be the second Friday of the month at East Meets West bookstore, 934 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, MA. Next month’s second Friday happens to be motherfucking VALENTINE’S DAY too, so bring your best love shit, or bring your best lovers, or both. You know the rules!

Until then, this is Kai Huang still posted up in the left side the attic. I want to let y’all know that the water’s working in the building again, so I finally flushed my toilet and all is right with the universe. Alright peace.