Photo courtesy of Alex Bonham-Carter
Lawrence - It's the type of fantasy that you might only read about in books or see in movies: a local musician daydreams about opening for a big act. But in Lawrence, the dream came true for local musician Marty Hillard.
Hillard performs in popular local band Cowboy Indian Bear, but has recently launched his rap career, performing under the name "Ebony Tusks" alongside friend and collaborator MORRI$.
While on tour with Cowboy Indian Bear one day in December, he daydreamed about someday opening up for the ever-growing-in-popularity rap group Das Racist. A few hours later, he got the phone call and Ebony Tusks was offered to open for Das Racist on March 30th. "I just found it very coincidental more than anything," says Hillard. "We can call it a dream come true, sure. The dream is alive."
In Full Force
On Wednesday, Ebony Tusks will be sharing the stage with the likes of Stik Figa, Greg Enemy and a host of other Team Bear Club veterans. They're all bred out of what could possibly be the rowdiest group of party planners in Lawrence right now.
Team Bear Club is responsible for dance parties across town, including Mingle at the Taproom, Swag at the Jackpot, Rave at the Cave with Nick Arcade and several more. "It's something better experienced than described," says Hillard.
Team Bear Club, along with oh!mr. and Sneakhype, are pulling out all stops for Wednesday's show. Concert-goers will get treated to some of the most energetic hip hop performers Lawrence has to offer, and Ebony Tusks' set will include a surprise performance. "Bear Club is definitely going to be in full force," says Hillard. "It's just the way it always is when we all get together. We're just hoping everybody else is as entertained as we are."
Creating Enough Excitement
Ebony Tusks have only been around for a few months. They're heading to Wednesday's show with just a handful of performances under their belt, but Hillard isn't sweating it. "More than anything I'm just more excited to perform than worrying about how it will be received," says Hillard. "I'm feeling really good about it and I'm trying to stick with that."
Seeing Ebony Tusks perform in person might be the only chance you'll get to hear what the duo has to offer. They recently released a short album only available at teambearclub.com. Hillard says he's happy to share the music online, but says the performance offers attendees an experience. "I just want to create enough excitement that people feel stimulated by the material and want to come out and see the show."
More than enough people will get the chance to experience some of that excitement. The show is 18 and over and in a larger venue, and with all the hard work Team Bear Club's been putting in over the past few months, folks will be taking notice. "If there's one word that maybe describes Bear Club, it's 'party.'"
To find out more about the party, click here.
Here's a recently released music video from Ebony Tusks.