Words by Raelyn Batacan / Photos by Marleen Tana
[More photos can be viewed here!]
Mori by Art + Flea has been the venue to house several musical artists within the past few months, as part of their series, “Live Sessions with Mori”. Talents like The Bougies, an alternative pop punk band; Foreseeable Futures, a melodic indie-duo; and now Super Groupers a hip hop group with rappers Navid and Illis It and producer Ohtoro.
Photographer Marleen and I got to Ward early and killed some time getting to know each other over a bowl of poke at Paina Café.
While walking over to Mori, we met rapper J Wiz sitting outside with Navid chilling in front of Mori just before the show. A few people were patiently waiting inside, including storeowner Aly Ishikuni-Sasaki. Scott Ohtoro, producer for the Super Groupers was testing sound with J Wiz, who played a snippet of a song he would later perform.
They opened up with a few songs on their album Learn To Swim, starting with the first and last songs “Learn To Swim” and “Forgetting You,” which was produced by Exile.
Friends and family were present at the event to support the hip hop group. In between performances, Ohtoro provided the beats, while Navid and Illis It were free to hang with the crowd.
During that time, I spoke with Navid and he said, “Illis It is the looks, Scott is the brains and I’m the wild card.”
Punahele, named Iron MC Champion earlier this year, made an appearance and performed along side the Super Groupers to “Make Today Great”.
Representing the west side, he showed great stage presence when handed the mic, engaging the crowd and really connected with the audience.
The Super Groupers have been together for a few years and have been working on their album longer for a long time. They went through some technical difficulties but they managed to put up their album and they’re on to their next one, Learn To Fly.