A recent post on Lazlo Supreme's MySpace page was as attention-grabbing as the young trio's low-frills, high-energy brand of hip-hop.
"Stripping at gay bar funds new Lazlo album," read the headline on the post.
It should be noted that the stripping in question was actually for a movie. Lazlo Supreme rapper/singer Toussaint Morrison is also an actor by trade. He recently appeared onscreen as an over-the-top dancer in the locally filmed indie flick "Nobody." It wasn't a big role, but it was big enough to pay for the manufacturing of Lazlo's supremely impressive debut CD, "Evil Made Easy,"
"If I had scored a larger part, we could have printed up a thousand more CDs," Morrison quipped.
Not having time for any research trips to a Chippendales show, he said he just approached the role naturally. "I've been onstage enough, I know sometimes it works best to just get up there and let the Holy Ghost take over," he said.
There's something similarly uninhibited and daring about Lazlo Supreme, which performs Friday at the Triple Rock with Morrison's other, better-known live hip-hop band, the Blend. Morrison got the idea for the new group after attending a Black Keys gig in 2007. He was impressed by how the Ohio blues-rock duo did so much with so little, and wanted to try it in hip-hop. So he enlisted the Blend's keyboardist, Linden Killam, and hotshot kid drummer Patrick Moses -- and nobody else.
"Everything moves faster," Morrison said, comparing Lazlo with the Blend's five-member crew. "There are less scheduling conflicts, and less equipment to set up. But there's also something magical about ripping it up with just two instruments."
On "Evil Made Easy," Killam's funkified organ and piano parts provide the rhythmic melodic lines. Moses' drums vary from machine-gun rapid fire to slow, steady marching beats. That leaves ample room for Morrison to flow wildly but rhyme smartly, a la Mos Def, and to add singing parts in clever ways. Bits of guitar and bass pop here and there, but not much.
It's all another example of how the Twin Cities scene continues to unfurl new and exciting twists on hip-hop. Alas, the local buzz is somewhat tempered by Morrison's announcemen tthat he plans to move to Los Angeles by the fall. He hopes to cram in plenty of live gigs between now and then. And since Killam is also aboard to make the move, he hopes to continue Lazlo in La-La Land. The main reason for the move, he said, is because he recently joined the Screen Actors Guild and "there's no union acting work around here."
Hey, if choice acting gigs do come Morrison's way, imagine what kind of albums Lazlo Supreme might be able to make with real Hollywood money behind it.