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The Westside Christmas Tour with Warm Brew and Michael Christmas @ 191 Toole

The Rialto Theatre Present

The Westside Christmas Tour with Warm Brew and Michael Christmas @ 191 Toole

Kari Faux

Dec 06 Tue

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

191 Toole

$12.00 - $15.00

This event is all ages

Michael Christmas
Boston rapper Michael Christmas is a relative newcomer to the NY scene, but has created a stir online lately with his deadpan humor, flirting with spot-on observations about modern life, and asserting rap bravado in the most awkward situations. Complex called him "low-key, low-stakes and totally brilliant."
Kari Faux
Kari Faux is rap's girl next door.

"I'm just normal," says the 23-year-old. "There's a male rapper for every kind of dude that exists. There's not a female artist that every woman can relate to."

With the release of her debut album, Lost En Los Angeles, the Little Rock-born rapper aims to prove she's just the artist to fill that void. She and her longtime collaborator Malik "Black Party" Flint first perked up the Internet's ears in the summer of 2014 with "No Small Talk," a chilled-out flex of a song that features Faux's coolly authoritative flow over the jangle of a flip phone that Complex deemed "ridiculously catchy." The track was the centerpiece of the breezy, easy-riding EP Laugh Now, Die Later, which caught the attention of Childish Gambino's manager. Within a couple of months, Gambino added a verse to the song and the blogosphere went bonkers. By the end of the year, Faux and Flint had packed up and left Arkansas for Los Angeles.

Despite the rapid-fire ascent and heaps of praise for Faux's "deadpan wit, endearing confidence, and clever wordplay" (VICE), Faux found herself at loose ends in L.A., hence the title of her forthcoming record. "I feel like here people like to put on a façade. I'm not gonna do that," she says. "I'm just gonna be honest about my time here and how I feel about life in general. That's more helpful to people than pretending everything is okay all the time."

Despite her moniker, Faux (real name Kari Johnson) is all about honesty in her life and lyrics. Born to a teenage mother, she was adopted by a couple who were physically unable to have more children.

"I used to be angsty, 'I don't belong here, I'm the black sheep,'" she says, laughing. "But I never had a reason to be like that. It was just hormones. I love my parents to death. I grew up awesome."

Her childhood was full of standard, sleepy Southern fare—she rode her bike, played basketball, practiced piano and attended church. While Faux loved Soulja Boy and Andre 3000's The Love Below, her mother, a minister, and father played mostly gospel and classical music in the house.

"My dad used to play classical when he picked me up from elementary school. That's my first memory of listening to music and having an actual feeling and connection to the music," she said. "I'm all about feelings. I don't do anything if I'm not feeling it. Anything I make—if it's not an honest feeling then I can't commit to it."

Though she tinkered with rap in high school, it wasn't until she was 19 that she and Flint began to make music in earnest. They eventually churned out seven tapes, including Laugh Now, Die Later, thus it's only natural that Flint took on the role of executive producer of Lost En Los Angeles.
While she might have been mentally and emotionally lost in Los Angeles, it's clear that disorientation didn't extend to the album.

"This is the kind of music I always wanted to make," Faux says of her debut. Indeed, the album reveals a new maturity in both Faux and Flint. On songs like "NADA," Faux's diamond-in-the-rough flow has been polished to a high gleam. Yet she still retains the relatable persona and lyrics that made her so beloved in the first place ("I'm no man's fantasy," she raps on "Fantasy"). The production is at turns slick and jazzy, trappy and trippy.

Moving back to Little Rock has only served to sharpen her perspective on music and strengthen her resolve to stay true to herself. "Honesty is what's missing [from rap]. Nobody's being honest. Nobody's being vulnerable. Nobody's being self-aware. I think it's corny," she says. "If you fuck with me, then you fuck with [Lost En Los Angeles]. This is me."