Welcome to “underground” Escondido. The future starts now.
Rapper Self Provoked was in the HypeFright house. His teenaged admirers snaked around the long building, spilling across the 239 E Valley Parkway parking lot into a well-mannered, yet energetic, line for a very special meet and greet opportunity.
They were maybe 30 yards away from a staid Second Saturday Art Walk crowd trudging around the Escondido Arts Partnership Municipal Gallery “Small Scale” opening. It might as well have been a million miles away on a spaceship to Andromeda Galaxy.
As about 200 kids descended on the new HypeFright premium couture retailer for the young in age as well as young in heart, youthful energy exploded, exuded and eviscerated any preconceived notion the ancient mariner set might hold about kids today.
Skateboarders overwhelmed the parking lot. Meanwhile, the long, and exceedingly polite line of kids, in exquisite counterpoint, waited for the magic moment. That’s when they would meet and greet Self Provoked, a very happening 23-year-old rapper from L.A. who had just returned from an European tour with stops at Paris, Berlin and other points continental.
In a tale of the times, lost up the street where the old folks were at home, the kids were alright. Word had spread rapidly of Self Provoked’s appearance through social media. Kids said they heard about the engagement through Instagram, YouTube, and other social media sites, just as they heard the music online and unfiltered.
Check it out for yourself. some of Self Provoked’s cutting edge videos have over one million views. Who knew?
HypeFright, too, is alright
As popular as Self Provoked, given name Ramon Gomez, was, even that popularity shocked, and delighted HypeFright owners, David and Eric Munoz, brothers from Vista, whop opened the youthful-targeted clothing store in a 2,300-square-foot building that had housed a series of restaurants for as long as they had been alive.
Cal State University San Marcos math and business majors who also have a brand development company, the Munoz brothers said they enjoyed the music, but were surprised at the size of the crowd. Not that they were complaining.
“We’ve been looking for a way to let people know about our store,” David Munoz said. “We’ve got a lot of unique clothing for a younger demographic and even have been sponsoring skateboarders, helping them out a little as a way of giving back.
“We were expecting a lot of kids,” continued Munoz who said a friend recommended lining up Self Provoked for an in-store appearance, “but not this many. Everybody has been super chill though.”
Parking lot perspective
Some adults were on the parking lot periphery keeping a respectful distance from the fray as kids whirled and skated to their heart’s desire.
Mara and Cesar Angel stood admiring the scene while daughter Arlene mingled with friends at the other end. They didn’t know too much about Self Provoked, just that their daughter wanted to come. So, they drove over from Oceanside to catch the new wave.
“Everything happens on social media,” Cesar Angel said, shaking his head with a smile and outstretched arms. “They heard about him on Instagram. He’s an underground rapper just starting out.”
As for the kids, they were enthusiastic and, as Munoz mentioned, super chill. Escondido High School freshman Noel Reyes, along with sophomores Bryan Aguirre, Richie Lopez, and Jasmine Solano were first in line to meet and greet Self Provoked.
“We got here three hours ago,” Aguirre said. Really? Really? WTF? “We just wanted to be first in line,” Aguirre said. “He’s one of our favorite rappers.”
Self Provoked sets up
Self Provoked was setting up at the back of the store as his small entourage of a a few friends laid out mini-posters and other items on a long store table. A very personable, and talented guy, he said he would have loved to perform, but understood that couldn’t happen this time at the new clothing store.
“A friend of mine was looking for a place to do a show,” Self Provoked said. “That couldn’t work out, so we we decided instead to do a meet and greet. That’s crazy. That’s a long line.”
It took a while, but all the kids came through and took their turn with the underground rap up-and comer who said he had four projects out in the last year with them doing well online at site like SoundCloud and Youtube. He had upcoming shows of the musical kind scheduled for Covina on March 5, Lancaster on March 26 and Salt Lake City on May 1.
At those concerts, Self Provoked will, no doubt get into hits like “F.B.O.W.” with 325,000 YouTube hits, rapping. “I got a lot of problems, but I ain’t the only one. Try to keep my posture straight. Come on throw me some of what.”
Or “Me and You,” over one million hits, that’s correct, singing, “Don’t ever be compared, I’m great. Hate it like an L.A. resident who doesn’t like the Lakers…”
Meanwhile, just up the street, the Municipal Art Gallery crowd come and go, talking of the the Small Scale Art Show. Oblivious to the future happening just beneath their eyes.