Pouya, rap's underground underdog, took on the Rialto Theatre

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Darien Bakas | The Daily Wildcat

Kevin Pouya, a Florida-born rapper, performing for the crowd at the Rialto Theatre on Thursday, Aug. 31. Tucson is one of many stops for Pouya’s album tour for his most recent release, Underground Underdog. 

Pouya, a 21-year old Miami rapper has taken the underground hip-hop world by storm. Fresh off the heat from his debut album Underground Underdog, Pouya delivered one hell of a performance at the Rialto Theatre last night. For his last show on the Underground Underdog Tour, Pouya gave it his all with help from fellow emcees Ramirez, Shakewell and Germ.

After a few opening acts the crowd was ready for Pouya, chanting his name as they anxiously anticipated his appearance. When he took the stage the concert was non-stop from start to finish. Pouya had the audience hypnotized with his unique flow, and kids could be seen spitting his lyrics back at him word-for-word.

It became clear that the music from Buffet Boys, the hip-hop collective that Pouya is a part of, has a die-hard fan base here in Tucson. Several mosh pits started during Pouya's set at the Rialto; a way for his fans to express the raw emotion that his music incites.

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“That show was so damn crazy, shout out to Pouya I really love that man,” said 18 year-old concert goer Anthony Llamas.

Performing crowd favorites like “Get Buck” and “$outh $ide $uicide” both from previous mixtapes, Pouya demonstrated his lyrical abilities and his smooth transition from old to new music.

The majority of Pouya's set at the Rialto was from his album Underground Underdog, which debuted earlier this year, and was well received by both fans and critics alike. With no help from a record label, the independent artist, still managed to stay at the number two spot on Apple Music for a few days underneath Drake’s album Views.

“The feedback I’ve gotten from my fans is spectacular. I love it,” said Pouya. “I’m an independent artist and when I dropped my album my fans went crazy, they put me right behind Drake just showing nothing but support and love.”

While he doesn’t know what the future entails, for now Pouya is more than happy to remain an independent artist. This route seems to be working out well for him and the Buffet Boys. With several sold out tours underneath his belt and even a spot on Tyler, The Creator’s music festival "Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival" in 2015, Pouya is no doubt making a name for himself.

Part of what makes any artist great is their ability to be able to constantly push the boundaries of their art and to continually experiment and grow. Pouya is no different, and he is currently working on new music that dabbles in more singing and not just rap.

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With musical influences like Tame Impala, OutKast, Gorillaz and System of a Down, it will be exciting to see what new sounds will come from him in the future.

“When I get together a good group of songs I’m gonna make a new album or mixtape. I was happy my fans liked my song Independent Shawty, you know because it definitely sounds different than my typical music,” Pouya said.

Despite new music, Pouya’s all time favorite song to perform is “Suicidal Thoughts In The Back Of The Cadillac” off of his mixtape South Side Slugs.

“Suicidal thoughts is probably one of the best to play live because when I wrote that song I was really amped about it. It's probably one of my favorite songs that I’ve ever made,”Pouya said.

This energy could be felt from not only Pouya while he was performing, but from the crowd as well. The fans went crazy when the beat dropped, religiously screaming back every lyric of the song.

This underground rap star has gained a loyal cult following, coming a long way from his early beginnings in Miami. He hasn’t let the fame change him though; he remains as humble and down to earth as ever, coming across as an artist who has truly invested himself in his craft.

Like many up-and-coming names that come through the Rialto, keep an eye out for Pouya—he’s on to something big and he’s taking his dedicated fan base along for the ride.


Follow Natasha Castanedo on Twitter.



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