The Dallas/Fort Worth area is plagued by a lack of local music venues for up and coming artists of any genre to garner support and show off their talent to the local community. But, there is one place situated in Northwest Dallas that is dedicated to defying this disease and bringing monthly shows that highlight Dallas local talent and touring acts. That place is the cOoompound; and this past Valentine’s Day they played host to none other than the Rapsmith and amethyst poet Milo (stylized milo).

Milo is currently on his Ruby Yacht tour across America with Signor Benedick the Moor and the beatmaster Randal Bravery. Performing at The cOoompound, Milo and Randal Bravery destroyed the house. They opened up with “Yomilo” which derives from Milo’s So the Flies Don’t Come album – which has been noted by Rolling Stone as his “finest work to date” earning him a position on Rolling Stone’s best rap albums of 2015 list. Milo also performed “Souvenir” from STFWC which is his most played song from the album. After asking for a couple cold ones, he took on his persona of scallops hotel and performed “lavender chunk” from Plain Speaking. In addition to the classic tracks that embody Milo’s style, the art rapper also debuted some his latest tracks that he has yet to release.

For me, it’s been such a wonderful journey watching one of my favorite rappers evolve in his musical style and endeavors. Back when Milo released, I wish my brother Rob was here, I was blown away by his candor, stream of consciousness and depth of lyricism. I was appalled that he wasn’t receiving the attention I thought he deserved. But after multiple releases, shows, and expositions, the underground rapper is starting to rise out of the shadows once and for all and is receiving acclaimed attention from the media. I missed Milo at Kohoutek a few years ago, and was finally able to see Milo at The cOoompound. At first I was startled by his intimidating stature, and he had recently cut his hair incredibly short which lessened his usual strange vibe that he typically emanates. I suppose such large rap talent has to find home in a large man. It was such a treasure to finally see one of my favorite rappers perform, especially now that he’s closer to stardom than he’s ever been.

This was also my first time at The cOoompound and I can tell you with absolute certainty it is one of the most relaxed, sincere venues you will ever visit. When I spoke with the owner Evan Gordon and asked him why he began to host monthly shows at his home, he told me, “my friends and I weren’t getting booked at gigs so I decided to book my friends”. He only expected about fifteen people to show up to the first show, but fifty came. Over the years, The cOoompound has become known for its humble beginnings and appreciation for art in a safe and inclusive environment. They also pride themselves on a strictly donation basis for their method of entry. If you can’t pay and want to see the show? No problem. The cOoompound is also a fully vegan household with tender gardens in the backyard that add to the organic ambiance.

If you missed Milo, and the rest of the Ruby Yacht crew, have no fear. You can find his tour dates here. Moreover, Milo and Open Mike Eagle will be performing in Austin during SXSW 2016. You can find those dates here. Check out milo’s tracks on bandcamp here.

You can find out more about The cOoompound here.

Photo Credits: Conor Whatley