Tag Archives: MC Puma

Dec. 25: Merry X-Ray – a benefit for MC Puma, feat. Z-Trip, Radar and more at Crescent Ballroom


Last month, Phoenix’s Djentrification held a benefit at his 602’sdays night at Bikini Lounge for longtime local MC Puma, who has been battling a cancerous tumor (retroperitoneal seminoma). Puma told me recently he had his last chemotherapy treatment, but the bills likely won’t stop anytime soon.

That’s why more of Puma’s peers, friends and fans are coming together on Christmas night at Crescent Ballroom for Merry X-Ray, a benefit show headlined by the homecoming of DJ Z-Trip, who used to run with Puma back in the Bombshelter DJs days. Fellow Bombshelter turntable ace Radar is also on the bill, along with Tricky-T, Fashen (also returning from L.A.) and Mantis Claw (formerly of local hip-hop group Supermarket).

Anyone who has spent any time in the scene knows this type of support is hardly a surprise. We take care of our own. But perhaps the most important name on the Merry X-Ray bill is The Gentlemen Ether, a new-ish two-man project that features none other than Mr. Puma and Lynx Kinetic. I haven’t been able to see them yet, so I’m pretty excited that the first time will happen on what figures to be a special night with Puma’s return to the stage.

Tickets for Merry X-Ray, which is a 21-and-over show, are $15 and available here.

More on this show – with possible interviews – as the date approaches.

Hopefully, you already know where to download all sorts of free Z-Trip goodies – download ’em all, but especially Uneasy Listening under “mixes” – and you can get your hands on a Gentlemen Ether track, “Whoompsh,” at Bandcamp (or below).

602’sdays benefit for Mr. Puma: Nov. 1 at Bikini Lounge


I’ve spent time waxing nostalgic on this site about the Bombshelter DJs, the three-man collective (Z-Trip, Radar and Emile) that I was fortunate enough to see perform regularly in the Tempe/Phoenix area during the mid to late ’90s. They are, without a doubt, some of my fondest live music memories. Those guys were open-minded and forward-thinking, proving you didn’t have to be one one coast or the other to start – and sustain – a movement.

But the weekly gigs and one-off shows weren’t just about turntablism. There were b-boys (props to the Furious Styles Crew) and live art (usually courtesy of Jim Mahfood), but the glue to it all was Mr. Puma, the unflappable emcee with a kind smile and killer verse.

Big-name guests came and went at the various Bombshelter nights, but for me, just a college kid and aspiring newspaper reporter/writer who devoured all things hip-hop, guys like Puma made a huge impression – not only on me, but on the scene he represents.

Without sounding overly dramatic about it, it’s time for the scene to pick up one of its own. I’ve been able to reconnect with Puma via Facebook, where he’s opened up his fight with cancer. Phoenix’s Djentrification is dedicating his 602’sdays night at Bikini Lounge to help raise money to defray Puma’s medical costs. I messaged Puma, asking him if he’d mind if I posted about what he’s going through, and he was (as expected) in good spirits and very forthright about his condition. With his permission, here’s what he said: “I found out that I had a retroperitoneal seminoma tumor, the size of a softball, surrounding my aorta, renal and messanteric arteries, about 9 weeks ago. I have been in chemotherapy for six weeks, have another six to go.”

Guests on Tuesday include M2, Robby Rob, Tricky T, Smite, Rani G and more.

Puma’s been working on a new two-man project called The Gentlemen Ether, which, from the small bit I’ve heard, pushes far beyond the constraints of traditional hip-hop (but that doesn’t surprise me because he’s always shown an eclectic ear for music). Check out the Gentlemen Ether’s “Whoompsh” below, and do what you can to show up to the Bikini Lounge on Tuesday or at least help spread the word.