Seventeenth Floor: Live Hip-hop Heights

Seventeenth Floor: Live Hip-hop Heights
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Seventeenth Floor: Rapidly Rising Funk and Hip-hop
Seventeenth Floor: Taking Hip-hop to Another Level

Who: Seventeenth Floor
What: funk, hip-hop
When: 2016-09-24
The Seventeenth Floor has built a reputation for high-energy live hip-hop and rhythm and blues that
Leah Williams
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The Seventeenth Floor has built a reputation for high-energy live hip-hop and rhythm and blues that can keep a celebration going well into the wee hours of the morning. Now the band, one of the nation’s premier hip-hop cover groups, checks in with all the other party people Saturday, September 24 at Pinch Penny Pub.

The Seventeenth Floor began when two brothers and rhythm-section musicians decided to form the nucleus of a band. Then drummer Greg Thompson and bass guitarist Aaron “A.T.” Thompson exhaustively auditioned other musicians to find tip-top musicians to join the Seventeenth Floor. The current lineup includes Traye D. on lead vocals, Jroc on vocals, Frankie Blaze on guitar and keyboards, A.T. Thompson on bass, and D’zel on drums.

The first big break came in 1992, after the Seventeenth Floor had already dominated the college-campus circuit in the southern United States. TLC stumbled upon one of Seventeenth Floor’s rehearsals in Atlanta, and in all happenstance the trio needed a backing band for an upcoming world tour. With that, the Seventeenth Floor graduated from fraternity houses to forty-thousand-seat arenas.

But the chance meeting with TLC was not the only time the Seventeenth Floor would get in on the ground floor with an emerging national act. The stars aligned again as a young and up-and-coming artist named Usher contacted and hired the band to back him in 1996. The Seventeenth Floor rehearsed with Usher for his My Way tour and even appeared with him on Fox’s Keenan Ivory Wayans Show.

The group has also opened for Snoop Dogg, Maroon Five, Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, Nappy Roots, Juvenile, and Earth, Wind, and Fire.

The Seventeenth Floor creates a party experience with top-ten cover tunes and originals. The setlist include hits by Usher, Drake, Ginuwine, House of Pain, Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, Lil Jon, Kendrick Lamar, Doctor Dre, DJ Khaled, Eminem, Wiz Khalifa, and Kanye West.

Averaging more than two-hundred live performances every year, the group perfected an amped-up atmosphere to shake away the weekday blues.

“It’s all about the energy,” Aaron Thompson tells Nightlife. “We want people to come out and have a good time.”

One of the biggest gigs, Aaron Thompson said, came in Ohio last summer.

“We played shows in Cleveland around the time of the NBA Finals,” he said, “right in front of an eighty-thousand [person] crowd. It was amazing. They wanted to have us back, but we were already booked in Louisiana. But who knows? Maybe next time.”

Thompson said the Pinch Penny show is the only opportunity to see the band in the state.

“It’s the only place we play in Illinois,” he said, “and we always enjoy coming back to Carbondale.”

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who: Seventeenth Floor

what: funk, hip-hop

where: Pinch Penny Pub Beer Garden / Copper Dragon Brewing Company


when: Saturday, September 24