The first area appearance of upstart Queens rap crew Onyx posed more questions than it answered.
Why did the group wait until now to promote its surprisingly successful debut album, the million-selling “Bacdafucup,” a year after its release and months after its hit singles peaked? Why was the hard-core foursome rapping at the Troubadour, a rock-and-metal club on the West Hollywood-Beverly Hills line, when a gig at a more centrally located, street-oriented venue like GlamSlam would have been much more appealing? And why, with tickets priced at $ 17, was the concert not more heavily promoted?
Onyx has one gear — full speed. Each of the four bald rappers spent the 40 -minute, 10-song set attempting to shout over the others, employing played-out, tired cliches and expletives in an attempt to add life to the sparse and tardy crowd.
But aside from the 20 or so slammers in the pit directly in front of the stage, the assembled merely looked on as Onyx pleas to “attack, attack” fell on disinterested ears.
The show wasn’t without redeeming moments, fleeting as they were. Radio hit “Slam” brought a few enthusiastic shouts out of the crowd, as did “Throw Ya Gunz ,” the band’s first charting track, and “Phat (‘n’ All Dat).”