In the midst of a fierce, fiery performance, the Almighty Owl Greens - a high-energy hip-hop trio consisting of Metro, Blastmega and J. Messiah - boasted "I don't walk; I orbit." The decree was a rarity during the Friday opening of the weekend-long Polar Showcase at Double Happiness, an evening where songs tended to hew closer to the concrete than the cosmos.

In the midst of a fierce, fiery performance, the Almighty Owl Greens - a high-energy hip-hop trio consisting of Metro, Blastmega and J. Messiah - boasted "I don't walk; I orbit." The decree was a rarity during the Friday opening of the weekend-long Polar Showcase at Double Happiness, an evening where songs tended to hew closer to the concrete than the cosmos.

Over the course of nearly four hours, a cavalcade of rappers and DJs brought energy and insight to the stage, with some performers, like Copywrite, lobbing words like sharp-edged bricks, and others, like Ohio-born, Atlanta-based rapper Count Bass D, adopting "flow[s] like Niagara Falls," as the MC put it on one tune. Other acts, like Danger Island, which appeared for a pair of songs during an instrumental turn from DJ Bombay, split the difference between the two, pairing hard lines about seeking revenge ("Tie you to a rock/ Push you to the ocean floor") with more melodic, free-flowing verses about letting water pass under the bridge.

After a slow start, Count Bass D, who opened playing keyboard on a version of Aaliyah's "Rock the Boat" given an odd, lounge-music twist (and bogged down with sophomoric, hyper-sexual metaphors like "you're a nut; I'm the screw"), gradually generated momentum. He ditched his sweater in favor of a long, black cape, and stunted verses in favor of lines that sought out some deeper meaning. "I write in the night to bring truth to the light," he repeated on one song.

In a brief-but-impactful turn, Copywrite appeared less concerned with searching out some greater coding in the universe than slogging through the daily grind, turning out songs about scraping by on government assistance and being overlooked by the listening populace at large (on "Obituaries" he describes his debut LP as "a prison cot - criminally slept on").

TheFwd, a duo consisting of rapper Ceezar and electronic producer Satele, closed out the evening by performing its self-titled EP in its entirety, complete with a full slate of guest MCs who contributed everything from concentrated energy (Nes Wordz appearance hit like a dose of 5-hour) to architectural precision (smooth and steady King Vada).