First Thursdays Open Mic returns with new show-stopping experience


Yami Sun

John Kaufmann, Theater Instructor at Evergreen Valley College, kept the audience actively engaged with his talk of planet study May 2nd at the Euphrat Museum of Art.

Dominique Evangelista, Staff Reporter

The 4 Elements Hip Hop Club held their monthly open mic event at the Euphrat Museum on May 2 with a new colorful background stage of student crafted art.

For ten years, McTate Stroman has been the host of each open mic event. Stroman shared original works requested by people in the crowd.

The first performance was rap duo Despicably God’s Own. Paul Mundenmaney, 21, history major, rapped while Eric Ngo, 20, business administration major, sang and rapped on top of three freestyle beats.

Mundenmaney said freestyling at events with Ngo has helped improve their ability at writing music because their melodies start to come together more easily.

Yami Sun
Breakbeat Poet, McTate Stroman II, hosted and catalyzed the First Thursday Open Mic night in the Euphrat Museum on May 2nd by unleashing his freestyle.

“We figure out where we choke, screwed up and how to be better,” Mundenmaney said.

Ngo describes the feeling of performing as being himself and sometimes losing track of where he is.

“When I perform, I try to look at it as if it’s just me. Nothing but me and the music,” he said. “It’s really rewarding afterwards knowing you made some people smile.”

Freestyling helps Ngo outside of music because life for him is just molding yourself to your surroundings.

“Every day is different, just like every performance is different,” he said.

Samuel Dominguez, 27, film and animation major, plugged in his phone and rapped a selection of original songs that had the audience’s hands in the air as he moved across the floor.

Under his stage name Sam RucKus, Dominguez has furthered his career since his very first performance at a house party. These days he refers to De Anza’s open mics as home and a place to “practice and perfect your craft.”

Despite having years of open mic experience, some of which were alongside the 4 Elements Hip Hop Club, he said he still gets nervous performing.  

“Nerves usually happen because you’re doing a new set. You want to expand your ability to perform,” said Dominguez.

As the host, Stroman said it is important that he creates a welcoming vibe when he speaks and performs.

“Artists manifest whatever it is in their heads and students can release all the pressure of classes,” said Stroman.

Stroman said he encourages students to attend their future events to express and relieve their emotions through freestyling, or by watching others perform.