The last hip hop gig I went to at Brewers Bar was Unwasted Talent, presented by Urban Drama, ironically I was too wasted to remember much other than the good/intense vibes, and a few sets from here and there.
For this one though, I was just wasted enough, and it was awesome. I heard about this gig through facebook, and had a chance to check out some of the Bad Bomb Entertainment’s music before hand, the only acts that I was somewhat familiar with was House Of Gold and Psyko-T, both of whom I had seen previously perform.
I got there around 9.20ish, before the Bad Bomb crew took the stage, incidentally it was the birthday of a couple of the Emcees as well. So, it was a celebratory event. There wasn’t a huge crowd, but I have a feeling, everyone that needed to be there was there. There were no less than 5 mics up on that stage…in anticipation of the dope rhymers.
As the lights were dimmed and the stage lights kicked up, everyone gathered around the stage, the energy was banging right from the bat, I am not sure if they started off with “Hands Down” or “Flashbang” but all the beats were sick from the get go, Reminding me of the underground “Army of Pharaohs” or “Jedi Mind Tricks” type vibe, and as each emcee, pulled up for their verses, there was a definite distinction in personality, from Tech N9ne level speed, Eminem level Lyrical ‘dexterity’, and Dark Lotus level of Myth and Storytelling.
Next up was ‘House Of Gold’ the boys from Papamoa East, I had a conversation with them just outside before they went on stage, about the state of modern hip-hop, as far as the mainstream was concerned, and it was agreed, that the subject matter and storytelling was lack from the radio. So it was no surprise when they went up on stage, even though the beats were banging, their lyrical content, dealt with the real, and the real personal. Their rhymes were fast, and laden with clever wordplay.
Of course there was indulgence in braggadocio, from both the crews, but it wasn’t the same ‘money, cash, hoes’ thing, but more in the vein of the ‘everyday struggler’. I wish I knew individual members of each crew, so I can do a proper breakdown, with names and skills, but I guess you’re just gonna have to check out their music for yourselves, and catch the energy when they are next performing live…
The only solo act for the evening, I did know by name Psyko-T, who has appeared on The ARTbopSHOW, and performed, at our ARTbop alternative launch. He was walking around, with a red metal baseball bat for most of the night, in full Psyko mode, when he hopped on stage however, the bat was exchanged for the microphone, and he dropped a track, that I hadn’t heard before, called “Psyko-City”, with the same body-spasming, high energy weirdness, and his gravel throated rapping. Thoroughly entertaining.
The vibe just kept turning up though, as next up, was a full on cypher, the guys from Bad Bomb were on stage, HOG, as well as intermittent, yells and screams from Psyko-T (Who had gotten hold of his baseball bat again)…At this point I don’t remember, the exact words, or the beats, but the energy was definitely there, dope emcees on the stage, almost filling it up, completely, and whatever was left of the audience, still bumping up and down. This is what Hip-Hop is about man! Spreading this communal vibe…along with the sick beats and genuine lyrical content ofcourse.
It was midnight, and Bad Bomb took the stage once again, to do an encore…
As I was walking back home I was thinking, everytime that I’ve been to a hip hop gig at Brewers (I only started going this year) there have been a whole variety of new Emcees, and new talent, each with their own unique story and spin on my favourite genre of music. There has to be more events and opportunities to see these guys perform. As far as this one goes…
All I have to say is….. #TGAHIPHOP is on the rise, recognize!
Written By: Dhaivat Mehta
(Editor – ARTbop alternative)
Dhaivat Mehta is a film-maker and performance poet, and a member of the Tauranga Writers…Involved with many aspects of local creativity! As an organizer he was responsible for last year’s National Poetry Day event “Caught In The Act” He also raps and does spoken word under the stage name ARCHAEO!