Live Review: Ghostface Killah, Pharoahe Monch

23 December 2014 | 10:11 am | Jeffrey Kitt

Ghostface Killah & Pharoahe Monch showed Perth why they're the forefathers of hip hop.

More Ghostface Killah More Ghostface Killah

“We the new rock stars.” The words of Kanye West eloquently summarise the position of hip hop in the musical landscape of today. The music has evolved into a culture. The sound has transcended from an underground subcultural experience to a mainstream phenomenon.

It’s hard to imagine a world however where the new batch of hip hop superstars were not brought up by the genre forefathers. Two such figures of the hip hop community would undoubtedly include the likes of Ghostface Killah and Pharoahe Monch, who put on a stellar one-two show at Metro City. Performing in the name of “real hip hop”, both Monch and Killah brought their formidable wordplay and bangin’ beats to the table.

Pharoahe Monch opened proceedings and took the title of warm-up act to an impressive level. Performing a slew of hits from his time with Organized Konfusion to his latest record, Monch had both the charisma and song choice to deliver an extended set.

It’s as a frontman where Monch delivers – enacting heroin use, faking suicide, speaking introspectively about the recent US race divisions – and it was exciting to guess what he’d do next. The honest approach Monch employs between songs, speaking openly and honestly about his perspective, was a refreshing element of the show. And with a hype-man who had a turban woven from arse-long dreadlocks, it says plenty that Monch maintained the spotlight firmly on his talents.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

Audience members barely had time to refill their Red Bull and vodkas before the main man of the moment took to the stage. As a core member of the Wu-Tang Clan before embarking on a highly successful solo career, Ghostface Killah demonstrated why he’s regarded as a living musical legend. His records demonstrate an incredible control of flow and individual style. This impassioned and aggressive demeanour transferred effortlessly to his live performance.

Killah spat fire for a consistent 90 minutes – and it was a glorious sight to behold. Ghostface – aka Tony Starks – delighted audiences with an extensive tour of his back catalogue. Cuts from his acclaimed 2000 effort, Supreme Clientele, gained a warm reception, as did two-week-old selections from his new record, 36 Seasons.

The biggest cheers were reserved for the moments where Ghostface and co delivered Wu-Tang throwbacks. Protect Ya Neck was given some female assistance as two audience members made commendable attempts to cover the vacant verses of Method Man and Ol’ Dirty Bastard. It was also nice to end with the news that Ghostface had plans the following day to pay a visit to the team at the aptly-titled Toastface Grillah restaurant in the city.

Direct from the “slums of Shaolin” to the Perth stage and eateries, Ghostface was everything the audience had bargained for.