Since this venue morphed from its old, hipster-ific form, it's safe to say that the flat-cap/human ratio has greatly increased. The quirky old paintings on the walls have been replaced with repetitive graffiti, and a crowd to match. Tonight is one of Antipodean pride, with the acts bringing a form of hip hop that's unmistakably local. There are Wu-Tang sweaters and American basketball caps, but American insignia is completely drowned out by thick Kiwi and Aussie accents.
The first to grace the stage is Australian Indigenous MC Provokal, accompanied by Dialekt from Darwin. As the night's just kicking off the crowd is at its smallest, but this doesn't deter the guys, who proffer an awesome set of tracks with a whole lot more power in them than the small audience could appreciate.
Fortafy take the mic next, with a more US-inspired sound. Bouncing around on stage, these guys give the tracks a lot more intensity than in the pre-recorded versions, and the crowd laps it up. As their set comes to an end the flow of people arriving becomes almost constant, the room quickly filling (although the dancefloor's still uncharted territory).
As final support act Sky'High take the stage, it's refreshing to see some female MCs bringing a completely different sound for a while. Sky'High herself touts really impressive rhymes, backed up by her offsider who has equally gutsy but well-tuned vocal gymnastics and harmonies. These two girls are so confident and comfortable that they completely own the stage. DJ Substance fills the gaps between the acts, and finally filled the floor, skipping between hip hop classics before they work their recognisable magic.
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After a night full of new talent, we're treated to Home Brew. The crowd finally move in, followed by a sweet smelling cloud that's quickly stopped by a bouncer. Home Brew instantly have the crowd under their spell, but the artists seem underwhelmed by the lack of anger in their fans and start a provocative chant of “Fuck you, Brisbane!”. Their point is proven when the audience have to be told to yell back “Fuck you, too!” but the yelling back and forward eventually works, and everyone gets riled up enough to join in the chorus that goes “shit, fuck, shit, fuck…”. The bonding continues and by the end of the gig most of the audience have climbed on stage, bottles have been clinked and bros hugged. Walking out onto the street after most people have dispersed, some of the guys from the night can be found having a good ol' fashioned rap battle, while the rest of Brisbane watches on with a confused look.