"A guy walks around handing out free cheeseburgers. A few go flying through the air and one hits Ooze in the face"
Can’t Say’s main stage instantly seems too small as Ivan Ooze steps out, pulsating with energy. He is joined by Juñor on the decks, and another young man in a bucket hat who goes unnamed and never stops smiling. Ooze bounces around the stage, nearly smacking his head on the roof while aggressively rapping at speeds that would give Twista a run for his money.
People are sipping on ‘purple drank’ and Ooze dedicates the night to blues legend BB King: “I don’t know if he even liked hip hop, but he was everything.” We raise our glasses and Ooze resumes spitting furiously, wearing a tie-dye shirt and overalls. Randomly, an air horn blows from the direction of the DJ booth throughout the set. Ooze belts out District 9 and his long hair gets sweatier and sweatier. The mood is rowdy as he raps about being an alien. A guy in strange sunglasses jumps on stage. He dances nonchalantly and hands out Hubba Bubba gum.
Ooze puts his own snarly spin on Missy Elliott’s Get Ur Freak On, giving the 2001 classic the treatment it deserves. He then roars into his own track,Trippin’. Ooze tells us that we should have fun and party like “Vengaboys came on and you just dropped a pinger”. He raps to a remix of Edwin Starr’s War, showing the wide range of influences that contribute to his eclectic style. A guy walks around handing out free cheeseburgers. A few go flying through the air and one hits Ooze in the face. The venue begins to smell like McDonald’s but no one seems to mind as Ooze raps Git Ga Git. The smoke machine is pumping and creates a slightly menacing vibe. Ooze plays On & On and we all sing along.
Fellow Melbourne rapper Peezo is welcomed to the stage. He is joined by at least six other people who tell us to put our hands up. Peezo’s slower, more enunciated flow is a contrast to Ooze and provides a small moment of relief from the high-energy barrage. Ooze takes his shirt off and plays a few more songs. He tells us to create a breakdance circle and then calls it a night.
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