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Live Review: Kwame, Arno Faraji, Cheq

15 February 2019 | 11:19 am | Nicolas Huntington

"Kwame is the future of the game."

More Kwame More Kwame

When you walk into a club blasting Praise The Lord (Da Shine) while a mostly empty dance floor is occupied exclusively by hypebeasts busting out Fortnite dance moves, you know you are in for something special. It’s the first of two nights in Black Bear Lodge for Kwame, undoubtedly one of the biggest voices in Aus hip hop right now, despite a distinct lack of Aussie slang or twang to his delivery. Holding down the pre-drink DJ set is Cheq, with a heavy slang of bangers, capping off between-set festivities with the Sicko Mode/Mo Bamba one-two roundhouse.  

Arno Faraji struts on stage with the weirdest flex of the year - no DJ, no hypegang, just his energy to keep him afloat. Faraji destroys as expected though, having flown up the radio charts with Bless (What It's Like) and getting a LOT of on-the-ground heat from Destiny’s. The pit grows and grows as Faraji dodges and weaves across the stage to dance, rap and change backing tracks in one hell of a performance. A shoey makes an early appearance before Faraji loses his mind over just how hard the Brisbane crowd goes, “Y’all too weird, y’all too lit.”

Going from vibing with his protege Arno Faraji side of stage, to a sea of fans asking for photos, Kwame is carving out his legend status already. Wasting no time emerging from behind the curtain to an unsuspecting crowd, the punters grabbing drinks sprint to the front to get a piece of the action. Early set highlights like Friends get a pit started that would put Rolling Loud to shame, and tonight isn’t even sold out. Kwame is a performer with balance though, Faraji wasn’t lying when he said Brisbane was “too lit” and Kwame dials it down for some crooning slow beats before turning up again for CLOUDS. Taking time between tracks to just let the energy of the room sink in and deliver a quick motivational speech to the other rappers on the grind, Kwame is a man of the people. Hottest 100 snub WOW closes the night with Kwame grabbing a lucky MC out of the crowd to spit the last bars, an experience the bloke will seemingly never forget. We can’t imagine what madness the final night in Brisbane holds, but one thing is for sure, Kwame is the future of the game, and if you don’t catch up quick you are gonna be left behind.